Sprinkle popcorn with a little red pepper or curry to spice up the flavor—and your metabolism!
Movie night! Whether you’re staying on the couch or venturing to the theater, the event is not complete without popcorn. The less enjoyable part of the equation? The popcorn kernels that inevitably get stuck in your teeth. Unbelievably uncomfortable, embarrassing to acknowledge and beyond unattractive to try and fish out, getting popcorn stuck in your teeth is not usually something to get excited about. But think again when it comes to that pesky outer skin of the kernel, the hull – it’s actually packed full of antioxidants.
Naturally low in calories and packing a powerful fiber punch, popcorn is an F-Factor favorite for good reason! But, according to a study presented the American Chemical Society Annual Meeting, that annoying hull is chock-full of polyphenols, antioxidants that help prevent damage to cells and are thought to have disease-fighting properties. Researchers at University of Scranton analyzed four brands of popcorn and found that a single serving contained up to 300 mg of polyphenols—that’s almost twice the polyphenol content of an average serving of fruit!
Now, don’t go trading in your fruit and running off to the movies for a large tub of buttery stuff just yet. Fruit still has plenty of other vitamins and minerals that popcorn does not and a large tub of movie theater popcorn holds 20 cups and can be over 1000 calories—sans butter! So while popcorn may not be a substitute for fruit, these findings make it a great alternative to snacks like chips, crackers and pretzels, as long as butter, salts and oils (and things like caramel, chocolate and cheese) are used in moderation.