Popcorn: healthiest snack ever?

Popcorn has gained superfood status thanks to a new study which claims it is healthier than fruit and vegetables.

According to a recent survey conducted by scientists from the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, the traditional movies snack has hidden potential.

Researchers discovered that one serving of popcorn contained up to 300mg of antioxidants – nearly double the 160mg found in a similar serving of fruit and vegetables.

The humble wholegrain snack was found to have a high level of concentrated antioxidants because it is made up of just 4 percent water, while antioxidants are more diluted in fruits and vegetables because they are made up of up to 90 percent water.

Although the lack of vital vitamins and minerals found in popcorn means that it shouldn't replace your five-a-day, munching the plain air-popped stuff (sadly minus the sugar, butter, salt or caramel) may be the perfect way to give your antioxidant levels an essential top-up.

"Those hulls deserve more respect. They are nutritional gold nuggets," said researcher Joe Vinson. He warned, "Air-popped popcorn has the lowest number of calories while microwave popcorn has twice as many calories as air-popped."