Corn, the staple diet in many parts of the world, is generally taken for granted given its easy availability. Did you ever consider the fact that corn you eat so regularly in so many forms (sweet corn, corn oil, popcorn, corn flakes etc.) has several health benefits? This article explores everything about corn: corn nutrition value, benefits and side effects.
Table of Contents
Nutritional Value of Corn
Corn nutrition ranges from generous dosage of dietary fiber to presence of rare trace minerals like selenium. 100 grams of corn contains 365 calories. In sweet corn, calories can be a bit higher. These 100 grams of corn contains 74 grams carbohydrates, 9 g protein, 4.7 g of fats, zero cholesterol, 37 mg of sodium and 287 mg potassium. It contains important Vitamins like B, C and E, trace minerals like Selenium, phosphorus, iron, manganese, folic acid and magnesium.
Did You Know?
Although the more popularly known corn is in yellow or white, it also comes in a variety of other colours like black, red, blue and pink. This is all thanks to genetic modifications.
25 Health Benefits of Corn
1. Good for eyes:
One of the top benefits of sweet corn is its ability to delay macular degeneration and eye diseases like cataract. Macular pigments found in human eye retina undergo oxidation due to free radicals. Corn being rich in carotenoids and antioxidants prevents the damage done by free radicals, thereby saving eyes from old age infections, degeneration and blindness.
2. Protection against diverticular diseases:
Cramps, bloating, infection, flatulence and bleeding in the colon are some if the negative aspects of diverticular diseases. A study, involving over 4000 men, was conducted wherein they were followed for 18 years. It was found that men eating corn were 28% less likely to develop diverticular diseases. Contrary to popular notion that corn promotes such diseases, it was discovered it is in fact protective against this.
3. Aids in digestion:
Corn benefits health by keeping your digestive system on track. It contains a higher amount of soluble and insoluble dietary fibers that prevent constipation, softens stool and stimulates smooth movement of the bowl muscles.
4. Prevents hemorrhoids in pregnancy:
It is beneficial to eat corn during pregnancy as it aids in smooth bowel movement preventing tears and ruptures in the colon. Hemorrhoids, one of the worst pregnancy scares, are easily avoidable with natural stool softeners like corn.
5. High in iron content:
Corn contains adequate amount of iron which makes it beneficial in preventing or treating anemia. Being a storehouse of iron, folic acid and Vitamin B12, it is highly recommended to eat corn during pregnancy.
6. Boosts energy:
Corn contains adequate amount of carbohydrates and starch that provides instant as well as long term energy to carry out daily functioning. It is especially beneficial for athletes who require complex carbs for sustainable endurance.
7. Significantly lowers LDL cholesterol:
There is two types of cholesterol - the good (HDL) and the bad (LDL). One of the amazing benefits of sweet corn is its ability to lower LDL cholesterol. Antiatherogenic effect of corn works by preventing cholesterol absorption in the body.
8. Helps in gaining weight:
For those of you suffering from lower BMI index or considered hard gainers because you fail in putting up mass can draw huge benefits from corn. Corn is a calorie dense food containing high amount of carbohydrates. Sweet corn calories help you in building muscles and gaining weight.
9. Protects against diabetes and hypertension:
Non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus has become the latest epidemic due to stressful modern life. Corn contains complex carbohydrates that prevent sudden insulin crashes and spikes in the blood. Phenolic Phytochemicals present in corn even protects against hypertension.
10. Strengthens connective tissues:
Bones, ligaments, muscles, tendons and cartilages are collectively called as connective tissues. Corns contain higher amount of carbohydrates and manganese that strengthen these connective tissues.
11. Promotes bone health:
Corn contains generous amount of phosphorous, iron, copper and manganese that makes bones strong and prevents brittleness and cracking in old age.
Pure organic corn is rich in antioxidants that fight away the cancer causing free radicals. Being rich in ferulic acid and phenolic compound, corn offers amazing health benefits by fighting off tumors of liver and breast.
13. Corn benefits during pregnancy:
Eating corn during pregnancy has proven to be very beneficial since the early ages. Being rich in folic acid, corn promotes cognitive development in the foetus and strengthens nervous tissues. However, we recommend consulting doctors before eating corn during pregnancy in case you suffer from swelling, inflammation or high blood pressure during pregnancy.
[You may want to try: Delectable Cornflake Fudge Recipe]
14. Promotes heart health:
All forms of corn- corn oil, sweet corn, regular corn, corn flakes benefits health by safeguarding heart against dangers like blocked arteries, stiffened hard blood vessels, heart attack etc. As explained before, corn has antiatherogenic effect meaning it prevents absorption of cholesterol in the body. It has the optimum combination of HDL, LDL and triglycerides providing adequate combination of Omega 3 and Omega 6. This allows omega 3 to work towards lowering high triglyceride levels that has been known to cause blockage in arteries.
15. Safeguards against Alzheimer's disease:
Alzheimer's disease is caused because of decreased cognitive functionality of brain due to deficiency of an important neurotransmitter, acetylcholine. Corn aids in synthesis of this neurotransmitter, thereby safeguarding against Alzheimer's disease.
16. Anti -ageing effects:
Corn is rich in antioxidants and Vitamin E that stimulate production of collagen. Collagen is responsible for maintaining wrinkle free supple skin. Moreover, as explained above corn prevents degeneration of brain and eyes due to old age. Thus, eating corn daily can have anti ageing effect on your skin as well as brain and eyes.
17. Youthful skin:
Corn is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E and antioxidants that help in achieving the youthful glow you ever wishes for. It makes skin supple, reduces pigmentation and prevents dark spots from forming.
18. Soothes skin rashes:
If you ever suffer from itchy skin, rashes and irritation, consider applying corn starch or corn oil topically. Corn has been known for its soothing properties and is being considered as the number one replacement of carcinogenic petroleum jelly used as base in a number of cosmetic products.
19. Hair benefits of corn:
Corn and corn oil is rich in Vitamin E, fatty acids and antioxidants that promote hair health. Even topical application of corn oil has been known to combat hair loss. It nourishes the hair follicles and prevents dryness of hair. Hot oil massage with corn oil helps in maintaining silky soft hair.
20. Promotes growth:
Corn is rich in Vitamin B complex that is renowned for promoting growth. Thiamine and niacin present in corn benefits health by promoting growth in young children.
21. Cognitive development:
Corn is rich in nutrients like iron, folic acid, Carotenoids etc. that aid cognitive development and prevent diseases like Dementia.
22. Keeps nervous system healthy:
Eating corn daily helps you in keeping nervous system healthy. Corn helps in optimal functioning of brain, neurotransmitters, spinal and cranial nerves, thereby promoting a healthy nervous system.
23. Rich in Selenium:
Selenium is an important trace mineral generally not found in other food items. Corn contains selenium that helps in boosting thyroid health and reduces asthma symptoms.
24. Boosts immunity:
Corn is rich in Vitamin C and antioxidants that are known to boost immunity. There is a reason why flu patients are often advised hot corn soup.
25. Rich in Phosphorus:
Corn benefits health by supplying adequate amount of phosphorus. Phosphorus helps in building strong muscles and bones, assists kidney in filtering out waste, produces DNA and RNA, and manages the way body stores energy.
Side Effects of Corn
Even though corn offers some amazing health benefits, there are certain precautions associated with its consumption. Side effects of corn include allergies, weight gain from constant consumption of food prepared in corn oil and sensitive skin. Corn syrup is worse than sugar; hence avoid its consumption at any cost. Opt for organic Non Genetically Modified (non GMO) corn for optimal health benefits.