Archive | 9:08 pm

Eat more Popcorn, It’s Good for You!

18 Aug

istockphoto_2709999_popcorn_series

Maybe I’m the only one, but I have a strange habit. When my friends and I are watching a movie, we sometimes get a bowl of popcorn going, everyone loves to snack on something when your watching a good movie right? But as the plot thickens, and my peers become absorbed by the story, I have an ulterior motive. I clutch that bowl of popcorn and single handidly eat the rest until I am meticulously picking out the half popped kernels and devouring them. The only evidence is a handful of unpopped kernels at the bottom of the bowl rolling around as a distant reminder of the grandeur that  bowl used to be. I then ease the bowl back onto the coffee table, hoping nobody noticed.

I used to feel bad about gorging myself on the deliciousness of popcorn. But today that all changes. According to a study released today by Professor Joe Vinson and his team at University of Scranton in Pennsylvania, popcorn can be better for you than you think.

Polyphenols are healthy antioxidant’s, and until recenlty have only been attributed to plants and have mainly been associated with the skin and seeds of fruits and vegetables. But this new research suggests that whole grains contain a substancial amount of polyphenols, among 30 brands of supermarket cereal, all contained polyphenols. And popcorn contains the highest amount (2.6%) of polyphenols of any snack foods. Polyphenols also have anti-inflammatory properties and scientists also belive they reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, and other ailments.

“Early researchers thought the fiber was the active ingredient for these benefits in whole grains — the reason why they may reduce the risk of cancer and coronary heart disease,” says Vinson. “But recently, polyphenols emerged as potentially more important. Breakfast cereals, pasta, crackers and salty snacks constitute over 66 percent of whole grain intake in the U.S. diet,” he continues.

You can read the Forbes Article here, and the WebMD article here.

Cereals containing cinnamon and cocoa had much higher levels of antioxidants as well. Turns out all those nights where I polished off the popcorn bowl, I was actually doing my body good. So with that said, I no longer have to feel guilty about my late night bowl of cinnamon toasted life cereal, or eating the rest of the bowl of popcorn.

So get that Orville Redenbacher poppin’ sit down, put in a movie and start munching, and put your mind at ease, your doing your body good!

Tony Jaa Still Kicking

18 Aug

While not extremely well known, Tony Jaa became mildly popular in North America after his film Ong Bak. We had seen the likes of Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan, and Jet Li master martial arts on screen, but now there was this new kid from Thailand, who grew up working the rice fields with his family spending his childhood practicing martial arts and looking after the family elephants.

356tony-jaa-ongbak-wrist-binding

Tony Jaa broke out onto the stage in 2003 with lead role in the movie Ong Bak, in he which did all of his own stunts, with no mechanical or CG help. He introduced a fighting style which the public had known little about, mixing new age moves with Muay Boran, an ancient style of Muay Tha.

His second movie was released in 2005 under a myriad of titles depending on the country in which it was released, but known as “The Protector” in North America. It was the most successful Thai film released in the U.S and grossed $25,715,096 USD worldwide. But despite the positive perception of his first 2 films, Tony Jaa has a long ways to go to reach the status of the likes of the Hong Kong stars we’ve seen in the past.

Tony Jaa is showing us that he isn’t giving up yet, with the DVD release of Ong Bak 2 in North America in October 2009. Initially thought to be the sequel to Ong Bak, the movie is actually a prequal, and the setting takes place in ancient Thailand. Check out the trailer here.

You can expect Ong Bak 3 soon as well, with filming happening in 2009 which is rumored to push the fighting scene limits even further. The future looks bright for Tony Jaa as he works his way into the eyes of the world as the next martial arts master.