Popcorn is Good for Senior Insomnia

Insomnia is a complex problem that many senior citizens face. Not only is it annoying to not be able to sleep, it is also dangerous as it can impair already ailing memory issues. An unusual food one might not think of to fight insomnia is popcorn. January 19 is National Popcorn Day.

Popcorn is a good source of complex carbohydrates, which can help increase levels of tryptophan. A bowl of popcorn along with a little lean protein is a good choice for calming the nerves, satisfying the stomach and settling you down. Popcorn is especially good, says U.S. News, because it also has plenty of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon and potassium.

In another surprising finding, the researchers discovered that the hulls of the popcorn – the part that everyone hates for its tendency to get caught in the teeth – actually has the highest concentration of polyphenols and fiber. "Those hulls deserve more respect," said Joe Vinson, who is with the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania. "They are nutritional gold nuggets”.

The overall findings led Vinson to declare, "Popcorn may be the perfect snack food. It's the only snack that is 100 percent unprocessed whole grain. All other grains are processed and diluted with other ingredients, and although cereals are called "whole grain," this simply means that over 51 percent of the weight of the product is whole grain. One serving of popcorn will provide more than 70 percent of the daily intake of whole grain. The average person only gets about half a serving of whole grains a day, and popcorn could fill that gap in a very pleasant way."

“Air-popped popcorn has the lowest number of calories, of course," Vinson said. "Microwave popcorn has twice as many calories as air-popped, and if you pop your own with oil, this has twice as many calories as air-popped popcorn. About 43 percent of microwave popcorn is fat, compared to 28 percent if you pop the corn in oil yourself." So the next time you go to watch a movie, pop in a bag of popcorn.


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