About 10,000 years ago, corn was first cultivated in parts of Mexico and Central America. Corn is usually considered a vegetable but it is actually a grain, rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although the yellow color corn/maize is very common around the world, did you know that corn varieties come in many other colors too such as red, orange, purple, blue, white and even black. Corn or maize is a grain plant, which originated in southern Mexico. The kernels of the seeds of corn hold the majority of nutrients and are the most consumed parts. If you love munching these little golden kernels then here are more reasons to add them to your diet. Corn may be high in sugar (sucrose), but there are several other properties of this grain that must not be overlooked.
Health Benefits of Corn
1. Reduces the risk of Anemia
Corn is rich is in Vitamin B12, folic acid and iron which helps in the production of red blood cells in the body. It helps in reducing the risk of Anaemia, by supplying enough of the nutrients required to produce fresh Red blood cells. According to nutritionists, 1 cup of raw corn contains 125 calories, 27 g of carbohydrates, 4 g of protein, 9 g of sugar, 2 g of fat and 75 mg of iron.
2. Energy Enhancer
If you are an athlete or love sweating it out in the gym, then include corn in your meals more often. Corn contains complex carbohydrate which gets digested at a slower pace, which in turn provides energy for a longer duration of time. One cup of corn yields around 29 grams of carbs which not only provides physical energy but ensures proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.
3. Miracle for those underweight
Are you underweight? And finding it hard to gain weight in a healthy way? Don’t worry, corn should do the trick. It can be a healthy addition to your meals if you want to gain a few kgs. Eating junk and bad fats will only land you up with other health issues in the long run. With corn, not only do you get healthy calories, you also get a host of vitamins and good quality fibre.
4. Lowers Blood Sugar & Cholesterol Level
Sweet corn and corn oil increases the blood flow, lowers cholesterol absorption and regulates insulin, making it an excellent choice for diabetics and cholesterol patients. According to Bangalore based Dietitian and Wellness Consultant, Dr. Sheela Krishnaswamy, “It’s rich in carbs, it’s a great source of energy. High in nutrients, corn is extremely rich in Vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, and Vitamin C, which helps in fighting diseases and generating new cells. High in fiber, corn also helps in lowering cholesterol levels in the body by reducing the levels of blood sugar in diabetics too.
5. Helpful during Pregnancy
It has a number of benefits during pregnancy for both mother and the baby. Corn is rich in folic acid, and contains zeaxanthin and pathogenic acid which reduces the risk of birth defects in baby. It can protect the baby from muscular degeneration and physiological problems. Due to its high fiber content, it also soothes constipation, which is a very common concern for expecting mothers.
6. Preserve Healthy Skin
Corn contains Vitamin C and lycopene (antioxidants) that increase the production of collagen and prevent UV generated free radicals from damaging the skin. Besides being eaten, its products like corn oil, corn starch can be directly applied on the skin and often used as an ingredient in many cosmetic products. So, go ahead and find interesting ways to add corn to your meals.