Popcorn is not exactly known as a health food but it surprisingly is! When prepared without the excessive sodium and synthetic flavorings, popcorn may help boost your weight loss potentials and then some. In today’s post, we are listing down the surprisingly health and weight loss benefits of plain popcorn.
Did you known popcorn is categorized as a whole grain? That means popcorn contains endosperm, germ, and bran. As a natural whole grain, popcorn is packed with all the essential nutrients found in similar foods like whole grain cereals, whole wheat, etc. These nutrients include vitamin B complex and E, fiber and minerals. All these nutrients keep the digestive system healthy. Eating plain popcorn regularly helps ease intestinal problems, including constipation and diarrhea.
Reduces Cholesterol Level
The fiber in popcorn helps absorb excess cholesterol from the arterial wall and arteries. Fiber removes fatty plaque deposits in the arteries so blood can flow freely without clogging up. Eating popcorn regularly helps reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases including atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.
Control Blood Sugar
Apart from protecting the body from the dangers of cholesterol, the fiber in popcorn also regulates blood sugar and insulin levels. Studies show that people who consume foods with very little fiber are more vulnerable to diabetes and insulin resistance than those who consume high fiber foods. Diabetics will also benefit from eating foods high in fiber. The blood sugar remains stable because fiber minimizes the risk of glucose spike in the bloodstream.
Protects from Cancer
Here’s a surprising fact, popcorn contains a shockingly high level of antioxidants. What was once considered as junk food happens to contain concentrated levels of polyphenolic compounds. These antioxidants are the most potent in their class. In fact, researchers found that eating plain popcorn yields more antioxidants than a daily serving of fruits and vegetables.
Antioxidants are compounds that neutralize the effects of oxidative stress. Oxidative stress is caused by free radicals, dangerous ions that target healthy cells. When oxidative stress occurs, healthy cells become mutated. Antioxidants help protect the cells from mutated cancer cells. These nutrients also protect the DNA from all sorts of chronic diseases.
Protects from Premature Aging
The same antioxidants that protect the body from oxidative stress also protect from premature aging. Free radical damage is associated with rapid aging of the organs, nerves, and cells. Over time, exposure to free radicals cause age spots, macular degeneration, weakened muscles, weak vision, and hair loss. The aging process also paves the way to mental disorders like dementia, Alzheimer’s and cognitive decline. Eating foods that contain concentrated levels of antioxidants like popcorn helps delay all the early signs of aging.
Promotes Weight Loss
A cup of plain popcorn yields a measly 30 calories, which is about 5 times less the calories of the same size serving of potato chips. Unlike unhealthy snacks, plain popcorn does not contain grease, excess sodium, and is low in saturated fats. Popcorn is loaded with fiber so it is very filling.
A cup serving of popcorn will go a long way in terms of keeping hunger pangs away. It inhibits the release of the hunger hormone ghrelin and makes you feel fuller for longer. When you feel satiated, you are not compelled to “graze.” The result? A healthy body and a fabulous figure.