Let’s just say it like it is: most of the things we love are not all that great for us. (Insert sad face emoji.) Donuts or fries, anyone? You know the smart thing is to turn them down and snack on some carrot sticks. (Bored emoji.) Guess what- popcorn- you know that yummy, crunchy, satisfying snack, is really good for you! Of course you have to rein in the butter or other extras that add unnecessary fat, sugar, and empty calories, but on its own, or with some light seasoning, popcorn is actually a whole grain full of nutrients that will keep you healthy! Here are some of the great things popcorn can do for your body:
1. It can lower cholesterol:
As a whole grain, popcorn is high in fiber. Eating a diet high in fiber can help lower your cholesterol levels and keep those numbers down.
2. It helps control blood sugar:
Again, this is because of the fiber that keeps your blood sugar levels steady, which also helps control hunger and cravings.
3. It’s great for digestion:
We can thank the fiber for this, too, as it helps keep everything running smoothly and prevents constipation.
4. It promotes healthy aging:
We’re all going to age, so the goal is to remain as healthy as possible as it happens. The antioxidants and nutrients in popcorn can help protect us from dementia, hair loss, age-related macular degeneration, weakness, and osteoporosis, and more!
5. It helps control weight:
Popcorn is naturally low in calories- 31 per cup when it’s air popped- and the fiber in it helps keep you feeling full.
6. It helps prevent cancer:
Those antioxidants again.
7. It can help ease depression:
Talk about comfort food! Popcorn contains vitamin B3, which helps with your mood.
As long as you don’t dowse it in butter or salt, popcorn is a really smart snack choice. But that doesn’t mean you should only eat it plain- experiment with different herb and spice mixes and you’ll be surprised at how many ways you can eat popcorn. Isn’t it nice to find a treat that’s good for you? I’ll take a bowl of popcorn over a bowl of kale any day!
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