ALLERGY, RESPIRATORY
Using Music and Sports to Improve Kids' Asthma
Asthmatics Who Quit Smoking May Reverse Lung Damage
Know Your Asthma Triggers
ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE
U.S. Spends Billions On Alternative Medicine
Hypnosis Cuts Hot Flashes for Breast Cancer Survivors
38% of U.S. Adults Use Alternative Treatments
ANIMAL CARE
Safe Toys for Dogs
Animals Respond to Acupuncture's Healing Touch
Rest Easy. When It Comes to Swine Flu, Your Pet Is Safe
BONES & JOINTS
Vitamin C Protects Some Elderly Men From Bone Loss
Exercise Key Player in Knee Replacement Recovery
A Little Drink May Be Good for Your Bones
CANCER
Exercise Cuts Lung Cancer Risk in Ex-Smokers by 45%
Smoking Ups Risk of Second Breast Cancer
To Quit Smoking, Try Logging On
CAREGIVING
Child's Food Allergies Take Toll on Family Plans
Babies Born in High Pollen Months at Wheezing Risk
Distance No Bar to Kidney Transplants in Remote Areas
CIRCULATORY SYSTEM
Mercury in Fish Linked to High Blood Pressure
High Blood Fat Levels Common in Americans
Potassium-Rich Foods May Cut Stroke, Heart Disease Risk
COSMETIC
Get Sugared!.... Its a sweet choice for hair removal
With Psoriasis, the Internet May Offer Hope
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
DENTAL, ORAL
Gummy Bears Join Cavity Fight
Hormones May Be to Blame for Women's Cavity Rates
Periodontal Disease Impacts Whole Health
DIABETES
Fish Twice a Week Cuts Diabetics' Kidney Risks
Saliva Test Could Monitor Type 2 Diabetes
Treatment for Type 2 Diabetes Updated
DIET, NUTRITION
Is Coffee Good or Bad for Your Health?
Eat Up, But Eat Healthy This Holiday Season
Eating Less May Slow Aging Process
DISABILITIES
Could Your Cell Phone Help Shield You From Alzheimer's?
Review Finds Marijuana May Help MS Patients
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH
Childhood Food Allergies on the Rise
Vest Monitors 'Individual' Air Pollution
Preparing for a Chlorine Gas Disaster
EYE CARE, VISION
Drinking Green Tea May Protect Eyes
Cases of Age-Related Farsightedness to Soar
Nutrient-Rich Diet Lowers Risk of Age-Related Eye Disease
FITNESS
'Safe' Ozone Levels May Not Be for Some
Simple Steps Get Walkers Moving
Will the Wii Keep You Fit?
GASTROINTESTINAL PROBLEMS
Japanese Herbals May Ease Gastro Woes
Olive Oil May Protect Against Bowel Disease
Peppermint Oil, Fiber Can Fight Irritable Bowel
GENERAL HEALTH
Parents Influence Sex Decisions, Hispanic Teens Say
Heavy Alcohol Use Linked to Cancer
Tune Up Your Health With Music
HEAD & NECK
Ski Helmets Encouraged for All
Many Children Will Outgrow Headaches
Zen May Thicken Brain, Thwart Pain
HEALTH & TECHNOLOGY
Save Your Aging Brain, Try Surfing The Web
Combating Myths About Seasonal Allergies
Airport Full Body Scanners Pose No Health Threat: Experts
HEARING
Noise Hurts Men's Hearing More, Study Shows
Summer Sounds Can Lead to Hearing Loss
HEART & CARDIOVASCULAR
Laughter Can Boost Heart Health
Western Diet Linked To Heart Disease, Metabolic Syndrome
Estrogen May Help Men's Hearts
INFECTIOUS DISEASE
Hand Washing 10 Times a Day May Help Keep Flu Away
Surgical Masks Could Prevent Flu, Maybe
Swine Flu Loves a Crowd
INFERTILITY
Obesity May Affect Fertility in Young Womene
KID'S HEALTH
Boosting Kids' Stroke IQ May Save Lives
3 Home Habits Help Youngsters Stay Slim
When It Comes to Toys, Shop Smart, Shop Safe
MEN'S HEALTH
Physical Activity May Prolong Survival After Colon Cancer
Low Iron Levels Cut Cancer Risk in Men With PAD
Varicose Veins May Mask Larger Problem
MENTAL HEALTH
The Acne Drug Accutane More Than Doubles Depression Risk
Shop 'Til You Drop: You May Feel Better
Man's Best Friend Helps Mend Broken Hearts
PAIN
Alleviating Rheumatoid Arthritis
'Cell Phone Elbow' -- A New Ill for the Wired Age
Acupuncture, Real or Fake, Eases Back Pain
PHYSICAL THERAPY
PREGNANCY
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
For Baby and Mom Alike, Breast-Feeding May Be Best
Prenatal Stress May Boost Baby's Asthma Risk
SENIORS
High-Impact Activity May Be Good for Old Bones
Common Antioxidant Might Slow Parkinson's
Fitness Fades Fast After 45
SEXUAL HEALTH
SLEEP DISORDERS
Sleeping Could Help Women Lose The Baby Fat
Exercising Throat Muscles May Relieve Sleep Apnea
6 to 8 Hours of Shut-Eye Is Optimal for Health
WOMEN'S HEALTH
Occaisonal Dieting May Cut Breast Cancer, Study Says
Lifting Weights Can Ease Arm Swelling in Breast Cancer Survivors
Frankincense Provides Relief for Osteoarthritis
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Antioxidants Abound in Cereals, Popcorn, Whole-Grain Snacks

(HealthDay News) -- Eating a bowl of your favorite cereal every day is a great source of natural antioxidants, new research shows.

Joe Vinson, a professor of chemistry at the University of Scranton, in Pennsylvania, and his team have found that nearly all whole-grain breakfast cereals and many common, grain-based snacks contain substantial amounts of polyphenols, a form of antioxidants that is thought to have major health benefits. Vinson was scheduled to present his findings Tuesday at the American Chemical Society annual meeting, held in Washington, D.C.

"Cereals have a plethora of [good things]," said Vinson, who tested more than 30 brands and types of breakfast cereals found in supermarkets. "They all have polyphenols."

Whole grains are the main source of polyphenols in breakfast cereals, and since nearly all cereals contain at least some whole grains, it stands to reason that consumers should consider making cereals a regular part of their diet, said Vinson, adding that he received no food industry funding for his study.

"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," Vinson noted. "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 added.

"We found that, in fact, whole-grain products have comparable antioxidants per gram to fruits and vegetables," Vinson said. "This is the first study to examine total phenol antioxidants in breakfast cereals and snacks, whereas previous studies have measured free antioxidants in the products."

Polyphenols occur naturally in plants and are the most abundant antioxidant. They have anti-inflammatory properties, and scientists believe they may reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer and other illnesses.

Nutritionists have recommended regular consumption of green tea, red wine, fruits, nuts and a few other food categories for their antioxidant content. Vinson found that cereals containing whole-grain corn or oats contained the most polyphenols, roughly 0.2 percent by weight per box. Wheat-based cereals contained an average of 0.07 percent polyphenols, and rice cereals contained the lowest amount, at 0.05 percent.

Raisin bran had the most polyphenols -- 3 percent by weight; however, Vinson attributed the concentration to the raisins -- like other dried fruits, a known rich source of antioxidants.

Another high-ranking cereal was a wheat-based blend containing the polyphenol-rich spice cinnamon. Vinson declined to name the brands he tested, but he encouraged people to add nuts, raisins and various spices like cinnamon to their cereal to boost their polyphenol content.

As for snacks, Vinson found that popcorn had the most polyphenols (2.6 percent), followed by whole-grain crackers (0.45 percent). Sadly, most processed tortilla chips -- Vinson's favorite -- contained negligible amounts of polyphenols.

Registered dietician and nutritionist Eva To, who practices in White Plains, N.Y., said she found the study fascinating, but she had some concerns.

"Whole-grain cereal is a great replacement for high-fat breakfast food or as a replacement for no breakfast at all, since breakfast is the most important meal of the day," said To, who specializes in obesity and diabetes management. "But moderation is the key. Many cereals contain ingredients that may not be very good for you, such as excessive sugar."

Also, she added, "cereals are easy to binge on. It is very important to follow the serving size suggestions."

To Vinson, the benefits of eating more cereals may outweigh the negatives.

"We always think of fruits and vegetables as the primary sources of polyphenols," he said. "But many people, especially students, don't eat enough of them. Here we have a product that is very familiar in the diet and that people like to eat. We can push kids to eat more whole grains."

SOURCES: Joe Vinson, Ph.D., University of Scranton, Scranton, Pa.; Eva To, nutritionist, White Plains, N.Y.; Aug. 18, 2009, presentation, American Chemical Society annual meeting, Washington, D.C. Published on: August 18, 2009