Health and Medical News and Resources

General interest items edited by Janice Flahiff

Popcorn: The Snack With Even Higher Antioxidants Levels Than Fruits and Vegetables

Popcorn

Popcorn (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

From the 25 March 2012 article at Science News Daily

Popcorn’s reputation as a snack food that’s actually good for health popped up a few notches as scientists recently reported that it contains more of the healthful antioxidant substances called “polyphenols” than fruits and vegetables…

…Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a pioneer in analyzing healthful components in chocolate, nuts and other common foods, explained that the polyphenols are more concentrated in popcorn, which averages only about 4 percent water, while polyphenols are diluted in the 90 percent water that makes up many fruits and vegetables.
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…

…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.”
Vinson cautioned, however, that the way people prepare and serve popcorn can quickly put a dent in its healthful image. Cook it in a potful of oil, slather on butter or the fake butter used in many movie theaters, pour on the salt; eat it as “kettle corn” cooked in oil and sugar — and popcorn can become a nutritional nightmare loaded with fat and calories.
“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.”
Likewise, Vinson pointed out that popcorn cannot replace fresh fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and other nutrients that are critical for good health, but are missing from popcorn.

 

Advertisements

March 26, 2012 - Posted by | Nutrition | , ,

2 Comments »

  1. I used to eat lots of popcorn: actual plain old popcorn, maybe with a little butter or cheese, not the microwave in a bag stuff. It’s extremely inexpensive and you can buy a microwave popper that makes its as easy as the bagged kind. io think I’ll get back in that habit – thanks for the tip!

    Comment by gregmercer601 | March 26, 2012 | Reply

  2. Great post Janice. I am braking out the air popper which has been gathering dust. Who knew? Antioxidants?

    Comment by A Doctor And A Nurse | March 26, 2012 | Reply


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: