From Dr. Mercola:
Many people love eating a bowl of crunchy popcorn. It’s been a favorite snack for centuries in America. Anthropologists have actually found popcorn remnants in the American Southwest dating from about 2,500 years ago and in Peru and Mexico as old as 5,000 years.
Sold as “Pearl” corn or “Nonpareil” in the early 1800s, a popcorn “boom” increased its popularity quickly during the Great Depression because it was so inexpensive. It must have caught on, because Americans now eat around 1.2 billion pounds every year!1
Popcorn is not the healthiest snack out there, but if you choose the right variety, it can be relatively nutritious and provides a valuable source of fiber. The ingredients in this healthy snack may even translate to benefits that fight disease.
Popcorn and Your Health While this article will review some of the beneficial aspects of popcorn it is still relatively high in net carbs and if you are seeking to optimize your mitochondrial health anything more than an ounce or two of popcorn is not a wise choice.
Remember the way to prevent most all chronic degenerative diseases will be to teach your body to burn fat for fuel. It would be FAR better to eat high fiber vegetables for carbs than grains.
Nutritional Aspects of Popcorn
A fairly modest portion of popcorn — 3.5 ounces — offers several important nutrients and impressively high percentages to consumers in terms of recommended daily intake (RDI).
Manganese, for instance, presents 56 percent of the RDI, while magnesium and phosphorus each bring 36 percent.
Zinc is also significant with 21 percent, and copper, vitamin B3 (niacin), vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and potassium show up with just under 10 percent each.2 Popcorn contains nutrients and compounds that are associated with:
Regulated blood sugar Improved digestion Weight loss Reduced cholesterol levels Cancer prevention
Another interesting thing about popcorn is that while a 1-cup serving contains 6.2 grams of carbohydrates, which becomes glucose in your body after digestion, the starch is different.
“Popcorn contains type 1 resistant starch, which is found in the cell walls of plants. It’s present in seeds, beans and grains, including corn.
As its name implies, resistant starch resists digestion, so it passes through to your gut primarily undigested, providing a source of nutrition for the healthy bacteria that lives in your digestive tract.
In addition to providing fuel for your gut’s bacteria, resistant starch may also help keep your insulin levels steady, reducing spikes in blood sugar.”3
Popcorn retains the endosperm, germ and bran for fiber that sloughs your blood vessel and artery walls of excess cholesterol, helping to optimize cholesterol levels.4 Simultaneously, your risk of heart attack, stroke and atherosclerosis — aka hardening of the arteries — is lowered.
For these reasons, your heart doesn’t have to work so hard; your blood vessels and arteries allow blood to flow through at the optimum rate rather than slowing down, thickening and causing problems like those mentioned above.