5 Health Benefits of Corn
A staple summer vegetable, sweet corn is seldom considered a unique source of health benefits. But the truth is, this amazing plant has the ability to dramatically improve your health in a number of ways. Here are the top 5 health benefits of corn:
1) Corn is a Great Source of Calories
At nearly 350 calories per 100 gram serving, the caloric content of corn is the highest among cereals. In fact, one ear of corn is one complete vegetable serving for the average adult. Plus, corn is easy to grow and adapts well to many climates, making it an ideal subsistence grain for agricultural-based cultures.
2) Corn is High in Fiber
One cup of corn contains nearly 20% of the total daily-recommended amount of fiber. And since fiber is critical for digestion, corn is great for alleviating constipation and hemorrhoids.
3) Corn is Packed with Vitamins
Corn is full of Vitamin B constituents, like Thamin and Niacin, which are essential for nerve health and cognitive function. Corn is also a good source of Pantothenic acid, which is essential for carbohydrate, protein and lipid metabolism in the body. Plus, corn represents a large percentage of the daily folate requirement, which plays an important role in DNA synthesis and repair and aides cell and tissue growth.
4) Corn Provides Many Antioxidants
The antioxidant benefits from different types of corn actually come from different combinations of phytonutrients. From carotenoids in yellow corn to anthocyanins in blue corn and hydroxybenzoic acid in purple corn, each variety offers unique antioxidants that fight cancer-causing free radicals. And with loads of Vitamin E—another important antioxidant—corn is great for helping the body defend against illness and disease.
Fact: Antioxidants have been shown to reduce many of the most dangerous forms of cancer because of their ability to induce apoptosis in cancerous cells, while leaving healthy cells unaffected.
5) Corn Contains Necessary Minerals
Phosphorous, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and copper are found in all varieties of corn and positively benefit the body in a number of ways.
- Phosphorous is essential for regulating growth, bone health and kidney function.
- Magnesium is necessary for maintaining heart rate and increasing bone strength.
- Manganese acts as a co-enzyme to assist metabolic activity in the human body.
- The health benefits of zinc include proper functioning of the immune and digestive systems.
How to Maximize the Health Benefits of Corn
Experts agree that the healthiest way to cook corn—and maintain all of the health benefits listed above—is with steaming. However, since corn is also one of the top ten vegetables for grilling, I would recommend that approach as well. But no matter how you prepare it, you’re enjoying one of nature’s healthiest seasonal offerings. Looking for some inspiration? Check out Full Circle’s extensive collection of exclusive corn recipes.
Fun Facts About Corn
- The first domestication of corn dates back to nearly 9,000 BC.
- The average American consumes 160 pounds of corn every year.
- Corn is both a grain (when harvested dry) and a vegetable (when harvested before maturity).
- Cooking corn actually increases the amount of useable antioxidants in sweet corn.
Don’t tell secrets in a cornfield. There are too many ears.