Polyphenols and Paper Bag Popcorn

Today’s word is polyphenols.
Polyphenol (pŏl’ē-fē’nôl’, -nōl’):  Any of various alcohols containing one or more benzene rings that each have at least one hydroxylgroup (OH) attached.  Many polyphenols occur naturally in plants and some kinds, such as the flavonoids and tannins, are believed to be beneficial to health. (source) 

Joe Vinson, Ph.D., a pioneer in analyzing healthful components in chocolate, nuts and other common foods, explained at an American Chemical Society press conference on 3/25/12, that polyphenols are more concentrated in popcorn, which averages only about 4 percent water, while polyphenols are diluted in the 90 percent water that makes up many fruits and vegetables.Popcorn has been “popping up”  all over the news this week.

A local purchase from the Dane County Farmers Market

You know the hulls of popcorn – the part that always gets caught in your teeth-?  They have the highest concentration of polyphenols and fiber.  But I think you can still turn to floss post-popcorn consumption.

Source: Scientist Joe Vinson acs.org



The overall findings of Vinson’s study led him to declare:  “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. 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.”

Don’t get too excited–this study is talking about real-deal popcorn.  Not freshly-popped popcorn coated with cheese, butter, caramel, etc.  Sorry.

Here’s a fun trick that my mom taught me for making healthy popcorn.  Use a brown paper lunch bag, add 1/4-1/3 cup of popcorn kernels, fold the top of the bag over, put in the microwave (try to make sure the bag stands up at first but it will fall over while popping) for 90-120 seconds.  As soon as the popcorn stops popping, stop the microwave and take it out (so you don’t have burnt popcorn).  Eat plain or sprinkle your favorite seasoning (try cinnamon, garlic salt, etc.) on the popcorn.

Paper Bag Popcorn

It’s a fun snack that you can feel good about eating.

Question:  What’s your word of the day today?

My A-Z

Today I’m taking a queue from other bloggers who have been posting the A-Z survey.  Here we go:

A is for age: Somewhere between 30-40!

B is for breakfast today: a smoothie–banana, strawberries, pineapple, coconut milk (not a fan!), chia seeds, Garden of Life RAW protein powder)

C is for currently craving: Nothing – I just ate lunch.

D is for dinner tonight: Something quick and easy–maybe my usual breakfast toast.

E is for favorite type of exercise: Depends on my mood but it’s usually either power yoga, a run, Spin class, weights, or a long walk with the dogs.

F is for an irrational fear: Sharks.  Because in my day-to-day life in Wisconsin my chances of encountering sharks are really high.

G is for gross food: Wal-Mart chicken–that’s a story for another post.

H is for hometown: Waukesha, WI

I is for something important: My Quality Assurance Guy, Kostas and Tucker (dogs!), Family, happiness.

J is for current favorite jam: The answer should probably be a song, but I’ll go with the food kind–my dad’s homemade raspberry preserves.

K is for kids: Kostas and Tucker–fur-kids.  And proud Aunt to three good kids:  Julia, Luke, and John.

L is for current location: Madison, WI

M is for the most recent way you spent money: A new pair of Mizuno Wave Rider running shoes. 

N is for something you need: A personal assistant.  Kidding, but gosh that would be nice!

O is for occupation: Hard to explain, but basically a COO-type…

P is for pet peeve: When strangers at the grocery store comment to me about items I’m buying.

Q is for a quote: “A woman is like a tea-bag–you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”  Eleanor Roosevelt  (having a back-pocket quote comes in handy–you never know when you might be playing Table Topics and need to quickly say a quote!)

R is for random fact about you: I was on Oprah!  I submitted a question for Rachel Ray–it was Rachel’s first time on the show (and Cesar the Dog Whisperer) and I got to meet with the producer at a local Chicago grocery store (used to live in Chicago), and was filmed shopping for frozen dinners (which I didn’t and don’t do).  Then I got to ask Rachel for her tips for someone cooking for 1 or 2.  Her answer was chili–chili on everything.  Chili, chili dogs, nachos, etc.

S is for favorite healthy snack: Apples!

T is for favorite treat: Apples and peanut butter!

U is for something that makes you unique: I have ZERO sweet tooth.  I can’t remember the last time I ate chocolate, ice cream, etc.  I love to bake and push my goods on others!

V is for favorite vegetable: Spinach and squash.

W is for today’s workout: Jari Love Get Ripped 1000–it’s at home waiting for me after work.

X is for X-rays you’ve had: Too many!  Collar bone (x2), fingers, foot/heel, teeth.

Y is for yesterday’s highlight: Long walk with the dogs–a sunny, warm March day.

Z is for your time zone: Central.

Your turn–pick a letter and comment with your answer!