Popcorn could be the perfect healthy snack
When you wonder “Is popcorn healthy?” you have to narrow down the type of popcorn you’re munching on. If it’s air-popped popcorn – not the fatty, butter-drenched stuff you get at the movies – then you’ll be happy about the answer.
It has few kilojoules – if you pop it the right way
The healthiest type of popcorn is air-popped, which only has 125 kilojoules per cup.
Popcorn could be healthier than fruits and vegetables
Yep, you read that right. According to a 2019 analysis in the journal Antioxidants, popcorn is loaded with polyphenols, compounds found in plants that act as antioxidants and reduce inflammation. Polyphenols are heavily diluted in fruits and vegetables, which are 90 per cent water. Yet popcorn is made up of about 4 per cent water, so the polyphenols are more highly concentrated, especially in the hulls (the hard shells that get stuck in your teeth). One serving of popcorn can contain up to 300 mg of polyphenols, according to a prior study from the University of Scranton, which would account for 13 per cent of the average daily intake. Fruit accounts for 255 mg of polyphenols per day, and vegetables bring in about 218 mg per day. That said, popcorn doesn’t have many other vitamins and nutrients, so it can’t completely replace fruits and veggies in your diet.