Popcorn can be a relatively healthy snack if properly prepared. But, movie theatre popcorn can sometimes make people sick.
For many movie-goers, eating popcorn while watching a flick on the big-screen is part of the cinematic experience.
But more and more of us are feeling sick just moments after the consumption of this traditional cinema “treat”. Some may even feel fine at first but minutes or hours later can develop stomach cramps and even feel downright nauseous.
Reasons why you might feel sick after eating popcorn:
Popcorn can be very greasy and full of fat
One of the most difficult foods for our bodies to digest are fats / oils (such as those found in theatre popcorn). Keep in mind that many these commercial oils contain BHA and BHT (Butylated Hydroxyanisole and Butylated Hydroxytoluene). These artificial antioxidants keep food from spoiling too fast.
So after consuming greasy and oily meals, our digestive track goes into hyper-mode. Any grease left in the stomach is sometimes sent the way it entered. Foods in high fat can also trigger muscle spasms in the gut, making contractions so fast and hard it rushes what you ate through the colon. Yep, diarrhoea.
Movie theatre popcorn is usually flavored and coloured with artificial ingredients. Many of these ingredients include artificial preservatives and sometimes MSG which makes many people sick. Most of the corn is also grown using herbicides, fungicides, insecticides and other chemicals.
Popcorn can have too much sodium
Theatre popcorn is incredibly salted. High concentrations of salt can also make you sick. Symptoms may include nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal cramps.
Popcorn absorbs a lot of water
These days, the movie popcorn bucket sizes are absolutely huge, which creates a problem on its own. Popcorn is dry and as you eat it, it draws a lot of water from your digestive system to get through your body. If you eat only a little bit, this wouldn’t matter, but try to imagine what happens in your stomach when you eat the whole bucket of popcorn!
How to stop feeling sick after eating movie popcorn
Drink ginger tea
People from around the world have used ginger as a cure-all for pain and nausea since ancient times. Many studies have shown that ginger can be an effective treatment for certain kinds of stomach aches.
Ginger can be consumed as an all-natural ginger ale drink or by using fresh ginger root to make tea. If you don’t have a fresh ginger, just buy ginger tea and sip it slowly through the day.
Drink chamomile tea
Chamomile can help ease stomach aches by acting as an anti-inflammatory. Chamomile may also help relax and soothe the muscle of the upper digestive track lessening stomach pain and cramps.
Drink water with lemon
If you have a strong urge to vomit, mix 1 cup of water, 10 drops of lemon juice, and 1/2 teaspoon of sugar. Or instead of sugar, add 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda.
Use hot water bottle
If you have a lot of stomach cramps, the best thing to do is to soothe it with something warm. A hot water bottle works great for this, just don’t make it too hot.
Lay on your side with your legs slightly bent (like a foetal position) and place your hot water bottle on your stomach. Relax and don’t worry if you fall asleep, you’ll feel so much better afterwards!
Other questions you might also have about feeling sick after eating popcorn
Can popcorn cause digestive issues?
Popcorn is a great low calorie snack, but if your stomach is sensitive or you have a digestive problems, it’s best to avoid popcorn.
If you for example suffer with inflammatory bowel disease, the amount of fiber in corn is so hight, that you might experience bloating, constipation or diarrhea, cramping, stomach pains or generally won’t feel very well.
Especially if you swallow the remains of corn hulls or shells you might feel poorly as these can’t be very easily digested.
Can popcorn cause IBS?
Too much popcorn can unfortunately worsen your IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrom). If you eat just a small pack of popcorn, you’ll be probably O.K, but since we are talking about large buckets of movie popcorns, you might want to be a bit careful.
The high content of fiber can cause discomfort and the large amount of butter or fat, which is used to flavour the popcorn, might cause a IBS attact. Especially if you eat the whole bucket yourself. Again, the corn hulls or shells are not particularly easy to digest and the can stay in your digestive system for a while.
Is popcorn a laxative?
Popcorn is full of fiber, which can help to keep you regular. So, whilst popcorn is not a strong laxative, it can help to relieve constipation.
Can popcorn cause a diarrhea?
Yes, for reasons we’ve already described (very high in fiber, too much oil or butter which is used a flavour), popcorn (especially if eaten in large quantities) can cause a diarrhea.
Information on Practical Frugality.com is for education purposes only and is not intended to replace the advice of a professionally trained doctor nor substitute conventional medical service. If you have a severe medical condition or health concern, please talk to a physician.