Health Benefits of Popcorn

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Popcorn offers more than crunch and empty calories. A new study shows that the snack food is more nutritious than fruits and vegetables in some respects—provided you don’t slather it with butter and salt.

Researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania ran tests on several different popcorn brands and found that the hulls—the tough fragments that can get stuck in your teeth—contained surprisingly high levels of antioxidants called polyphenols, which have been found to reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. A serving of popcorn provides more than twice the polyphenols as a similar serving of most fruits and vegetables, and because it contains little water, popcorn’s nutritional benefits are more highly concentrated.

As a whole grain, popcorn also boasts higher concentrations of fiber than cereals or breads do. “Popcorn may be the perfect snack food,” study author Joe Vinson tells ScienceDaily.com, and the hull fragments in particular are “nutritional gold nuggets.” When air-popped, the snack contains far fewer calories than snacks like chips or trail mix. Popcorn does, however, lack the important vitamins and minerals that are packed into foods like broccoli and bananas. (Or our Total Wellness & Energy Healthy Life Golden or Agua Vitae Multi-Vitamin/Mineral Formula for Men and Women.)

Source:  The Week Magazine – April 4, 2012

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