BEIJING, March 27 (Xinhuanet) – A new study finds out that popcorn contains more highly healthy antioxidant substances than fruits and vegetables, if it isn't covered with butter, salt, or sugar.
Popcorn in its pure form, as an unprocessed grain, can be one of the healthiest snacks one can have, according to the research presented at the American Chemical Society's scientific society on Sunday.
One of the scientists behind the study, Dr. Joe Vinson of the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, explained that there are more of the antioxidant substances called polyphenols concentrated in popcorn than most fruits and vegetables. One reason is that popcorn only contains about 4 percent water while fruits and vegetables contain up to 90 percent water.
The researchers also find that the hulls of popcorn - the part that everyone hates for its tendency to get caught in the teeth - has been found to have the highest concentration of polyphenols and fibre. They are actually "nutritional gold nuggets," according to Vinson.
"Popcorn may be the perfect snack food," said Dr. Vinson. One serving of popcorn will provide more than 70 percent of the daily intake of whole grain needed by an adult.
Vinson warned, however, that how the popcorn is prepared is the key to its healthiness. Air popped popcorn is the best, while microwave popcorn is much worse, as is popcorn made in pot full of oil, butter, and covered with sugar or salt.
Popcorn, in its air-popped form is healthy, but could never fully replace fruits and vegetables due to the other vitamins and nutrients found in them.