Popcorn has more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables, US study says

By on Mar 26, 2012 in Food, Health, United States Comments

Popcorn was said to have been proven having more antioxidants than fruits and vegetables and noted to be a healthy snack, based on a recent study; but it will depend on how it is being prepared.

A bowl of popcorn
Image Credit: Popcorn.org

As noted at various US news sites on Sunday, March 25, 2012, a team of scientist conducted a research claiming that popcorn has a hidden health component called polyphenols, antioxidants that prevent damage to cells and may have disease-fighting properties.

According to reports, researchers at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania conducted the study and spoke about their study during the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS), in San Diego that day.

Apparently, researchers used four brands of popcorn for this study and found that the amount of polyphenols found in popcorn was up to 300 mg a serving compared to 114 mg for a serving of sweet corn and 160 mg for all fruits per serving.

Popcorn may be the perfect snack food. It’s the only snack that is 100 percent unprocessed whole grain.” Joe Vinson, Ph.D., senior author of the study and a pioneer in analyzing healthful components in chocolate, nuts and other common foods, was quoted at Science Daily News .

“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.” Dr. Vinson added.

Dr. Vinson noted that the hulls of the popcorn, which is the part that everybody seem to dislike because they have a tendency to get caught in the teeth, is the highest concentration of polyphenols and fiber.

“Those hulls deserve more respect. They are nutritional gold nuggets.” Dr. Vinson explained, who is also a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton, emphasizing that fruits and vegetables also contain polyphenols, along with vitamins and minerals not found in popcorn.

Nevertheless, he warned that popcorn should not be added with too much butter and other oil which can quickly ruin popcorn‘s healthy image and cannot replace fresh fruits and vegetables in a healthy diet.

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