We were always told by nutritionists that popcorn is the best snack, as long as you do not load it with butter and salt. Scientists now found that it is also full of antioxidants, substances that may protect us from heart disease and even cancer.
Not just any corn
Researchers from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania found that popcorn is richer in antioxidants than any other fruit and vegetable. They presented their research findings at the meeting of the American Chemical Society and explained that the reason for this is the way corn is prepared ” “ eaten almost raw.
Corn is one of four major food staples on our planet, together with soy, rice and wheat. It is an excellent nutrient, low in saturated fat, contains no cholesterol, has very little sodium, is high in dietary fiber, it is rich in magnesium, phosphorus, thiamin, iron, polyphenols and vitamin C. The problem with corn is that most of its great benefits are lost in cooking. The only way to eat corn uncooked is to pop it.
Polyphenols are the most common antioxidant in our food. They are found to play an important role in the prevention of degenerative diseases, particularly cancers and cardiovascular diseases. The fruits and vegetables rich in polyphenols contain almost 90 percents water, so to get enough polyphenols, we would have to eat huge quantities. Popped corn, on the other hand, contains only four percents of water. Each corn kernel is packed in polyphenols and other nutrients, as it is completely unprocessed, and when air-popped, it keeps them all. With one serving of popcorn (hold the butter and salt), you get 70 percents of your daily need for whole grains.
This does not mean that you should replace all your veggies with popcorn from now on, they have much more than antioxidants. Also, who would want to live on popcorn, regardless how much fun it is.