Corn is one of the yummiest healthy snacks anyone can have!! It is abundantly available in the summer. Though it is a native of Central America, corn is grown as a crop in almost all parts of the world.
Corn is being consumed popularly as popcorn and steamed corn. They are also present in other food products as ingredients.
The leafy stalk of the plant produces ears, which contain the grains known as kernels. For every kernel on the ear, 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 colours.
Baby corn is also available in the market which is used mainly in Asian cooking. They are added in many salads and pizzas too.
Like any other cereal, corn is also very rich in carbohydrates. Eating one full corn, can give you a lot of energy. As they are very low in fat and sugar, there is no restriction in the amount you eat. Corn also ensures proper functioning of brain. People who need good amount of energy before a run or trekking, can consume corn 2 or 3 hours before the activity. Since they are structured as complex carbs, it takes time to digest and thus gives good amount of energy. Corn flakes and corn syrup are hence popular breakfast choices.
Lowers LDL (Bad cholesterol)
There are two types of cholesterol, good (HDL) and bad (LDL). These days, LDL seems to be on the rise, because of high intake of junk foods and snacks. LDL is the villain which creates all troubles due to cholesterol accumulation in the arteries. They are very difficult to melt. People with high LDL are prone to heart diseases. Sweet corn is rich in vitamin C, carotenoids and bioflavonoids that keep your heart healthy by controlling the cholesterol levels and increasing the flow of blood. Corn oil has an anti-atherogenic effect that it helps to lower the cholesterol absorption by the body, thus preventing atherosclerosis. Corn juice can also be consumed by those who would like to reduce cholesterol levels.
Corn is rich in dietary fiber which helps in smooth digestion of food. It contains soluble and insoluble fiber which helps in cholesterol breakdown and digestion. The fiber in corn prevents constipation and it helps intestines to move out body excrete smoothly. Corn helps in reducing IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), diarrhea and colon cancer.
Helps people with Anemia
People who suffer from anemia, can consume a lot of corn. Anemia affects people who are deficient in Vitamin B12 and folic acid. Corn contains a good amount of both the mentioned vitamins and also contains iron. This helps the body to create more RBC (red blood cells).
Helps weight gain
Since corn is rich in carbs, it facilitates weight gain. A bowl of corn can give you 130 to 200 calories. Based on the requirement you can increase the intake of corn. People who are already in right weight or fat, can also consume corn, but make sure that you cut down on other food intake and make sure you work out to burn calories.
Helps people with diabetics
Corn kernels assists in the management of Non-insulin Dependent Diabetes Mellitus (NIDDM) and protects against hypertension due to the presence of phenolic phytochemicals in whole corn. The phytochemicals in corn help in stabilizing the insulin levels in the body. Regular consumption can help to reduce the spikes of insulin levels, which diabetic people often face. The Vitamin B in corm helps in metabolism and calms the adrenalin glands, thus reducing hypertension. Corn soup with cut up vegetables and corn could be a healthy choice for diabetics.
Steps to make corn soup:
- Take one corn fruit and take the kernels.
- Boil them in water or vegetable broth with a little salt.
- Keep some aside and blend the rest.
- Add some pepper, parsley and salt and allow it to boil for a couple of minutes.
- Switch off the stove.
- Use the kernels as a garnish.
For women during pregnancy
Since corn is a good source of Folic acid, pregnant women are suggested to consume more corn kernels. They are good in carbs too, so it gives good amount of energy for the tiring body. Boiled corn can be a healthy mid-day snack. Just boil corn or corn kernels with a little cheese and salt in water till the kernels are soft.
Good source of Vitamin A
The yellow corn kernels are said to be good source of Beta-carotene. It helps is maintaining good eye sight and vision. It is also said to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
The rich anti-oxidants present in corn, helps to reduce and fight free radicals that we face day to day. The phenolic compound present in corn is said to help in fighting breast and liver cancer.
Let’s see in short the vitamins and minerals available in corn.
- Pantothenic acid
- Vitamin B6
Apart from this, corn is said to make our skin and hair glow!! You can explore more by your own research.
Note: It is advised to avoid corn syrup, corn starch and corn oil for those who are already obese, diabetic or have heart diseases. They are high in fatty acid and sugar. It is always advised to have whole corn kernels or popcorn for healthy calorie build up.