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Looking For Whole-Grain? Try Popcorn

popcorn is good for ya!
Justin Sullivan , Getty Images

Want to get more whole grains and antioxidants into your diet? Most people would think that fruits and vegetables might be your best bet. According to a new study from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, Popcorn has more antioxidants than a day’s worth of fruits and veggies, based on the average American diet.

It also packs more Whole Grains than most other foods that claim that benefit. In the United States, foods labeled “whole grain” only have to be 51% whole grain.

Popcorn, it turns out, is the only snack food that is 100% whole grain. The part of popcorn that always gets stuck in your teeth? That’s the “hull” and it is packed with antioxidants. Antioxidants play a big role in preventing heart disease and cancer.

The tricky part to keeping popcorn “healthy” is what you put on it. If you pile gobs of butter and salt on it, the nutritional value goes downhill quickly. Try getting creative and add some spices, like chili powder, dill, curry powder or even cinnamon.

I’m kind of old school with my popcorn. I make it for my wife and I every Sunday night before we catch up on shows we DVR during the week. I pop it on the stove in my Mom’s old pressure cooker, using olive oil instead of the other kind. A little kosher salt and some red wine, and you have one of life’s simple pleasures.

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