Advertisement
Icon WebMD Expert Blogs

Real Life Nutrition

A Fresh Take on "Good for You"

Important:

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, review, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have... Expand

The opinions expressed in WebMD User-generated content areas like communities, reviews, ratings, or blogs are solely those of the User, who may or may not have medical or scientific training. These opinions do not represent the opinions of WebMD. User-generated content areas are not reviewed by a WebMD physician or any member of the WebMD editorial staff for accuracy, balance, objectivity, or any other reason except for compliance with our Terms and Conditions. Some of these opinions may contain information about treatments or uses of drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. WebMD does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Do not consider WebMD User-generated content as medical advice. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of something you have read on WebMD. You should always speak with your doctor before you start, stop, or change any prescribed part of your care plan or treatment. WebMD understands that reading individual, real-life experiences can be a helpful resource, but it is never a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment from a qualified health care provider. If you think you may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or dial 911 immediately.

Hide

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Newest Superfood: Popcorn

By Carolyn Brown, MS, RD

Popcorn

Every year there are a few “it” superfoods. You already know my pick this year: ch-ch-ch-chia! Most of the trendy superfoods tend to be exotic – chia is native to Mexico, goji berries to China, and the pretty but tasteless dragon fruit to South East Asia. The almighty açai berry is South American, and is one of my favorites because even post-superfood heyday most people including myself botch the pronunciation (ah-sigh-EE – for your help there’s a youtube video). But according to a new study the latest superfood isn’t exotic at all. It has been right under our noses, or more likely in our laps at the movies, this whole time.

The new superfood is not Sno-Caps or Sour Patch Kids, but it’s something even better: popcorn! Earlier this week I was interviewed for CNN blogs because a study by the American Chemical Society found that popcorn kernels are loaded with antioxidants in quantities beyond fruits and vegetables. This doesn’t mean you can stop eating fruits and veggies – you can’t get the vitamins and minerals from popcorn that you do from eating a variety of colorful produce. But it does mean that you should have a new snack food staple.

Movie theater popcorn isn’t suddenly a good choice because it might provide some antioxidants – that stuff is drenched in faux butter, salt, and artificial colors. And unfortunately the microwaveable bags can be just as bad if not worse. My sister, poor thing, recently thought she was buying a perfect Netflix night snack when she came home with a box of Pop Secret a few weeks ago. When I looked at the ingredients I flipped: popcorn kernels, partially hydrogenated oil (Trans Fat AKA the devil), artificial colors and flavors, and BHT (a preservative, also used in lighter fluid). Not to mention the unlisted chemicals lurking in the bag. Needless to say it was not a part of our movie night munching.

So what can you do? I’m a stove-top Whirly Pop girl – all you do is add a tablespoon of oil with a few tablespoons of kernels and voila! If that’s too old-school for you, there are lots of inexpensive air poppers (the lowest calorie method).  If you can’t live without your microwaveable bags, you can DIY in a brown paper bag or you can search for natural microwavable brands like Newman’s Own or Garden of Eatin’.

The best part of popcorn is how versatile you can be with seasonings – by that I mean go easy on the butter because there’s a lot else out there. I love sprinkling popcorn with truffle salt and making a light version of sweet/salty kettle corn. Other seasoning ideas: cinnamon, chipotle, parmesan… Time to get poppin!

So, what’s your favorite popcorn seasoning?

Photo: Stockbyte

Posted by: Carolyn Brown, MS, RD at 9:29 am

Comments

Leave a comment

Subscribe & Stay Informed

The Daily Bite

Receive a healthy, delicious recipe in your inbox every day.

Archives

WebMD Health News