As the rainy season begins, the monsoon food – corn can be found plentiful across all markets. With this starts the selling of the fresh-smelling and deliciously hot corn on the cob on roadside produce stands. Or visit any shopping complex during this season and you’ll find the buttery sweet corn offered in cups, with seasonings of your choice.
Enough to water your mouth, this irresistible temptation ends in buying a serving or two. Corn is not just one of the popular street foods found in the monsoons, it is also one of the healthiest foods. A great source of numerous essential vitamins and minerals, corn surely deserves an important place on any health table. Such is the nutrient count of corn that it contains more health-promoting antioxidants than wheat, oats, or rice.
Corn falls under both the categories of a vegetable and grain. While corn kernels, on or off the cob, are considered vegetables; popcorn and other processed corn used for preparing corn muffins and cereals are regarded as grains. The versatility of the high fiber, fat-fighting kernels of the corn is such that they are used for producing a variety of goods, such as sweeteners, oil, flour, syrup, starch, and even plastic and soap.
Check out the fabulous health benefits of the sweet and satisfying corn. Also, read on to know its nutritional value.
Corn Nutrition Facts
Amount of Corn: 1 cup
Total Weight of Corn: 166 g
|Calories From Carbohydrate||497|
|Calories From Fat||65.8|
|Calories From Protein||42.7|
|Total Carbohydrate||123 g|
|Dietary Fiber||12.1 g|
|Fats & Fatty Acids|
|Total Fat||7.9 g|
|Saturated Fat||1.1 g|
|Monounsaturated Fat||2.1 g|
|Polyunsaturated Fat||3.6 g|
|Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids||108 mg|
|Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids||3481 mg|
|Vitamin A||355 IU|
|Vitamin E||0.8 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.5 mcg|
|Vitamin B6||1 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid||0.7 mg|
Nutritional Benefits of Corn
- Enriched with the carotenoid lutein, a phytochemical with antioxidant properties, corn provides protection against age-related vision loss, which is caused due to gradual oxidation damage of the retina.
- The high fiber content in corn is highly useful for alleviating various digestive problems, such as constipation and hemorrhoids. Furthermore, this fiber amount is also known to reduce the risk of colon cancer.
- Corn contains high levels of beta-cryptoxanthin, a carotenoid with antioxidant properties, which is associated with lowering the risk of lung cancer. The higher the amount of beta-cryptoxanthin is consumed, the lower is the development of lung cancer.
- A good source of vitamin B (thiamine), corn enhances the brain cell function and improves memory, by producing acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter that is important for the maintenance of memory capabilities. Any deficiency of this nutrient can trigger an impairment of brain function and cause Alzheimer’s disease.
- The excellent folate and fiber quantities in corn are highly significant for cardiovascular health. Corn is loaded with both soluble and insoluble fibers, which are beneficial for reducing cholesterol levels and preventing the risk of contracting cardiovascular diseases.
- The ferulic acid found in corn has been proved to be highly effective in fighting back tumors that cause breast cancer and liver cancer. What’re more, anthocyanins found in purple corn act as scavengers of cancer-causing free radicals.
- The golden kernels of the corn help in managing non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). Besides, corn kernels have also been associated with lowering blood sugar levels and treating hypertension, due to the presence of phenolic phytochemicals.
- Phosphorus is extremely vital for the proper functioning of the kidneys. Found in great amounts in the corn, phosphorus aids in improving kidney function, particularly when consumed boiled with honey or sugar.
- The presence of pantothenic acid and thiamine in good amounts in corn assists in metabolizing carbohydrates, lipid, and protein, thereby contributing to the production of energy and reducing stress.
- Corn is a low-calorie, healthy food, which helps in maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding the risk of reaching unhealthy weight levels.
- Consuming corn husk oil on a regular basis has been associated with lowering plasma LDL cholesterol by decreasing the amount of cholesterol absorbed by the body.
- Corn is a good source of the trace mineral magnesium, which is vital and essential for strengthening the bones and maintaining the normal heart rate.
- The deficiency of niacin leads to pellagra, a disease identified by diarrhea, dementia, and dermatitis, which is often found in malnourished individuals. Corn is a rich source of this valuable vitamin.
- Folic acid is important for pregnant women, the deficiency of which can lead to the birth of underweight babies and increase the risk of neural tube defects at birth. Corn offers a large chunk of the daily folate requirement.
Grab an ear of corn and boil, steam, or roast it for a healthy snack. But, it’s best to consume it in its natural form to reap the actual health benefits.