Superfood of the Week: Popcorn

Sarah-Jane Bedwell

Superfood of the week: popcornSuperfood of the week: popcornForget goji berries, chia or even quinoa: today's superfood is a true American classic. And we're NOT talking about movie theater popcorn, which is usually dripping with unhealthy-fat-laden butter. In its traditional form, popcorn is actually a whole-grain, chock full of satiating fiber to regulate your blood sugar and keep you fuller longer. What's even more fabulous is that the kernels are packed with antioxidants called polyphenols to ward off disease. Some recent research even shows that popcorn has higher levels of these disease-fighting polyphenols than some fruits and veggies! So say hello to your new snack staple and enjoy these three ways to chow down.

See more: 20 Superfoods for Weight Loss

Cinnamon-Spice Popcorn:
Air-popped popcorn weighs in at a mere 31 calories per cup, so go ahead and indulge with several. All you need to make your own is a brown paper bag, so why not avoid the additives of the store-bought bags and do it yourself? Simply pour 1/4 cup of kernels in a brown paper bag, fold over the top several times, tape shut and microwave until the popping sounds a few seconds apart. For a smartly sweet version, spray four cups of air popped popcorn with canola oil in a spray bottle. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tbsp of sugar, 1 tsp cinnamon, and a dash each of nutmeg, allspice and salt. Sprinkle seasoning over popcorn, toss together and enjoy.

Nutty Popcorn Trail Mix:
In a large bowl, combine 4 cups of air popped popcorn, 1/4 cup sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup pumpkin seeds, 1/2 cup roasted almonds, 1/3 cup dried cranberries and 1/4 cup dark chocolate chips. Toss together and divide into six baggies for a healthy and filling grab and go snack for your busy work week!

Parmesan Paprika Popcorn:
This cheesy popcorn from Ellie Krieger over at Food Network is ready in minutes and totally satisfies those cheese cravings without sabotaging your diet. As an added bonus, you'll get a nice calcium boost from the Parmesan cheese plus three grams of fiber per serving. That's something we can get down with.

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