NUTRITION NEWS: Cereals, whole grain products contain large amount of antioxidants: new study

A study conducted recently showed that snack foods like popcorn and other breakfast cereals contain large amounts of healthful antioxidant substances called polyphenols.

Scientists say polyphenols are a group of chemicals known as antioxidants found in many fruits, vegetables, and other plants, such as  berries, walnuts, olives, and grapes. It is also found in foods like chocolate, wine, coffee and tea.

Polyphenols work by eliminating free radicals in the body, which are known to cause a number of health problems such as cancer premature aging, heart disease and other ailments.

Scientists said that commercial hot and cold whole grain cereals have been been known to contain fiber but it is only now that they – and other snack foods – are a source of polyphenols.

Joe Vinson, a chemist at the University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, said a new study found out that whole grain products have comparable antioxidants per gram to fruits and vegetables.

According to Vinson, this is the first study to examine total phenol antioxidants in breakfast cereals and snacks. Previous studies have only measured free antioxidants in the products.

Vinson said the whole grain cereal with the most antioxidants are made with wheat, with corn, oats and rice cereals following in descending order and that raisin bran has the highest amount of antioxidants per serving, primarily due to the raisins.

He also noted that bran cereals made from wheat overall do not have more antioxidants than wheat cereals, though they do have more fiber. In other findings, he said that whole grain flours are very high in antioxidants; whole grain snacks have slightly lower levels of antioxidants than cereals; of snacks, popcorn has the highest level of antioxidants; and there is a wide variation in the amount of antioxidants in each class of cold cereal.

There you are, cereals or whole grain products for breakfast?#