Whole grains high in fiber include popcorn. The health of the digestive system and regular bowel motions depend on a diet high in fiber. Protein and vitamins are also present in popcorn. Popcorn eating is entirely harmless for the digestive system. It is a healthy cuisine that everyone can eat and may be eaten for breakfast or as a snack.
Popcorn is frequently thought of as the go-to option when looking for a light snack that is filling, low in calories, and just plain tasty. But is popcorn good for gut health? Let’s explore it below.
Is Popcorn Good For The Gut Health?
The insoluble fiber included in popcorn passes through your digestive system largely undamaged. Popcorn’s insoluble fiber moves food through your digestive system, increasing fecal volume and maintaining regularity. Although fiber is a component of plant foods like popcorn that can be eaten, it cannot be digested.
It’s commonly known that popcorn can pass through your digestive tract without being completely digested or broken down, retaining the majority of its structure.
Popcorn is beneficial for the digestive system and gastrointestinal tract. It is rich in dietary fiber, which promotes proper digestion, keeps you feeling full for the day, is essential for a healthy heart, and may even help prevent colon cancer. Eating popcorn might aid in promoting healthy gut flora, which is crucial for digestion and a robust immune system because of its high fiber content.
What are Popcorn’s Advantages for Digestion?
Popcorn contains several minerals, including magnesium, manganese, elements like protein and iron, and the B complex vitamins. Four grams of fiber can be found in three cups of popcorn.
Increased fiber consumption has been related to improved gut health as well as lower rates of heart disease, stroke, diabetes, and several malignancies. Fiber, a prebiotic, is an excellent food source for good gut bacteria, assisting in promoting and maintaining good gut flora.
Maintaining gut health is crucial to enhancing overall physical and mental well-being. The advantages of having healthy gut flora include better digestion, happier moods, and even less general inflammation. In addition to its many health advantages, popcorn is a terrific snack for those who struggle to feel satisfied or full.
Popcorn – As a Beneficial Prebiotic
While dried corn (also known as popcorn) is typically regarded as a whole grain, fresh corn is typically regarded as a vegetable. Fresh or dried corn is a high-fiber food that benefits the health of the digestive system by acting as a natural prebiotic.
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In case you didn’t know, popping corn kernels gives popcorn its distinctive flavor. Popcorn, made of whole grains like corn kernels, is an excellent source of satiating fiber.
However, as was already said, the nutritional profile of popcorn can alter dramatically depending on how it is made. However, you can view the nutritional profile of three cups of plain air-popped popcorn to understand the breakdown of nutrients (24 grams).
- Calories – 93
- Carbohydrates – 18 grams
- Fat – 1 gram
- Fiber – 4 grams
- Protein – 3 gm
- Sugar – <1 gram
The Dietary Guidelines for Americans, published by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recommend 130 grams of carbs per day for adults and children 12 months and older. A single 3-cup serving of popcorn has 15 grams of net carbs and about 19 grams of total carbs.
Popcorn contains dietary fiber from the non-digestible carbohydrates that pass through the gastrointestinal tract. On average, a 3-cup serving meets 10% of your daily fiber requirements.
For comparison, adult men require 31 to 34 grams of fiber daily, while adult women require 25 to 28 grams. Adults over 50 should aim for 28 grams of protein daily for men and 22 grams daily for women. Children require between 14 and 31 grams.
Air-popped popcorn only contains minute levels of fat. As opposed to saturated fats, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats make up the majority.
Many people mistakenly believe that air-popped and plain microwave popcorn are nearly identical. The issue is that most microwave popcorn products use trans-fat-containing hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. These facts cause heart attacks, strokes, and other severe illnesses.
Three grams of protein, or about the same as one cup of cooked broccoli, are included in a 3-cup serving of popcorn. Protein demands for a typical passive male are about 56 grams per day, whereas protein needs for a typical passive woman are about 46 grams per day.
Although most people don’t consider popcorn a nutrient-dense food, it contains many essential vitamins and minerals. According to the FDA’s recommended dietary intake (RDI), a single 3-cup serving of air-popped popcorn provides the following nutrients:
- Copper – 7% of the RDI
- Iron – 2% of the RDI
- Magnesium – 8% of the RDI
- Phosphorus – 7% of the RDI
- Potassium – 2% of the RDI
- Vitamin B1 (thiamin) – 2% of the RDI
- Vitamin B3 (niacin) -3% of the RDI
- Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) – 2% of the RDI
- Zinc – 7% of the RDI
There are 93 calories in three cups (24g) of air-popped popcorn without additional butter, salt, or oil. Popcorn has about 77% calories from carbohydrates, 13% from protein, and 10% from fat.
Popcorn Other Health Benefits
Popcorn is generally seen as a snack food rather than a healthy food. However, popcorn can offer significant health advantages, including helping with weight loss, enhancing digestion, and lowering the risk of diabetes, heart disease, and possibly even cancer.
Compared to fruits and veggies, popcorn might be healthier
You read that correctly; Popcorn contains a lot of polyphenols, which are substances found in plants and function as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory agents, according to a 2019 analysis published in the journal Antioxidants.
Fruits and vegetables containing 90% water are considerably diluted in polyphenols. However, because popcorn contains just 4% water, its polyphenol content is higher, especially in the hulls (the hard shells that get stuck in your teeth).
According to a previous study from the University of Scranton, one serving of popcorn can contain up to 300 mg of polyphenols, making up 13% of the average American’s daily diet.
Vegetables contribute roughly 218 mg of polyphenols per day, whereas fruit contributes 255 mg. However, because popcorn lacks many essential vitamins and elements, it cannot substitute for fruits and vegetables in your diet.
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Popcorn might enhance digestion
Popcorn contains a large amount of insoluble fiber, which keeps you regular. This type of fiber increases the weight of the feces and hastens the transit time through the intestines rather than removing water from them. It functions similarly to psyllium husk, easing constipation gently while lowering the risk of hemorrhoids and gut infections.
Popcorn may lower the risk of cancer
Phenolic acids, also referred to as polyphenols, are an antioxidant kind that is abundant in popcorn. Studies have indicated that polyphenols may lower the chance of developing certain cancers, such as breast and prostate cancer.
Plant foods naturally contain polyphenols, which can assist in scavenging free radicals. Eating foods that fight free radicals is beneficial for health since free radicals can harm cells and raise the risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Lowers cholesterol and blood pressure
In addition to the bulk of insoluble fiber, popcorn contains some soluble fiber. In the gut’s watery environment, soluble fiber decomposes to create a gel-like material that may help decrease LDL (“bad”) cholesterol.
As previously reported by Shape, soluble fiber combines with bile, a fluid that includes cholesterol, preventing the body from absorbing the bile. This causes the bile to transit through your feces instead of being absorbed. This lowers high blood cholesterol, a substantial risk factor for heart disease, by reducing the body’s total absorption of cholesterol.
Encourages Consistent Bowel Movements
As already said, popcorn is a food high in fiber. It contains exceptionally high levels of insoluble fiber, which draws water to the gut. She continues this shortens the time it takes for your stool to pass through your digestive tract. If you’re often behind, this could completely change your life because it can keep you regular and possibly even stop constipation.
Popcorn fights cancerous cells
Ferulic acid, which is found in popcorn, may be able to kill particular types of tumor cells. As a result, popcorn also helps to treat cancer.
Popcorn lessens appetite
A bowl of organic popcorn is a fantastic substitute for other less healthy snacks, and because it is high in fiber, it may help to curb cravings for them.
Popcorn Slows Down Aging
Popcorn has anti-aging properties. Free radicals cause more harm than cancer. They have a strong relationship with aging-related symptoms like wrinkles, age spots, macular degeneration and blindness, muscle weakness, cognitive decline, osteoporosis, Alzheimer’s disease, dementia, hair loss, and a wide range of other problems that become more obvious with aging.
Because of the potent antioxidants in popcorn that fight against these effects of free radicals, a person can feel healthy and joyful far into the old life.
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Side-Effects & Allergies from Popcorn
When included in the diet in the proper amounts, popcorn is safe. Popcorn, however, may provoke an allergic reaction in certain people. Take precautions if you experience allergy symptoms immediately after eating popcorn, such as swollen lips or trouble breathing.
A list of foods frequently induces bothersome symptoms in persons with inflammatory bowel disease, including popcorn; thus, it should be avoided in such circumstances.
Concluding Now! Is Popcorn Good for Gut Health?
Popcorn is a low-calorie, naturally satisfying whole-grain snack with high fiber content. A diet rich in whole grains may also improve digestive health, cut the risk of certain malignancies, and lessen the risk of heart disease.
In addition to lowering the risk of hemorrhoids and gastrointestinal infections, popcorn offers modest relief from constipation.
FAQs about Popcorn and Gut Health
Why does popcorn soothe my tummy?
High in dietary fiber, promotes digestive regularity, keeps you feeling full for the day, is essential for a healthy heart, and may even help prevent colon cancer, popcorn is good for the digestive system and tract.
Is popcorn a healthy source of probiotics?
Your homemade popcorn supports your gut’s healthy bacterial composition with coconut oil, sea salt, and whole-grain corn, among other foods.
How does popcorn influence your digestive system?
Due to its high insoluble fiber content, popcorn may make some IBS sufferers feel bloated, distended, and overblown. Eating foods high in soluble fiber can be best if these symptoms are an issue.
Does popcorn include prebiotics?
There are numerous flavors and kinds of corn. Corn is typically categorized as a vegetable when it is fresh and as a whole grain when it is dried (such as popcorn). Fresh or dried corn is an excellent source of fiber and acts as a prebiotic in the colon to support digestive health.
Why is eating popcorn at night advantageous?
Popcorn is a complete grain rich in carbohydrates and fiber. Tryptophan, an amino acid crucial for sleep, is made more readily available to the brain by carbohydrates. According to a study, foods like popcorn and almonds promote deeper sleep than burgers and pizza.
Is popcorn considered a superfood?
The whole-grain treat has roughly a gram of fiber per cup and is rich in protein, B vitamins, healthy oils, vitamin E, and healthy fats. More so than many fruits and vegetables, popcorn is also a vital source of antioxidants.
How long should you wait after eating popcorn to sip water?
Because corn contains complex carbohydrates and starch, eating it with water might cause gas production in the stomach. This could result in acid reflux, indigestion, gas, and excruciating stomach discomfort. Maintain a 30- to 45-minute interval between eating maize and drinking water.
How does eating popcorn help with digestion?
Because of its high fiber content, corn is one of the most challenging grains to digest (cellulose is indigestible). The hulls and shells are frequently partially digested, particularly with popcorn, and might scrape against the intestines.
Along with a high-fiber diet, such physical activity can help decrease cholesterol (LDL). Due to its high fiber content, air-popped popcorn is a healthy whole grain that helps to hasten digestion. Popcorn has a large amount of insoluble fiber, bulks stools, and encourages regularity.
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Sources and References
At TipTop Gut, we rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We avoid using tertiary references.
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- RoyalNews: Popcorn Study
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