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Is Corn Good for Health?

From movie-theatre popcorn to deep-fried corn chips—not to mention the omnipresent corn syrup—certain maize products have earned this crop a bad rap. However, when it comes to maize, the popular vegetable provides several essential elements. Whole-grain maize is as nutritious as any cereal grain since it is high in fiber and contains several vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. It is normally yellow, although it is also available in red, orange, purple, blue, white, and black.
Corn nutrients and phytochemicals include vitamins (A, B, E, and K), minerals (Mg, P, & K), phenolic acids (ferulic acid, coumaric acid, and syringic acid), carotenoids and flavonoids (anthocyanins), and dietary fiber. More and more scientific evidence has shown that regular consumption of whole grain corn lowers the risk of developing chronic diseases such as cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and obesity and improves digestive health.[1]

Eye Health

Eye Health
Macular degeneration and cataracts are two of the most frequent visual impairments and primary causes of blindness in the globe. The major causes of these illnesses are infections and old age, but diet may also play a role. Consumption of antioxidants, particularly carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein, may improve eye health. The most abundant carotenoids in maize are lutein and zeaxanthin, which account for over 70% of the total carotenoid content. 

However, their levels in white corn are often modest. These molecules also referred to as macular pigments, are found in your retina, the light-sensitive inner surface of your eye, where they defend against oxidative damage produced by blue light. High levels of these carotenoids in your blood are closely connected to a lower risk of both macular degeneration and cataracts. Observational studies also show that high lutein and zeaxanthin consumption may be protective, however not all research confirm this.

Diverticular Disease Prevention
Diverticular disease (diverticulosis) is characterized by pouches in the colon’s walls. Cramps, gas, bloating and less often bleeding and infection are the most common symptoms. Popcorn and other high-fiber meals were formerly thought to be the cause of this illness. Nut, corn, and popcorn consumption did not increase the risk of diverticulosis or diverticular complications. 

Diverticular disease prevention

The recommendation to avoid these foods to prevent diverticular complications should be reconsidered.

Gut Healthy

Healthy Gut
Corn contains soluble fiber, which promotes gut health and happiness. One medium-sized ear of corn has around two grams of fiber. Corn includes soluble fiber (rather than insoluble fiber), which helps you feel full and content while also promoting healthy gut bacteria. While maize is a starchy food, which means it contains more carbohydrates than other vegetables, the soluble fiber helps decrease glucose absorption, reduces blood sugar rises, and prevents you from becoming hungry again soon.

Reduce The Risk of Heart Disease
One cup of maize supplies around 6% of your daily potassium needs and 9–12% of your daily magnesium needs. These minerals (both classified as electrolytes) are involved in a variety of bodily activities most important managing blood pressure. To name a few, potassium helps regulate hydration, convey nerve messages, preserve bones, and lower blood pressure. 

Reduce the risk of heart disease

Magnesium is also involved in nerve function and modulation, blood pressure management, and the prevention of stroke and ischemic heart disease.

Vitamin C & Vitamin B

Vitamin C & Vitamin B
Corn, whether considered a vegetable or a whole grain, provides vitamins and minerals in both categories. One cup of sweet yellow maize has 17% of your daily intake of vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps your immune system, collagen formation, and iron absorption. It also contains around 24% of the daily value of thiamine and 19% of the daily value of folate, both of which are B vitamins that aid in the conversion of carbohydrates into energy. 

Folate is especially crucial during pregnancy to support normal fetal development and the prevention of certain birth abnormalities. Adults should eat 400 mcg of folate per day, while pregnant women should ingest 600 mcg. One cup of cooked corn has around 51 mcg. 
The best way to incorporate corn in your daily life is by adding them to your salads, whole wheat pasta, and soups and you can also use the corn flour to make rotis that are served with sarso ka saag in winter as one of the specialties of North Indian Cuisine.

References

  • Aaisha Aslam , Health Benefits Of Corn, Nothing Corny Here,| Updated: July 20, 2018.
  • Coskun, M.B., Yalcin, I. and Ozarslan, C. 2006. Physical properties of sweet corn seed.
  • Dewanto, V., Wu, X. and Liu, R.H. 2002. Processed sweet corn has higher antioxidant activity.
Dr. Manju Rani
Dr. Manju Rani
I'm a culinary nutritionist at MintBagg and expertise in the field of food and nutrition for the past five years. Holding a valuable experience of PGIMER Chandigarh she has been working on weight loss management for the past 2 years underlying various chronic conditions and holds a great interest in writing a research paper. Manju, also with great taste and love for cooking helps her clients with her.
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