Who knew that popcorn was more than tasty snack food? A new study has placed it among the likes of blueberries, tea, red wine and chocolate. That's because popcorn along with whole grain cereals aren't just full of fiber, but now it turns out that they are also filled with antioxidants called polyphenols.
Early researchers originally gave fiber in whole grains the credit for reducing the risk of cancer and coronary heart disease, but now polyphenols are emerging as the more important factor, claims the study's lead researcher, Joe Vinson, a chemist at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania.
"We found that, in fact, whole grain products have comparable antioxidants per gram to fruits and vegetables," said Vinson, who was quoted in ScienceDaily.com.
Antioxidants are important for removing free radicals from the body, which can damage the body's cells and tissues.
According to Vinson, wheat has the most antioxidants of all grains followed by corn, oats and rice.
While snack lovers may be rejoicing at this news, a daily habit of butter- and salt-loaded popcorn and sugar-laden cereal may not be a better choice than a cup full of fresh blueberries. But it sure is nice to know that a nice bowl of popcorn on Saturday night along with a good movie may do the body more good than previously thought.