Reduce risk of inflammatory disease with a paper lunch bag?

Kitchen Gadgets and Health : Page 2

By , Caring.com senior editor
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Paper-Bag

Add plain popcorn kernels to a plain paper bag, fold it shut with several folds, and microwave until the kernels pop. No labor-intensive shaking in a pan of hot oil necessary, and no need to buy expensive, chemical-laden bags of microwaveable popcorn.

The health bonus: Popcorn is surprisingly high in antioxidants, as it contains more concentrated polyphenols than fruits or vegetables. An antioxidant-rich diet helps keep inflammation in balance. Chronic inflammation is a contributing factor in almost every major disease, from cancer and heart disease to Alzheimer's and depression. And with less added oil, popcorn made in a paper bag is also lower in calories and added dietary fat than the microwave-package kind, at half the calorie count.

Good to know: Another reason to skip the microwave packets: fewer chemicals. Test-tube studies have shown that diacetyl, the flavorant that adds that buttery taste, causes brain proteins to misform in ways linked to Alzheimer's disease. Although most major microwave-popcorn manufacturers have now abandoned diacetyl, dozens of other chemicals are involved in flavorings, as well as in the bag ink and glue, says the Environmental Protection Agency.