Popcorn was once considered a breakfast food and even inspired the creation of Kellogg's breakfast cereal. The snack had a rich history with Aztec and Native American cultures but gained worldwide popularity during the Great Depression when it became one of the only luxuries that were affordable and easy to make. Microwave popcorn has been readily available since the 1980s and remains a favourite snack for many Americans, who consume fourteen billion quarts of it each year. Although some forms of popcorn are loaded with calories and fat, there are ways to make it nutritious. Here are five ways to make popcorn a healthy snack.
Dry Pop It In Hot Air
Popcorn that is dry popped in hot air, instead of in oils, is a healthy snack that contains key nutrients. Specifically, a 2012 study conducted at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania showed that popcorn has characteristics that make it more healthy than some fruits and vegetables. Popcorn is full of polyphenols, which are antioxidants that also found in berries and tea. They decrease the risk of cancer and promote heart health. Popcorn is also high in fibre and has a decent protein content. The researchers who performed the study claim that popcorn may be the ideal snack food because it is a rich source of unprocessed grains, which benefit the human digestive system. Although these findings are fascinating, fruits and vegetables contain nutrients and vitamins that popcorn does not. Therefore, most health practitioners recommend eating a combination of these food groups.