Corn is widely consumed across the world in numerous forms – boiled, corn on the cob, popcorn, and so on. Corn is not only easy to cook with and incredibly delicious but is also packed with nutrition. It is a highly fibrous food item that is also rich in proteins, carbohydrates, and essential micronutrients like potassium, magnesium, vitamin A, C, and folate. For a long time, corn was a cereal grain native to Central America. It has now become popular all across the world and is used as a staple food item in numerous countries. The golden goodness of corn helps you manage diabetes, hemorrhoids, anemia, blood sugar and cholesterol levels, and much more.
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Nutritional Value of Corn
Every 145g of raw corn has the following nutritional value.
- Carbohydrates – 27g
- Fat – 2g
- Protein – 5g
- Calories – 125
- Fiber – 3g
- Sugars – 9 g
- Potassium- 392 mg
- Magnesium- 54 mg
- Calcium- 2.9 mg
- Vitamin C- 9.86 mg
- Vitamin A- 271 IU
Corn is also rich in antioxidants, namely Ferulic acid, Anthocyanins, Lutein and Phytic acid. Though major sugar in corn is sucrose, it is low in glycemic index owing to high fiber content. However, the nutritional value varies among different corn-based fools like corn flour, tortillas, corn syrup due to different processing techniques.
Health Benefits of Consuming Corn
1. Promotes eye health
Owing to the high quantity of vitamin A and antioxidants in corn, they are perfect for maintaining good eye health. They help enhance your vision and prevent macular degeneration, which eventually leads to medical problems such as cataracts, glaucoma and complete blindness.
2. Reduces risk of diabetes
The Anthocyanin component in corn is highly beneficial in maintaining insulin and glucose levels in your body. Moderate consumption of corn can help you reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes to a large extent by reducing insulin resistance and thus preventing blood sugar levels from going too high.
3. Helps maintain a healthy heart
Corn is rich in potassium and magnesium, which are well-known for maintaining blood pressure and a healthy heart. Potassium helps reduce blood pressure, while magnesium helps prevent strokes and heart attacks. Corn also has a lot of fiber, which is great for reducing bad cholesterol levels in your body.
4. Enables weight loss
Corn has high fiber content that makes it a considerable agent for weight loss. Owing to its insoluble fiber content, corn facilitates slow digestion. Similarly, with high protein content, it provides high satiety value while preventing over- eating. Moreover, with high amounts of antioxidants in corn, it helps in reducing inflammation and improving metabolism. This, in turn, helps in healthy weight loss.
5. Improves gut health
The high fiber content in corn promotes the growth of healthy bacteria, which, in turn, improves your gut health tremendously. Your bowel movements become increasingly regular, and it helps you feel light all day. These good bacteria are also crucial in reducing the risk or preventing colon cancer altogether.
6. Prevent skin damage
Corn is high in Vitamin C, which is an important element to prevent skin damage. High levels of Vitamin C help neutralize free radicals, thus preventing hyperpigmentation and fine lines. It helps fade facial acne scars to make your skin appear clearer. Vitamin C also helps in collagen synthesis that causes faster-wound healing, moist and healthier skin.
7. Keeps energy levels high
Since corn is high in carbohydrates (27g in every 145g of raw corn), they are an excellent food option to increase your energy levels. These carbohydrates are digested slowly, which allows you to keep getting energy for a longer period. You can now stay active and energized without feeling pangs of hunger regularly.
8. Reduces the risk of developing anemia
Nutrients like iron and vitamin C are essential for preventing anemia. Iron helps in the production of hemoglobin that enables red blood cells to carry oxygen more efficiently. Similarly, Vitamin C enhances iron absorption and red blood cell production. Corn is rich in both these components, which makes it beneficial in helping reduce the risk of anaemia.
9. Helps during pregnancy
Expecting mothers need high levels of iron and folic acid, both of which are richly present in corn. Folic acid is a crucial element required for neural cells, including brain tissues and the spinal cord. It is also important to prevent low birth weight, miscarriages, and premature labor. Folic acid protects the mother by reducing the risk of heart problems and high blood pressure during pregnancy. However, it is crucial to consume corn in moderation.
Healthy Ways to Consume Corn
While there are numerous healthy ways to consume corn, here are three easy-to-make recipes:
#1 Corn and Pomogranate Chaat
Prep time: 10 minutes
Serves: 1-2 people
- 1 cup of boiled corn
- 1 cup of peeled pomegranate seeds
- ½ a lemon or lime
- Chopped mint leaves
- Chopped coriander leaves
- Salt to taste
- 2 tbsp tamarind extract
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- Put the boiled corn, pomegranate seeds and chopped mint and coriander leaves in a medium-sized bowl.
- Mix well.
- Add a few drops of lime or lemon, tamarind extract, salt, and cumin powder.
- Toss the mixture well. Your Corn and Pomegranate Chaat is ready to serve.
#2 Garden Fresh Corn Salad
Prep time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2-3 people
- 3 cups of boiled corn
- 1 medium-sized tomato, chopped
- ½ cup chopped cucumber
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 1 tbsp chopped mint leaves
- 1 tbsp chopped basil and/or parsley leaves, optional
- 1 tbsp virgin olive oil
- 1 medium clove of garlic, minced
- Salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- Put the boiled corn, chopped tomatoes, cucumber, onions, mint, basil and parsley in a large bowl.
- Mix well.
- In a separate bowl, mix virgin olive oil, minced garlic, salt and black pepper. Whisk them well for 2-3 minutes.
- Pour this mixture over the salad in the large bowl.
- Toss the salad well so that the virgin olive oil dressing coats every ingredient properly.
- Serve immediately or chill in the refrigerator for later consumption.
#3 Creamy Corn Dip
Prep time- 15 minutes
Serves – 2 people
- 1 cup corn kernels boiled and slightly mashed
- 2 green chilies chopped
- 1 Jalapeños chopped
- 2 tbsp – finely crumbled cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup – Greek yogurt plain
- 1 sprig Coriander leaves chopped
- 1/2 Bell pepper small chopped
- 1/2 Onion small chopped
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp Lime juice
- 1/4 tsp Black pepper
- Add all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
- Mix well.
- Adjust the seasoning as desired.
- Serve with baked chips or veggie sticks.
Corn is a versatile food item that can be used both in independent corn dishes or as part of other recipes. They are light on your stomach and make for a healthy and filling snack, which helps you avoid eating junk food. Indulge in the goodness of corn and make your eyes, heart, gut, and skin amazingly healthy.