The ample dietary fiber and typically low calorie count of popcorn make it easy to understand why many people think of popcorn as a healthy food. And guess what? Properly prepared, it is!
“[Popcorn] … is a whole grain, and high-fiber whole grains have been linked to a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, some cancers, and other health problems. Federal dietary guidelines say half of all grains consumed should be whole grains, and popcorn packs more fiber per serving than whole-wheat bread.
“ ‘[Popcorn] is stable. It’s inexpensive. It’s fairly tasty. … Air-popped would be a good way to prepare popcorn because it gives you some control over the seasonings that you add afterward—how much salt, or how much oil …,’ ” said Maya Vadiveloo, an assistant professor in the department of nutrition and food sciences at the University of Rhode Island.
“In addition to fiber, popcorn also is a good source of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that have been linked to better blood circulation and digestive health, as well as a potentially lower risk of certain cancers.
“Another health benefit of popcorn is its high satiety. Because of popcorn’s high fiber content, its low calorie count, and its low energy density, popcorn is considered to be a food that can aid in weight loss. For example, popcorn has been shown to make people feel fuller than a similar calorie amount of potato chips.”
So… start popping!
Use an air popper and drizzle extra-virgin olive oil over the kernels as they fall into a deep bowl. When fully popped, sprinkle lightly with salt, nutritional yeast, garlic or onion powder, fresh rosemary, sage, thyme, McKay’s, or any seasoning of your choice.