Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Popcorn bursting with nutrients: dieticians

LONDON: There's no doubt broccoli, watercress and acai berries are overflowing with healthy vitamins and minerals, but what about the foods we actually want to eat? As a new study reveals that the once-demonised egg should be regarded as a 'superfood' (it's packed with vital antioxidants and nutrients).

The humble cinema snack could prevent cancer and help dieters.

'Most people don't know that popcorn is a wholegrain shown to reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer, and just a 30g serving - that's half a small box of popcorn in the cinema - is equivalent to one daily portion of brown rice or wholewheat pasta,' says Catherine Collins, chief dietician at St George's hospital in London.

Popcorn also contains three times more fibre by weight than sunflower seeds, keeping you feeling fuller for longer, as well as balancing your blood sugar levels (so no mood swings or cravings for sweet snacks) and helping to lower 'bad' LDL cholesterol. It even has a dose of B vitamins to boost your energy levels.

A study presented last August to the American Chemical Society suggests the real health benefits could lie more in its 'surprisingly large' polyphenol content, antioxidants thought to mop up free radicals, the potentially damaging chemicals that cause diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

Just be careful of doing more harm than good by adding excess salt or sugar to your homemade version.

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