Red wine. Berries. Dark chocolate. Given that they’re all yummy, I’m beginning to really like all of the research into what foods are high in antioxidants that may prevent cancer. And now comes a study that says we may be able to add popcorn to the list!
Researchers at the University of Scranton found that popcorn may have more antioxidants than some veggies. They tested four brands of popcorn — two microwaveable and two air-popped brands — and found they contained between 242-363 milligrams of polyphenols per ounce, in comparison to some fruits and vegetables which had only 160 milligrams per serving. In fact, according to Fox News, it’s those annoying hulls that get stuck in your teeth that have the highest concentration of the good stuff.
So should you skip the produce aisle and head straight for the snack aisle? No, says WebMD. The researchers, who presented their findings at the American Chemical Society’s annual meeting, say they’re still not sure how much of popcorn’s antioxidants are getting absorbed by the body.
While popcorn can be a healthy snack just for its high-fiber content alone, the type of popcorn you eat makes all the difference. If you’re eating it after it has been drowned in butter or lots of lip-smacking sodium, you’re likely negating the positive effects of the heart disease and cancer-fighting polyphenols. So parents, while it may be hard to get the kiddos to eat broccoli, and it’s clearly inadvisable to give them red wine, it certainly can’t hurt to start adding lower-fat, air-popped popcorn to the healthy snack list.
The study was funded by a popcorn company, by the way, so you may want to take it with a grain of … wait for it … salt.
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