Maize, or corn, is one of the most famous cereal grains in the world. Corn, native to Central America, is actually a seed of a specific plant in the grass family. Today, it is grown all around the world in different varieties, used to create both sweet corn and popcorn. Corn truly is a healthy food to eat because of its rich content of vitamins and minerals.
The health benefits of corn include the prevention of neural tube defects in infants. It also helps lower blood pressure, prevent various heart conditions, manage diabetes and more. Truly, it is not just a staple food, but also a very beneficial food for your health.
What is Corn?
Maize, or the corn, is a grain plant. Its origin is traced back to southern parts of Mexico. The seeds, or kernels, of corn is where the majority of its nutrients like, and they are also the most common part of the plant the humans consume.
Corn may come in various colors: yellow (the typical color), orange, blue, purple, black, white and even red. This depends on where it is grown and what species or variety it happens to be.
Corn may also come in various products or forms, like popcorn, sweet corn and more. Whole grain corn is actually as healthy as most cereals, rich in fiber, vitamins and minerals as well as possessing antioxidant properties. Sweet corn contains a lot of sugar and less starch.
Nutrition Facts of Corn
Corn doesn’t just provide the important calories needed by the body to maintain good health and a steady metabolism. It is a rich source of vitamins E, B, A and many minerals. It is also rich in fiber sources, which prevents digestive conditions such as hemorrhoids, constipation and even colorectal cancer. The antioxidant properties of corn are also beneficial in preventing various other types of cancers. In fact, it can act as an anti-carcinogenic agent and may even help prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.
Aside from its water content, corn is mainly comprised of carbohydrates and relative amounts of fat and protein. Here is a more detailed look at the nutritional value of corn:
100 grams of corn may contain:
- 0 trans fat
- 59 grams of omega-6 fatty acids
- 2 grams of omega-3 fatty acids
- 6 grams of polyunsaturated fat
- 37 grams of monounsaturated fat
- 2 grams of saturated fat
- 5 grams of total fat content
- 4 grams of fiber
- 5 grams of sugar
- 21 grams of carbohydrates
- 4 grams of protein
- 73% water
- 96 calories
Health Benefits of Corn
Here are some of the benefits of corn that may help contribute to your overall health:
Helps prevent anemia. Corn has ample amounts of iron, making it beneficial in preventing the onset of anemia.
Helps protect the heart. Corn oil has anti-atherogenic properties, which may have an effect on cholesterol levels in the body. When cholesterol levels are reduced, there is an improvement in the heart condition.
Helps prevent cancer. Studies show that corn has a rich antioxidant content, essential in fighting the free radicals that cause cancer. Unlike some other foods, cooking corn increases its antioxidants, making it more effective in fighting off the cancer-causing free radicals.
Helps provide many essential minerals. There is an ample amount of minerals in corn that are beneficial for the body in various ways. It may improve immunity, digestion and more.
Helps with gaining weight. Because of the rich source of carbohydrates in the corn, it helps in gaining weight faster. Its high calorie content means it is also important in the survival of those in the agriculteral field.
Helps promote growth. Since the corn is very rich in vitamin B complex, like niacin and thiamin, it lends itself to overall growth. It also has ample amounts of pantothenic acid, which is beneficial for the metabolism of essential nutrients in the body.
Helps prevent haemorrhoids. This is probably one of the most amazing health benefits of corn. Since it contains 18.4% RDI of fiber, an essential nutrient, it helps treat various digestive conditions like hemorrhoids and constipation. Furthermore, because it is a whole grain, it also helps lower the risk of colon cancer.