Fruits, Vegetables, Antioxidants and Popcorn?

Antioxidants are much more abundant in Popcorn than in fruit and vegetables, with levels up to 15 times higher than other whole-grain foods.

ID Articolo: 17716 - Pubblicato il: 12 ottobre 2012
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Polyphenols are much more abundant in popcorn than in fruit and vegetables. The levels are similar to those found in nuts, and up to 15 times higher than quantities found in other whole-grain foods.

Many people are aware of the beneficial health effects of eating fruits and vegetables. One reason for this is that they are a good source of antioxidants called polyphenols. Research has shown that polyphenols are anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor and help prevent heart disease (Scalbert et al. 2005). While fruits and vegetables are high in these healthy antioxidants, did you know that popcorn is also loaded with polyphenols?

In an interesting presentation at the National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, Chemistry Professor Joe Vinson, Ph.D., of the University of Scranton explained that popcorn is approximately 4 percent water, compared to 90 percent in most fruit and vegetables (Vinson, 2012). This means that polyphenols are much more diluted in the fruit and veggies compared to popcorn.

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The researchers found that polyphenols were much more abundant in popcorn than they had expected. They explained that levels were similar to those found in nuts, and up to 15 times higher than quantities found in other whole-grain foods. The team also found that popcorn hulls have the highest polyphenols concentrations and are rich in fiber.

In order to have a healthy diet, you cannot replace fresh fruits and vegetables with popcorn, Dr. Vinson stressed. Popcorn does not contain several other key nutrients present in fruit and veggies.

However, popcorn may be the perfect snack food, as it’s the only snack that is 100 percent unprocessed whole grain. One serving of popcorn will provide more than 70 percent of the daily intake of whole grain but it’s important to remember that everything is better in moderation. This study assumes you are eating a single serving of popcorn without salt or butter, leading to a mere 93 calories per serving.

How the popcorn is prepared can considerably alter the popcorn’s health benefits. Oil, butter and salt dilute the health benefits of popcorn by adding fat and even doubling its calories. Your best bet is air-popped popcorn made with a hot air popper without any oil, but if plain popcorn sounds too bland, consider adding spices or herbs to improve its flavor. Mist the popcorn with a touch of water or a healthy oil like olive or canola then toss in flavorings like chili powder, cinnamon, curry powder, dried dill or a teaspoon of grated parmesan cheese.

 

 

BIOGRAFIA:  

  • Scalbert, A., Johnson, I, T,. Saltmarch, M. (2005). Polyphenols: antioxidants and beyond. The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 81, 1, 2155-2175. DOWNLOAD
  • Vinson, J. (2012, March). The snack with even higher antioxidants levels than fruits and vegetables. Presentation at the 243rd National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, San Diego, Calif.

 

Popcorn: The snack with even higher antioxidant levels than fruits and vegetables

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