Last week, we told you to eat more chocolate. Add popcorn to that snacking list, too. The American Chemical Society just discovered that popcorn contains more antioxidants than any other snack. While a serving of fruit contains about 160 milligrams of polyphenols (a plant-based chemical that helps neutralize free radicals that cause damage in the body), a serving of plain popcorn contains up to 300 milligrams. That doesn't mean you should start eating popcorn instead of fruit, since the two contain a different set of vitamins and minerals. But popcorn is a smart alternative to chips or crackers. It’s also 100 percent whole grain, which can help with weight maintenance. To enjoy the health benefits, steer clear of varieties drenched in butter or made with partially-hydrogenated oils. The best way to prepare the snack is to pop plain kernels yourself using a stove-top popper or air popper. You can add a little cinnamon, chili powder, curry powder or a tablespoon of Parmesan cheese for extra flavor. Pop and snack away!
Nov. 29, 2001 07:00PM EST