Popcorn has gotten a bad reputation over the past few years. First, we found out that movie popcorn is loaded with calories and preservatives, and then we learned that microwave popcorn releases nearly four dozen airborn chemicals when you open the bag. So yeah, we haven’t been dying to eat it lately.
But a new study found that some popcorn can actually be good for you. According to the research, the fluffy stuff may contain as many immune-boosting antioxidants as fruits and veggies.
Researchers found that popcorn is packed with healthy antioxidant compounds called polyphenols, which are also found in red wine and chocolate. They discovered about two tablespoons of kernels give you 500 mg of polyphenols—about half of your daily intake. Popcorn also has a lot of fiber, so it’s good for weight loss as long as you take a pass on adding butter, oil, or salt.
Want to add more popcorn to your diet? Pop it the old-fashioned way—on your stovetop. It's okay to add a little oil for cooking, so try a tablespoon of vegetable oil to help your kernels cook. And, if you want more flavor, sprinkle a little chili powder or cinnamon on top. Mmm.