Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Time to get poppin with a healthy snack

Addictions to gambling, coffee, Facebook, alcoholism, smoking, the internet, drugs, or work run rampant with many people. I've been fortunate to never be addicted to any of those. However, I must confess I do have an addiction. It surrounds popping a snack to satisfy my late night hunger cravings. It’s popcorn. 

Ever since I was a young boy, I remember enjoying popcorn. And lots of it. It was always one of the favorite snacks at our house, especially on the weekends. 

As I deal with my addiction, I have found that I am very particular about my popcorn. At home, it has to be Orville Redenbacher’s Gourmet Popping Corn. It has to be the Original brand. 

It’s not unusual for me to get out the old-fashioned crank popper on the stovetop several nights every week. It’s by far the best way to enjoy popcorn, though I’m sure the oil used probably isn’t the healthiest. 

I love cranking the popper for several minutes as the popcorn makes that loud popping noise and the smell drifts through the house. 

Popcorn may only seem like a  delicious snack for movie theaters and comfy nights on the sofa at home, but there are many health benefits associated with this food that most people have never heard of before. 

The health benefits of popcorn include its ability to regulate blood sugar, lower cholesterol levels, improve the digestive process, protect against osteoporosis, prevent cancer, inhibit cognitive decline, prevent premature aging and help you lose weight. 

There are important nutrients that make popcorn a healthy choice for your snacking habits. The healthy benefits of popcorn are mainly derived from its impressive content of fiber, polyphenolic compounds, antioxidant, vitamin B complex, manganese and magnesium content.

One interesting study conducted by a doctor in Pennsylvania found that popcorn contains more polyphenols than fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols are more highly concentrated in popcorn than nuts and chocolate, two rivaling snack options. 

While it seems I’m reaping lots of healthy benefits, there is one drawback to my addiction. I douse it with butter, which I’m sure negates much of the positive impact that popcorn can have on my body. There is nothing better than a bowl full of popcorn smothered in real butter. 

I guess I figure at least I don’t drench my popcorn with salt or other toppings. 

I also try to avoid pre-packaged microwave popcorn as much as possible. And that’s probably a good thing. Nutritionists have found microwaveable bags present innumerable hazards. Microwave popcorn usually contains the chemical perfluorooctanoic acid linked to ADHD and hyperactivity in children, low birth weight and thyroid disease. 

It’s a good thing I usually stick to the real thing!

Apparently I’m not alone in my addiction. Americans eat around 1.2 billion pounds of popcorn every year.  It’s been a favorite snack for centuries in America. 

It’s time for me to go in hot pursuit of poppin with a healthy snack to fuel my addiction.

 

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Steele County Times & DCI

Steele County Times
507-583-4431
411 E. Main St.
P.O. Box 247
Blooming Prairie, MN 55917

Dodge County Independent
507-634-7503
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

Dodge County Printing
507-634-2661
121 West Main St.
Kasson, MN 55944

 

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