Some things just naturally go together… Coffee and the morning paper, hotdogs and 4th of July, and movies and popcorn… And, if you are a sports fan, sports and popcorn!

And even if you’re not a sports fan, you’ve likely heard the name Stephen Curry, affectionately shortened to Steph. He’s a basketball phenom who plays for the Golden State Warriors. Steph has a ritual he follows before games. “Get off the bus, walk into the locker room, put my stuff down, go straight to the popcorn table.”  Steph is totally obsessed with popcorn.

So what’s the deal with the popcorn? Steph Curry is an elite athlete after all! And with three NBA Championships under his belt at just age 31, popcorn certainly seems to be working for Steph Curry. So let’s explore the dangers and benefits of popcorn.


It’s Never That Simple One of the things people often find frustrating about nutrition is that there are often no simple yes or no answers. Is coffee good or bad? Is dairy good or bad? Well, the answers to questions like these often depend on things like moderation, type, and source.
Is coffee good or bad? Well, two pots a day with sugar and cream is pretty bad but a cup or two of black lightly roasted without sweeteners is quite beneficial. Is dairy good or bad? It’s pretty bad if you’re lactose intolerant and it is from a cow that was raised on a plant and was fed corn but plain, organic, raw, grass-fed full-fat Greek yogurt is a good source of probiotics.
Popcorn is the same. Air popping corn kernels can make for a pretty healthy snack. Eating a bag of microwave popcorn with “butter flavor” will do nothing good for your body and can be harmful. In fact, there is something known as “popcorn lung” that is caused by inhaling chemicals used to flavor microwave popcorn.
Not Without its Benefits
Airpopped popcorn has quite a few benefits. It contains vital minerals including magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and copper. Vitamins include Vitamins B3 and B6. And good news for those watching carbs.
  A cup of airpopped corn contains a relatively moderate 6.2 grams of carbohydrates. When you compare that to the same amount of potato chips which contains double the carbs at 12.4 grams, popcorn is the clear winner.
  Popcorn is also considered a whole grain as it retains the endosperm, germ, and bran. That translates to fiber. Whole vegetables and fruits are a far better source of fiber but popcorn can help you reach the recommended amount of fiber a day.
  A diet high in antioxidants is an important way to protect our bodies from free radical damage. When we think of sources of antioxidants we often think of vegetables and fruits. And those are a good source but popcorn may be even better.
  Polyphenols are a type of antioxidant that may reduce our risk of cancer, especially breast and prostrate cancers. And while vegetables and fruits contain polyphenols, they are also mostly water. Cucumbers for example are 95% water.
  That water content dilutes the polyphenols. Popcorn only has a water content of 14% meaning the polyphenols are more concentrated.
  If weight loss is one of your goals, popcorn is a great snack. It’s a whole grain so takes longer to chew and digest than a refined grain snack such as potato chips or pretzels. And an entire cup contains just 31 calories! Popcorn can also help curb cravings for crunch and salty things like pretzels, chips, and crackers.
  If you really want to slow things down and enjoy the eating experience, use chopsticks to eat your popcorn! It sounds crazy but it slows things down allowing your brain to register that you’re eating long before you reach the bottom of the bowl.

Pick a Flavor
Popcorn is a really versatile snack because there are so many ways to flavor it. If you want a  cheesy flavor, add some nutritional yeast. Sweet and salty is a great combination. Melt a little grass fed butter together with a bit of almond butter and pour over hot popcorn before adding a sprinkle of sea salt.
  Practically any spice lurking in your cabinet will make an excellent topping for popcorn, paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, cumin. Popcorn is a great “blank slate” to experiment on with different flavor combinations.