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Popcorn fanatics unite! Today is Popcorn Lovers Day, which always takes place on the second Thursday of March. Don’t confuse this celebration with National Popcorn Day, a holiday that happens annually on January 19.
You may be wondering why did someone believe we needed a date to celebrate popcorn? The reason was pretty simple. The unofficial holiday was created only eight years ago by a man named Bob Matthews of Rochester, New York. The reason for its creation? It was Bob’s favorite snack, and he and his wife would eat it most Thursdays all year long.
You might scoff at the idea of popcorn for dinner, but when properly prepared, it can be a guilt-free indulgence. Let’s celebrate this poptastic unofficial holiday with some healthy fun facts:
- A cup of plain popcorn contains only 31 calories.
- Popcorn has more fiber than pretzels or potato chips, more protein than any cereal grain and more iron than eggs or roast beef. It really sounds like the perfect treat to us!
- Many do not realize, but popcorn is a whole grain food, making it naturally high in key nutrients, including fiber, magnesium, phosphorous and manganese.
- A study from the University of Scranton found that popcorn contains substantial amounts of polyphenols, antioxidants commonly linked to various health benefits, including better circulation, improved digestion and a reduced risk of many diseases.
- Both the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, formerly known American Dietetic Association, and American Diabetes Association agree that popcorn can be exchanged for bread for people on weight control diets. We probably don’t have to tell you, but this is our all-time favorite fun fact. Learn more about how Lions Pride works to support Community Diabetes Education in Wisconsin.
- With its low calories, high fiber content and low energy, popcorn has all the characteristics of a weight loss friendly food.
- Even though it has a multitude of health qualities, preparation can make or break the nutritional value of popcorn. The best way to prepare healthy popcorn is on the stove or in an air-popper with no oil.
How do you feel about popcorn? If you have a favorite way to enjoy popcorn or have chosen a bowl of popcorn as an alternative to make dinner, let us know in the comments below.
Happy Popcorn Lovers Day from Lions Pride!