»The Guardian«, 22/06/09
The cinema snack that gives you the snap, crackle and pop
Until recently, Popcorn had only two well-known uses: you could eat it, or chuck it at people who were talking in the cinema. Now a third function can be added to that list, because apparently it also works as a sexual aid.
The July issue of Men's Health, the renowned bible for buff blokes, reports that munching on the starchy snack can help boost male sexual performance by improving blood flow. It's all to do with a nutrient called Arginine, which also increases sperm count.
Popcorn is tipped by the magazine as one of the best foods for increasing fertility, alongside water, tomato soup and the supplement C0Q10. "If you want to guarantee yourself blockbuster success in the bedroom then an evening at the cinema shouldn't be overlooked," said editor Morgan Rees.
Popcorn was first discovered by native Americans thousands of years ago, but became popular in the US as a moviegoing snack during the Great Depression. It's somewhat fitting then, that its status as a sexual supplement should be discovered during a new phase of financial travails.
Basic popcorn contains no sodium or sugar, is naturally high in fibre and low in calories and fat, making it a healthy snack in small portions. But large amounts of fat, sugar and salt are often added when it is served at the multiplex, making it decidedly less good for you.
There are, in fact, a couple of other uses for popcorn: as a Christmas decoration with string threaded through the middle, in some parts of north America and the Balkan states. It has also been touted as a biodegradable alternative to polystyrene packing material.