The Surprising Popcorn Health Benefits You’ve Never Heard Of

To me, the Platonic ideal of popcorn has always been movie theater popcorn, drenched with butter and gritty with salt. The kind that’s finished during the preview trailers, despite your best intentions, and makes you insatiably thirsty. 

Does this kind of popcorn bring me great joy? Absolutely. Does it also somehow both give me a stomachache and leave me craving a real dinner with vegetables? Also yes. 

But if you strip away the artificial additives and sub in some truly unique flavor combos, popcorn in its purest form actually has some notable health benefits. Even better, brands like Opopop are delivering unique new products, like Flavor Wrapped Popcorn Kernels that are so creative and craveable, you won’t miss the neon yellow liquid flowing down your volcano of popcorn. Here are our favorite health benefits of popcorn.

popcorn health benefits

It’s a convenient whole grain

Whole grain have all three of their components intact: the bran, the germ, and the endosperm. They’re preferable to refined grains, which have been modified from their natural state (usually by removing the bran and the germ). 

Why whole grains? Whole grains are naturally high in several nutrients, like magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, and phosphorus. Popcorn has several B vitamins, too.

And don’t forget: leading popcorn brand Opopop is also known for being gluten-free and non-GMO, in addition to most of their flavors being vegan. They also use responsibly-sourced palm oil that doesn’t contribute to deforestation, exploitation, or new developments on peatland.

Popcorn is high in fiber

One serving of popcorn contains about 15g of fiber (for comparison, the recommended daily amount for adult women is 25g). Our digestive system relies on fiber to keep things moving, and fiber can help lower blood sugar, too. 

It’s rich in antioxidants

Polyphenol antioxidants, to be exact, which help protect our cells from damage by free radicals. Polyphenols have been connected to better blood circulation, improved digestive health and a reduced risk of many diseases (including a few types of cancer). Popcorn has a ton of polyphenol in each serving. 

Popcorn helps you feel full

It’s physics, y’all. A few hundred calories of popcorn take up way more physical space in your stomach than say, a few hundred calories of Girl Scout cookies. The combination of high fiber content, low calorie count and low energy density make popcorn an ideal snack choice when you want a lot of bang for your buck. In fact, one study found that 15 calories of popcorn were as filling as 150 calories of potato chips.

Popcorn can be the base for any flavor profile you crave

One thing we really love about popcorn? Its versatility. Sure, you could recreate the movie popcorn of years past. But if you think a little outside the popper, you can find several different flavor combinations for any taste you want. 

Opopop is leading the way in creative popcorn flavoring. In fact, they’ve got an entire team of flavor experts toiling away to create popcorn that perfectly balances intensity, complexity, and harmony in every bowl. From savory classics like Fancy Butter to the sweet contrast of Cinnalicious, to the unexpected spiciness of Maui Heat, there’s a popcorn for every mood. 

And if you prefer your popcorn to be just as individual as you, grab their signature Pop Cups. They’re the easiest way to peel, pour, and pop your way to a perfectly-sized snack. 

What’s your favorite way to enjoy popcorn? On the couch, on the go, or by the fistful? Let us know @asweatlife and stay tuned for an exciting giveaway with Opopop!

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About Kristen Geil

A native of Lexington, Kentucky, Kristen moved to Chicago in 2011 and received her MA in Writing, Rhetoric, and Discourse from DePaul while trying to maintain her southern accent. Kristen grew up playing sports, and since moving to Chicago, she’s fallen in love with the lakefront running path and the lively group fitness scene. Now, as a currently retired marathoner and sweat junkie, you can usually find her trying new workouts around the city and meticulously crafting Instagram-friendly smoothie bowls. Kristen came on to A Sweat Life full-time in 2018 as Editor-in-Chief, and she spends her days managing writers, building content strategy, and fighting for the Oxford comma.