It may come as a surprise, but popcorn has high levels of antioxidants and is a good source of fiber. According to new research, popcorn contains a higher level of healthy antioxidants than some vegetables and fruits. Based on antioxidant levels, whole grains, and fiber, popcorn is a healthy snack food. Professor of chemistry Joe Vinson calls it the king of snack foods. However, he is not suggesting that everyone should scrap vegetables and fruit in favor of popcorn. The amount of healthy antioxidants that are absorbed by the body is yet to be found. There is no guarantee that antioxidants remain in the body long enough as to have the desired effect. The hull may contain substances that go right through the body.
We all know that plants have antioxidants, but nobody has looked at popcorn and what it has. The research team has found that one serving of popcorn contains 242 – 364 milligrams of antioxidants. In comparison, one serving of a selection of fruits has only around 160 milligrams of polyphenols (i.e. organic chemicals and antioxidants). The reason is that the polyphenols found in popcorn are less diluted with water compared with fruit. While popcorn is a great high-fiber snack, Vinson warns that adding large amounts of oil or butter can ruin popcorn’s good image. One consumer group looked at the calories contained in movie-theatre popcorn. A large unbuttered popcorn, for example, has 1,200 calories and a small one has 650.
Food chemist Kantha Shelke says the new study confirms previous research. Popcorn contains a healthy antioxidant that is found in barley, wheat, rice, corn, and beans. What is more, ferulic acid exhibits a variety of therapeutic effects against neuro-degenerative and cardio-vascular diseases, diabetes, and cancer because it is a powerful antioxidant with anti-inflammatory properties.