Corn, most closely identified with the Americas and also known as maize, is a large grain plant which is said to have originated in Mexico and Central America and all types come from the same genus and species of plant, Zea mays. Corn was valued by Native American tribes living in North America, although tribal wisdom about corn was largely ignored by European colonists in the 15th and 16th centuries AD.
Though viewed as a vegetable, it is actually a food grain. The leafy stalk of the plant produces ears, which contain the grains known as kernels. For every kernel on the cob, there is a strand of silk. The white and yellow kernels are most popular, but today corn is available in red, brown, blue and purple also.
Corn can be boiled, steamed or roasted or can be used to make healthy snacks, like, popcorn (without butter or sugar). You can also use any food products made of corn, like cornflakes. Not only does corn tastes good, but also comes with a high nutritional value, which is beneficial for human health.
TOP 17 AMAZING HEALTH BENEFITS OF CORN:
- Supports Digestion: Corn is high in both soluble fiber- helps in blocking cholesterol absorption by turning into a gel like consistency, and insoluble fiber-prevents constipation and intestinal problems by promoting soft and bulky stool, thus reducing the chances of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, diarrhea, constipation, hemorrhoids as well as colon cancer.
- Eye Care: Lutein and Zeaxanthin are the only carotenoids detectable in our eye lens, which protect the clear proteins in the lens from oxidation causing them to become cloudy (cataract), and in reducing the risk of macular degeneration i.e. impairment of vision at the center of your line of sight. Beta-carotene, in corn, helps in producing vitamin A, thus supporting better vision.
- Prevents Atherosclerosis: The carotenoid, Lutein, a potent antioxidant in corn, helps prevent hardening of the arteries (atherosclerosis) that can lead to heart attack and stroke.
- For Stronger Bones: Corn contains beta-cryptoxanthin, a natural carotenoid pigment, which slows age related bone loss, reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis as well as various forms of cancer.
- Prevents Anemia: Vitamin B12, folic acid and iron deficiency are known causes for Anemia. Corn contains a significant amount of all these vital nutrients.
- For Instant Energy: Corn is a complex carb, so it gets digested at a slow pace, providing balanced energy levels. Pantothenic acid, an energy enhancing B vitamin, is used by the mitochondria to transform more complex carbs into glucose, a form of usable energy. Beta-carotene, which increases supplies of hemoglobin, a protein that delivers oxygen to cells, preventing fatigue.
- Lowers LDL Cholesterol: Vitamin C, carotenoids, and bioflavonoids, control cholesterol levels and increase blood flow. Corn oil has anti-atherogenic effect on cholesterol levels by reducing cholesterol absorption by the body, thus preventing atherosclerosis and scavenging free radicals throughout the body.
- Prevents Diabetes and Hypertension: Phytochemicals regulate and manage non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Pantothenic acid, a B Vitamin, helps in carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism, preventing stress by supporting the functioning of adrenal glands.
- Strengthens Connective Tissue: Manganese strengthens the connective tissues (bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles, and cartilage.) by keeping blood sugar levels stable, and breaking down carbs and fat to provide energy. Other abundant minerals like magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus also assist in development of healthy bones.
- Anti-Cancer: Also ferulic acid, a phenolic compound found in corn is effective against liver and breast tumors. Fiberaids alleviate digestive problems such as constipation and hemorrhoids, as well as lower the risk of colon cancer. Beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoid, has antioxidant properties that are linked to significantly lowering the risk of lung cancer.
- During Pregnancy: Deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women can cause miscarriages and also cause neural tube defects at birth. Corn is a rich source of Folic acid.
- Beneficial for Heart: Corn oil has an anti-atherogenic effect on cholesterol and an optimal fatty acid combination, enabling omega-3 fatty acids to remove the damaging bad cholesterol and replace them at the bonding sites. This prevents clogging of arteries, reduced blood pressure and reduces the risk of heart attack and stroke. Corn grain is high in folate, a type of B-vitamin that is known to reduce homocysteine, an inflammatory marker attributed to heart diseases.
- Prevents Alzheimer’s disease: Thiamine, also called the brain nutrient, helps synthesize acetylocholine, a neurotransmitter that helps strengthen the memory, delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease and development of age related senility.
- Youthful Skin and Hair: Corn starch can be used to soothe skin irritation and rashes and is a rich source of beta-carotene, which forms vitamin A, vital for healthy hair and skin. Vitamin C and lycopene are potential antioxidants, providing UV protection and increased collagen production, critical to maintain elasticity and suppleness in the skin, and for lustrous hair.
- For Weight Loss: Nutrients in corn stimulates the thyroid gland, to produce more triiodothyronine(T3) hormone, that spikes the body’s fat burning metabolic rate. Insoluble fiber also lowers binge eating by increasing a sense of fullness and satiety.
- Rich Source of Vitamins: Corn is rich in vitamin B constituents, especially Thiamin and Niacin. Thiamin is essential for maintaining nerve health and cognitive function. Niacin deficiency leads to Pellagra (symptoms of diarrhea, dementia and dermatitis). Pantothenic acid, which is an essential vitamin for carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in the body. Folic acid for fetal neural development and vitamin E, an essential growth natural antioxidant.
- Minerals Store: Corn contains abundant minerals phosphorous, along with magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and copper are found in all varieties of corn. It also contains trace minerals like selenium. Phosphorous is essential for regulating normal growth, bone health and optimal kidney functioning. Magnesium is necessary for maintaining a normal heart rate and for increasing bone strength.
- Corn contains carbohydrates and consuming too many carbohydrates and overall calories can lead to weight and fat gain.
- Minor symptoms of corn allergy:
- Migraine headache
- Abdominal pain and bloating
- Itchy skin
- Swelling of tongue and mouth
- Major symptoms of corn allergy:
- Urinary tract infection (UTI)
- Allergic asthma
- Mood swing
- Anaphylaxis is the severest symptom of corn allergy and can be life-threatening and symptoms include:
- Sudden drop in blood pressure
- Difficulty in breathing
- Tightness in chest
- If you have diverticulitis (an inflammation of the tiny pouches in the small intesti