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The Surprising Beauty Benefits of Popcorn

It’s not just a tasty snack for when you're catching a movie. Popcorn actually has more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables.

Looking for a penny-friendly, tasty snack that won’t mess with your curves? The answer may be adding popcorn to your daily diet, according to new research presented at an American Chemical Society.

MORE: Five Healthy Snacks Under 150 Calories

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The Surprising Beauty Benefits of Popcorn

Before we get to this exciting research, it’s important to note that popcorn has always been healthy (not the movie theater kind, of course) thanks to its high fiber, low calorie content—and many studies have demonstrated this.  A 2011 study found that soluble fiber (one type of fiber found in popcorn) helped to reduce belly fat. Fiber also helps in the prevention of cardiovascular disease—our nation’s biggest killer. Popcorn may also be a great snack for diabetics looking to improve control of their blood sugar levels. 

It’s clear: Popcorn makes you gorgeous from the inside out.

Getting back to the most recent study I mentioned earlier, air popped popcorn—without the high-calorie, high-fat trimmings like melted butter—contains more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables. Polyphenols, antioxidants that may aid in cancer prevention and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease, and fiber are the healthy culprits concentrated in the “hulls” of popcorn. The “hulls” are those yellowish brown pieces of kernel that you end up picking out of your teeth long after you have your popcorn fix.

MORE: Try This Skin-Boosting Antioxidant Salad

Roughly two tablespoons of kernels (or 33 grams of popped corn) is enough to give you half of the total amount of polyphenols the average person takes in daily. Another added benefit of popcorn is its whole grain status. In fact, just one serving provides more than 70 percent of the average person’s daily intake of whole grain.

So why not go beyond the brown rice and the whole grain bread and add another whole grain super star into your bowl? Air-popped popcorn, which contains half the calories of microwave popped corn, makes for a quick and portable healthy snack that is easy on the waistline.

MORE: Seven Rules to Healthy Snacking

Just remember to skip the oil, butter and salt that we associate with this snack-time favorite—you’ll be doing your inner and outer beauty a favor.

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