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For more than 30 years, October has been celebrated as National Popcorn Poppin’ Month; however, it became “official” in 1999, when then Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman proclaimed October as National Popcorn Poppin’ Month.

While every day is a great day for celebrating popcorn, we chose the month of October because of the popcorn harvest which takes place each fall in the Midwest. Each year when the new crop is harvested, it reminds us popcorn will always be the naturally fun snack for the entire family. Popcorn Poppin’ Month is the perfect time to celebrate popcorn.

1 oz. of air popped popcorn = 1 quart of popped corn = 110 calories.

Plain popcorn provides whole grains, fiber and antioxidants. Throw out those chips and cookies and bring on the popcorn! Recent studies have shed light on the multiple health benefits of this delicious snack. Whole grains, fiber and antioxidants are wrapped up in this simple snack.

While plain, natural popcorn is full of health benefits, the cry for convenience and the palate of Americans have led to the addition of unhealthy “extras.” Microwave popcorn is usually packed with unhealthy oils, other additives and a lot more calories. Kettle corn and caramel corn provide hefty doses of sugars. Cheddar and other flavored types of popcorn not only include artificial flavorings, but unhealthy fats and other additives as well. Air pop or use oil to pop whole kernels. Lightly season it with sea salt or a very small bit of butter, if you can’t eat it any other way.

Popcorn provides about 4 grams of dietary fiber for every 4 cups of popped corn. Most Americans only consume half of their recommended daily intake of fiber, which is 25 grams for women and 38 grams for men. An adequate fiber intake not helps you to stay regular but may also lower your risk of cardiovascular disease, reduce blood cholesterol and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes by regulating blood sugar.

Here are 7 more reasons to eat popcorn!

  1. This delicious crunchy snack is filled with an enormous amount of protein!
  2. Did you know that popcorn has more iron than spinach and eggs?
  3. Popcorn is the perfect snack for dieting as it is low in calories, sugar free, and fat free!
  4. The whole grain nature of popcorn makes it a great source of dietary fiber. This delicious whole grain is easy on your digestive system.
  5. This healthy snack choice is one that you will never be boring. Any flavor can be added making it spicy or sweet depending on your craving of the hour.
  6. Popcorn is a great way to curb your appetite in between meals without breaking your diet.
  7. Popcorn is gluten free, which means it can be used as a substitute to make breadcrumbs if you have gluten intolerance.