Great news for popcorn lovers! A new study found that this popular snack food is teeming with heart-healthy, protective antioxidants.
Researchers at the University of Scranton analyzed the concentration of polyphenols, a specific type of antioxidant, in four commercially available brands of popcorn. They found that a 1 ounce serving of popcorn has about 300 mg of the antioxidant – nearly double the amount in an average serving of fruit! 90 percent of these beneficial polyphenols are found in the crunchy hull of popcorn (not in the fluffy white part).
The study’s lead researcher presented the team’s findings at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting on March 25 in San Diego, CA. He noted: “Based on fiber, whole grains, and antioxidant levels, popcorn is the king of snack foods.” He also pointed out that it’s the only snack food that is “100 percent unprocessed whole grain.”
However, one cannot live on popcorn alone. Despite its impressive antioxidant content, popcorn lacks most of the vitamins and other essential nutrients found in fruit and vegetables. So it’s still important to get plenty of fruits and vegetables in your diet!
Air-popped popcorn has the lowest fat and calorie content, but doesn’t have to be bland. Try adding nutritional yeast, garlic powder and sea salt for a tasty and nutritious snack!
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