History of Popcorn

While it may seem like a relatively recent phenomenon, people have been snacking on popcorn for thousands of years. Its unknown just when the first ancient civilization discovered certain types of corn could pop, but it could be as early as 300AD. In Mexico, where popcorn originates from, funeral urns dating from this period show a maize god with what looks like popcorn on his headdress.

History of Popped Corn

Early Natives loved eating popcorn, and used it not just for food, but also for decorations on their clothing and in ceremonial items. It was a rich part of their life, and as good as popcorn is, who can blame them?

Much later, a mere 5,000 years ago, the oldest popped popcorn kernel in the world was found in a cave in New Mexico. Other popped popcorn kernels have been found after that, though none as old, all around the Americas.

When the first European settlers arrived, popcorn was already a well understood snack all throughout the Americas. Unsurprisingly, it quickly became a popular snack for the settlers as well. A favorite way to consume it was with milk and sugar, as if it were a modern day breakfast cereal.

Popcorn in the great Depression

When the great Depression struck the world, the desperate situation pushed many companies out of business, including snack food businesses. Luckily for popcorn, its very affordability saved it from the same fate.

Thanks to it’s extremely cheap price (a bag of popcorn typically went for 5-10 cents) popcorn grew even more in popularity rather than failed. Popcorn may well have saved many farmers from destruction thanks to the fact that everyone could afford it.

A brief slump

When the modern day television was invented, popcorn sales began to decline. This was due in part to the fact that fewer people were now attending movie theaters, since television was readily available at home. Popcorn may have continued into its twilight years, if it wasn’t for yet another new invention—microwavable popcorn.

Popcorn and Movie Time

General Mills patented the first microwave popcorn bag in 1981, and the rest is history. Home popcorn became a hit as the convenience of popcorn with a few pushes of a button warmed people back up to the power of popcorn.

Popcorn Today

We now enjoy popcorn pretty much the same way we have since 1981, with a few exceptions. Gourmet popcorn shops have become available, offering popcorn with special flavorings you may not find anywhere else. Home popping machines that allow you air-popped corn, as well as more traditional types are now available for home use.

These popping machines are replacing microwave popcorn in some places because it allows healthier popcorn, and more flavor options.

The future of popcorn

Futuristic Popcorn

It’s too early to say what new inventions will bring the world of popcorn, but one thing is certain. We will continue to love and enjoy this great snack all around the world. Popcorn is something we love the world over, and it unites us through its delicious flavor and fun toppings.

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Health Benefits of Popcorn

Health Benefits of PopcornWhen you indulge yourself in a large bowl of popcorn, you probably don’t think about whether or not it is something you should be putting in your body. After all, we eat a lot of foods for the simple reason that it tastes good. Fortunately, unlike so many of the foods we indulge in, popcorn is a snack we can eat without any of that added guilt. Here are a few great reasons why you can reach for that extra handful without feeling bad about it.

It’s loaded with anti-oxidants.

Popcorn contains polyphenols. Polyphenols are anti-oxidants that can prevent cancer and keep your body working properly. Since most polyphenols are found in fruits, vegetables, and things like red wine and chocolate, they are often a lot more diluted than the ones found in popcorn. That means there are more polyphenols per bite of popcorn than anywhere else.

It has more iron than spinach.

Popcorn VS Spinach

Most people think popcorn is just a whole lot of nothing, not really good for you, but not bad either. In reality, popcorn has quite a few useful nutrients that make it a healthy snack. While popcorn doesn’t have a whole lot of vitamins, it does have the iron you need to stay healthy.

It is a whole grain.

Haven’t we all read those health articles admonishing us to eat more of our whole grains, and fewer ultra processed ones? Popcorn is the ultimate whole grain. After all, you are eating it shell and all! Just inside out and backwards. The government recommends you eat plenty of whole grains for a healthy diet, and you can help meet those goals by indulging in popcorn as your snack of choice.

It is loaded with fiber.

Although fiber isn’t a nutrient in the fact that our body can digest it, it provides a critical component to our diets for that exact reason. We need fiber to help move things along in our system, keeping our bodies clean and preventing any problematic build ups. The beneficial bacteria in your body that help with your digestive process also benefit from fiber—they feed off the products you can’t.

It is the ultimate diet food.

It isn’t the popcorn itself that is high in calories, it’s all the butter and salt we pile on top of it that makes popcorn so unhealthy. You can indulge in all of the good and none of the bad by air popping your corn. Add your own toppings to turn your popcorn from a less than healthy snack to something fresh and extra good for you. Popcorn isn’t just a great diet snack because it is low in calories, it can also help regulate your blood sugar and make you feel fuller.

Is Popcorn healthy?

There are plenty more reasons why popcorn makes an excellent health snack, but these 5 reasons are a great starting point. Make popcorn your go-to snack so you can enjoy healthy, guilt free eating every single time you want a snack.

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