Recent studies have shown popcorn to contain more polyphenols (an antioxidant substance) than even fruits and vegetables!
Studies also show that the hulls of popcorn, the ones that get stuck in your teeth, contain high concentrations of polyphenols as well as fiber.
Researcher Joe Vinson from the University of Scranton said, "Those [popcorn] hulls deserve more respect they are nutritional gold nuggets."
Vinson called popcorn "the perfect snack food." He also said, "It's the only snack that is 100% 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% of the weight of the product is whole grain. One serving of popcorn will provide more than 70% 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.
The studies found the amount of polyphenols in popcorn hulls to be up to 300mg per serving compared to 114mg per serving of sweet corn, and approximately 160mg for all fruits per serving.
One serving of popcorn also provides 13% of one's daily intake of polyphenols. In the average North American diet fruits provide 255mg of polyphenols per day and vegetables 218mg.
The research was recently presented at the annual National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society.
Vinson also reports "Air-popped popcorn has the lowest number of calories, of course. 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% of microwave popcorn is fat, compared to 28% if you pop the corn in oil yourself."
We do NOT recommend movie-theater popcorn or microwave popcorn (see Microwave Popcorn: Delicious or Deadly". Air-popped popcorn is the only acceptable form (our opinion here at MyNaturalMarket.com)