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Popcorn is a type of Maize, that puffs upon cooking, making the distinctive popping sound that gave the corn its name. Because it is a whole grain, it has all three parts of the grain: the germ, the bran, and the endosperm.
Popcorn has some surprising nutritional benefits. It has a high content of antioxidants, most notably, polyphenols. Not only do polyphenols protect cells from the damage caused by free radicals, they have been associated with reduced risk of cancer and heart disease. In addition to this, popcorn is a great source of fiber. Fibre can help in weight loss by creating a feeling of fullness, preventing constipation, regulating blood glucose levels, and lowering cholesterol. Popcorn is low in calories and fat and contains no sugar or sodium.
To prepare popcorn, simply place in a hot dry pan with a lid on. The corn will pop after a few minutes. Some kernels will remain unpopped, so just keep an eye out for them whilst eating the popcorn as they can easily crack your teeth!
Popcorn doesn’t have to be made of corn; you can pop lots of different wholegrains. However, not all types of corn pop; it is the ones which have moisture inside the kernel that turns to steam and expands, causing it to explode and puff up, when heated.
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