In study findings presented at the American Chemical Society’s National Meeting in San Diego this week, University of Scranton researcher Joe Vinson, PhD revealed the impressive antioxidant punch that popcorn packs – especially when compared to fruits and vegetables.
Dr. Vinson compared the polyphenol content of four different commercial brands of microwave popcorn and found that they contained between 242-363 mg polyphenols per serving, compared to about 160 mg in a typical piece of fruit. The majority of the polyphenols are found in the hull of the popcorn.
While Dr. Vinson is quick to point out that fruits and vegetables are still important sources of nutrients, the higher polyphenol content in popcorn has to do with its low water percent; because fruits and vegetables are high water content foods, the water tends to dilute the polyphenol concentrations.
Popcorn is the “king of snacks” according to Dr. Vinson, and in addition to its impressive polyphenol content, 5 cups of air-popped popcorn contains 155 calories and 6 grams of dietary fiber – filling you up, without filling you out.