Popcorn: It Tastes Great and Is Surprisingly Good For You

By Will Smith

We've long known that popcorn is a great source of dietary fiber, but now we know it's got antioxidants too

As snack food goes, popcorn is pretty much the bomb. It's delicious, is made almost entirely of unprocessed whole grains (a single serving contains 70% of your daily whole grain requirement), and it's crunchy. But let me tell you, your popcorn just got a whole lot better.

Photo Credit: Flickr user jayneandd via Creative Commons.

Joe Vinson, Ph.D. analyzed the nutritional content of air-popped popcorn and found that it has more concentrated polyphenols--a type of antioxidant--than most fruits and vegetables. Also of interest, the hull,the hard crunchy bit of each popped piece of corn--is nutritionally awesome. That's right, the stuff that gets stuck in your teeth at the movie theater has the highest concentration of fiber and polyphenols in the kernel.

The bad news? These findings describe air-popped popcorn, not the oil-cooked, butter drenched, lightly salted movie snack we all love. If you do all that stuff, or worse, cook it in the microwave, it's still bad for you.