The problem with opting for healthier food is that these are often not as appetizing as not-so-healthy alternatives like, say, junk food or processed food. But a study shows that popcorn, a snack both kids and adults alike enjoy, may actually be packed with more antioxidants than we may have thought. Antioxidants help clear the body of free radicals (chemicals that cause damage to cells and tissue).
According to the research of Joe Vinson, a chemistry professor at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, 1.5 percent of air-popped and unbuttered popcorn (coming from the hull portion) is actually made up of polyphenols, antioxidants found in chocolate, coffee, tea and red wine). Polyphenols have been associated with helping fight cancer and are abundant in fruits and vegetables. Popcorn is also naturally high in fiber and considered a whole grain food.
The researchers are quick to caution people, though, that this does not mean that they should start substituting popcorn for produce. While fruits like apples and pears may carry the same amount of antioxidants, they are much more packed with water as they are water-based, versus popcorn.