New research shows popcorn contains a higher concentration of the antioxidant substances polyphenols than fresh fruits and veggies.
Sure, popcorn has long been a popular food among movie lovers and chronic snackers alike, but did you know that popcorn is now considered a superfood? That’s right, popcorn lovers, this puffed crunchy whole grain contains a higher concentration of the antioxidant substances polyphenols than fresh fruits and veggies.
The reason behind popcorn’s superfood status? Researchers say it’s the food’s low water content that results it such high concentrations of polyphenols. Most fresh fruits and vegetables contain approximately 90 percent water content, whereas popcorn contains only 4 percent, giving you more bang for your buck. In fact, a single serving of popcorn contains upwards of 300 mg of polyphenols compared to only 160 mg for a serving of fruit.
According to experts, it’s the hull of the kernel that deserves the most credit (although its tendency to get caught in our teeth is most unappealing). This portion of the kernel contains the most polyphenols, as well as fibre.
What’s more is that popcorn is a 100 percent pure unprocessed grain, and a single serving of popcorn provides more than 70 percent of our daily whole grain intake. Beat that, potato chips!
Keep in mind, however, that slathering your popcorn with melted butter and salt defeats the purpose of having a healthy snack. And air-popped popcorn reigns supreme compared to its lowly cousin, microwave popcorn, which contains twice as many calories as air-popped popcorn.
So skip the butter and have your superfood snack with one or more of these tasty toppers:
- extra-virgin olive oil
- flaxseed oil
- nutritional yeast flakes
- fresh minced herbs
- Parmesan cheese
- Italian seasoning
- minced garlic
- chili powder
- maple syrup
Also, check out the following three recipes:
Don’t let these suggestions bog you down, though. Experiment with your favourite flavours and find your perfect popcorn mix!