When we were in college there was a year where we pretty much lived off of microwave popcorn and Diet Coke. It might not have been the healthiest lifestyle, but a new study out of the University of Scranton says we could have done a lot worse. Popcorn, when not covered in oil and butter, is good for you!

Take the news with a kernel of corn though: the study was partially funded by a popcorn company. But still! "We know whole grains are good for us in fighting a number of chronic diseases, but we don't know why yet," chemistry professor Joe Vinson, senior author of the study, told USA Today. "People thought it was just the fiber that made popcorn a healthful choice, but in my opinion, it's the combination of fiber and polyphenols."

Polyphenols, common in fruits and vegetables, are found in the hull of corn. Further, popcorn, which is just 4 percent water, has much more concentrated antioxidants than, say, fruit. So, for instance, one serving of popcorn contains up to 300 mg of antioxidants, which is nearly double the 160 mg found in fruit per serving. However, experts warn it would be premature to switch to an all-popcorn diet. "I don't want people to think they can just eat popcorn to get all the polyphenols they need," Vinson warns. "I don't want them to think of popcorn as an alternative to fruits and vegetables."

As another researcher points out: "Popcorn has an antioxidant called ferulic acid that's also found in beans, corn, rice, wheat, barley and many other grains. Ferulic acid exhibits a wide range of therapeutic effects against cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular and neuro-degenerative diseases (Alzheimer's) largely because of its strong antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity."

Now if only science would tell us that butter, oil and excessive salt (with maybe a touch of cayenne) was healthy and we'd be popping up some corn for lunch right now.