Great news my friends! American researchers have demonstrated that popcorn is filled with health benefits, including antioxidants and fibre. According to scientists at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, popcorn would be "the perfect snack" in terms of nutrition.
"This is the only food that contains 100% unprocessed whole grains," stated lead author of the study, Joe Vinson. All the other grains are partially processed and mixed with other ingredients. "One serving of popcorn supplies over 70% of the daily intake of whole grain. However, most people only consume half the recommended amount per day, and popcorn could fill that gap in a very pleasant way," he added.
Furthermore, popcorn is very rich in antioxidants, including polyphenols. One portion contains about 300 mg, comparatively to fruits which contain 160 mg. However, not all popcorns are the same. "Air popped popcorn is definitely healthier than the microwave popped, which contains twice as many calories. The one prepared homemade in oil also contains twice as much as the popcorn popped with hot air," detailed Joe Vinson. He went on to add that "No matter which way you pop it, popcorn is higher in antioxidants than any other snack. It has less fat. It has less calories. It's just better."
It is said that the hulls of the popcorn (you know those annoying, little sharp pieces that constantly get stuck in your teeth?!) actually have the highest concentration of the healthy antioxidant and fibre. "Those hulls are where all the good stuff is," said Vinson. "It's not the white fluffy stuff."
And of course, when we add butter and salt, popcorn can turn into a nutritional nightmare drowned in fat and calories.
So now you can go ahead and stuff your face with popcorn without feeling guilty... well, as long as you don't go overboard! Oh, and try to leave the ooey gooey toppings behind!