One of my daughter’s favorite go-to snacks is air popped popcorn. She drizzles it with melted organic ghee and mixes in chili lime spice! I was concerned about her eating popcorn because I know most of the corn produced here is genetically modified so I made sure I only bought her organic, non-GMO certified popping corn.
I found out I didn’t have to go to all that trouble! While 90% of the corn grown in the US is genetically engineered, popping corn, which comes from a different seed, is not genetically modified – at least not yet.
This should be good news if this has always been a favorite snack food. There are plenty of health benefits associated with it as well including:
It is nutrient dense with 3.5 oz. providing 56% of the recommended daily allowance for manganese, 36% each of magnesium and phosphorous and 21% of zinc as well as several B vitamins;
It is high in fiber which is important for good health in so many ways, including balancing blood sugar;
While it is a starchy carb food, the starch it contains is known to help lower cholesterol;
It can be a great weight loss food because of the high fiber content and relatively low calorie count (as long as you don’t use any unhealthy add-ins!); and
It has a very high concentration of antioxidants and polyphenols – higher than other relatively healthy snack options, including fruits!
So if you have been avoiding popcorn thinking it is an empty-calorie snack – here are some reasons to include it again. Just beware of movie theater popcorn and remember air-popped popcorn has half the calories of microwave popcorn and corn you pop with your own oil.
Just use healthy toppings like a little coconut oil, ghee, pasture butter and some healthy spices. I used to enjoy sprinkling it with nutritional yeast. It has a cheesy flavor and adds protein! A win-win in my book.
Do you eat popcorn?
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