You don’t have to feel guilty about popping a few kernels anymore—as long as it’s the right kind—because researchers have found that popcorn is actually a surprisingly healthy snack.

A new study conducted at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, showed popcorn actually has more antioxidants in it than fruit or vegetables, and the annoying husks that you can never get out of your teeth also contain super high concentrations of antioxidants and fiber—nutrients your body definitely needs.

“Those hulls deserve more respect,” Joe Vinson, one of the researchers, told Science Daily. “They are nutritional gold nuggets.” According to him, popcorn may be the perfect snack food.

“It’s the only snack that is 100 percent unprocessed whole grain. All other grains are processed and diluted with other ingredients, and although cereals are called ‘whole grain,’ this simply means that over 51 percent of the weight of the product is whole grain,” he said. “One serving of popcorn will provide more than 70 percent of the daily intake of whole grain. The average person only gets about half a serving of whole grains a day, and popcorn could fill that gap in a very pleasant way.”

Obviously we’re not talking about movie theater popcorn dripping in butter, salt, and fat. If you want to reap the benefits of popcorn you’re going to have to pick the right kind, particularly air-popped kernels. Microwave popcorn has twice as many calories as air-popped, Vinson said, and popping with oil in a pan is a definite no-no.

Finding out that a serving of popcorn has 300 mgs of the antioxidant polyphenol while a typical daily intake of fruit and vegetables provides between 200-250 mgs might tempt you to sub the snack for leafy greens but popcorn doesn’t count toward a balanced diet. It’s best to treat it as a snack to tide you over to your next nutritious meal.

– Brande Victorian


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  1. This site has some potential for educating minority communities, whom seem to be the target on this site and are often not knowledgeable about nutrition and fitness… but yet you people continue to write articles filled with information not supported by any reliable data or you just make assertions that are beyond ridiculous. This article is another prime example of this type of misinformation. Popcorn is NOT more nutritious than fruits and vegetables as your title states. The study demonstrated that popcorn kernels have polyphenols, which are antioxidants. That does not equate to popcorn being more nutritious than fruits and vegetables. Furthermore, many fruits and vegetables also contain polyphenols along with a plethora of other vitamins, minerals, and other components that popcorn lacks. Also, it is important to note, that most people eat processed popcorn that is saturated with salt, butter, or cheese and many times a combination of all three. These ingredients essentially ruin any possible nutritional value one can obtain from consumption of this food. Finally, the study indicated that the polyphenols are concentrated in the hull of the popcorn. The hull is primarily insoluble fiber. We do not digest insoluble fiber and therefore the polyphenols do not stay in our system long enough for us to reap any significant benefits from them. Seriously… do better.

    • @ Orch..
      Thank you! I really enjoy reading this website as I have finally transitioned to be a vegan. However, since there is so much information out there, people have to be careful and double check their resources before proclaiming that something is healthy for you. From the title I knew that something was wrong and was going to look up the study myself. Thank you for correcting the writer and hopefully those that read the article will read your comment about what the study actually found.

  2. I popped a bag of “Pop Secret” in the microwave recently, and the pop corn was blue when I opened the bag. What caused this reaction? I could not eat blue popcorn, so I threw it away.

    N. Jones

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