Popcorn is particularly rich in fiber. A serving provides about 22% of the daily recommended intake.
Why is fiber essential for health?
High fiber intake has been linked to significantly lower risk of developing coronary heart disease, stroke, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, and certain gastrointestinal diseases. Also, high fiber intake may lower elevated blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels, improve insulin sensitivity and enhance immune function!
Moreover, fiber contributes to healthy gut microbiota, which is crucial for good health. Gut microbiota protects the body from chronic inflammations, improves metabolic processes, and promotes weight loss, due to regulation of appetite!
How much dietary fiber do we need a day?
The daily recommended intake of fiber is 14 g per 1,000 calories. Therefore, we should consume at least 28 g of fiber per a typical 2,000 calorie diet. If you consume more calories, you should get more fiber as well. There isn’t an upper safe dose of fiber.
However, most people fail to consume adequate amounts of fiber. Average fiber intake for people who follow the standard Western diet is less than half of the recommended dose! That’s because we consume too many animal products and highly processed foods, which contain no fiber. Actually, only plants contain fiber.
How much fiber in a cup of popcorn?
Actually, popcorn is a healthy, whole-grain snack. It’s one of the highly recommended foods in the 2005 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. It could significantly increase fiber intake by 22%.
In fact, popcorn is particularly high in fiber. Air-popped popcorn contains 15 g of fiber per 100 g, while a serving of 5 cups contains 6 g of fiber. This dose is 22% of the daily recommended intake.
Furthermore, popcorn is pretty rich in polyphenols, which have powerful antioxidant properties. They’re necessary for good health.
You should avoid commercial popcorn, popcorn cooked in fat, or popcorn coated with caramel syrup or any other sugary topping, though. Extra calories from fat or sugar could make you gain weight. Moreover, commercial popcorn is particularly high in salt. Excess salt may cause weight gain, due to fluid retention. Also, it increases the risk of heart disease, stroke, and high blood pressure.
Making homemade air-popped popcorn is easy. You only have to buy a cheap popcorn maker machine. You’ll find a wide variety on Amazon.
Actually, homemade air-popped popcorn is good for weight loss. It helps stick to a diet plan, as it’s a high satiating effect. It keeps us full for hours. Moreover, a serving of air-popped popcorn has only 150 calories.
Can I depend on popcorn for boosting the daily fiber intake?
Certainly, popcorn is pretty high in fiber. But, we can’t depend on them to meet our daily needs. We have to consume a wide variety of foods rich in fiber.
As plants are the only foods containing fiber, following a well-balanced, whole-food, plant-based diet is the easiest way to boost the daily intake of fiber. Thus, consuming a wide variety of beans, vegetables, fruits, whole-grains, seeds, and nuts could help us consume more than enough fiber.
On the other hand, fruit juices and highly processed products, such as vegetable oils, contain no fiber.