The humble corn is a plant-based food that not only provides the necessary calories for your daily need, but is also a rich source of vitamins A, B, E and many other minerals.
Corn is also used frequently as ingredients in foods like cornmeal, corn flour, corn oil, popcorn, cornflakes and high fructose corn syrup which is used as an artificial sweetener in packaged food products. Although we often associate corn with the colour yellow, it actually comes in a host of different varieties and an array of different colours like red, pink, black, purple, and blue.
The Fantastic Benefits of Corn
- Corn is a good source of fibre, part of which is its high ratio of insoluble-to-soluble fibre. When certain types of soluble fibre reach the lower part of our large intestine, the bacteria there convert them into fatty acids. This process helps to increase the number of friendly bacteria in our large intestine, and also supplies intestinal cells with a direct supply of energy which helps to lower the risk of colon cancer.
- Corn is a rich source of calories, with a calorific content of 342 calories per 100 grams. This is why corn is often turned to for quick weight gain.
- The fibre content of one cup of corn amounts to 18.4% of the daily recommended amount. Fibre helps to bulk up bowel movement, and even stimulates the production of gastric juice and bile. It can also add bulk to overly loose stools which can reduce the chances of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diarrhea.
- A 1-cup serving of corn provides 5 grams of protein, which is about 10 percent of the recommended daily allowance. The protein you will get from corn contains all of the essential amino acids, but does not have a sufficient amount of lysine to be considered a complete protein. You can fill in the lysine you need by consuming beans, eggs, poultry and meat along with it.
- Corn is also a source of folate. This B vitamin is especially important for women who may become pregnant, because it prevents birth defects that occur in the first few weeks after conception. It also helps to remove homocysteine from your bloodstream, which may protect your heart because high levels of homocysteine can be damaging to the blood vessels.
- Present also in corn are carotenoid antioxidants,which are known to support the immune system and defend the eyes and skin against oxidative stress.
- Though classified with other grains, corn is actually not a grain. It also does not contain any gluten – which has been linked to such digestive issues like bloating, cramping, diarrhea, constipation, fatigue and skin problems.
Beyond being used as food, corn is also used in the production of ethanol for use as biofuel in automobiles.