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Antioxidants - Popcorn is good for you!

By Taylor Wilkerson
March 29th, 2012
WebMD (www.webmd.com/default.htm)

Popcorn is one of the top guilty food pleasures today and is, for most people, the highlight of going to the movie theater. As soon as the tickets are bought, moviegoers make a bee-line for the concession stand where they order a big bucket of popcorn to snack on, which is usually more enjoyable than the movie itself. While eating, however, there's always a cloud raining on our parade with the constant worry: Is this good for my body?

A recent study was conducted to answer that question. Four brands of popcorn were tested and evaluated for the levels of polyphenols, which are healthy antioxidants that can help repair the damage inflicted by unstable molecules. The results? While most servings of fruit were found to contain 160 milligrams of polyphenols, a typical serving of popcorn averaged between 242 and 363 milligrams. One of the scientists who conducted the experiment, Joe Vinson, PhD, remarked that popcorn is "a wonderful high-fiber snack" and called popcorn the "king of snack foods".

But don't go buying Wal-Mart out of Orville Redenbacher's just yet.

Scientists caution that eating popcorn with too much butter will ruin the healthy aspect of the snack. The fact also remains that it is unknown how much our body absorbs of the healthy antioxidants in popcorn, which is to be the focus of a follow-up experiment.

Jeffrey B. Blumberg, PhD, the senior scientist and director at the Tufts' Antioxidants Research Laboratory, is conducting research on the amount of polyphenols that enter the blood. So, while scientists have confirmed that popcorn has the potential to be a highly nutritious snack, the fact remains to be seen as to whether or not the antioxidants in popcorn contribute to good overall health.

If you would like to read more articles by Taylor Wilkerson, try visiting her blog.

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