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The Health Benefits Of Eating Corn

    The Health Benefits Of Eating Corn

    For many Filipinos, corn is a healthy snack. A cob (or ear) of corn is usually satiating on its own. Others get the corn kernels and mix them with butter and powdered cheese for added flavor and texture. Of course, let’s not forget that many are also fond of adding corn to soup and desserts, like maja blanca and halo-halo. But, is corn really nutritious? Aside from corn calories, what else are we getting from the beloved mais (maize)?

    Corn Calories: Nutrition Facts

    The corn calories of a medium-sized ear or cob already amount to about 87 kcal. But, what else are we getting when we eat raw, sweet yellow corn?

    Consider the nutritional facts below:

    • 77.5 g water
    • 3.34 g protein
    • 1.38 g fats
    • 2.04 g of total dietary fiber
    • 19.1 g carbohydrates

    Besides corn calories, you’ll also be consuming numerous micronutrients, such as:

    • Calcium
    • Iron
    • Magnesium
    • Phosphorus
    • Potassium
    • Sodium
    • Zinc
    • Copper
    • Vitamins A, C, E, and B vitamins
    • Lycopene
    • Lutein and zeaxanthin

    Considering these nutritional values, what are the benefits of eating corn?

    The Health Benefits of Eating Corn

    What health benefits can you obtain from eating corn? Check this list out:

    1. It helps lower the risk of colon cancer

    Above all, corn is a type of grain that contains fiber. Reports say the fiber in corn helps promote the growth of good bacteria in the large intestine. This friendly bacteria then turns corn into a short-chain fatty acid that can lower the risk of colon cancer.

    2. It can help protect the eyesight

    Besides corn calories, we’ve listed that corn also has lutein and zeaxanthin, forms of vitamin A that are beneficial for the eyes. Experts say these compounds are concentrated in the retina, which, along with Vitamin E, C, zinc, and copper (also in corn) help protect the eyes from age-related macular degeneration.

    3. It has low glycemic index

    The glycemic index is a scale (1 to 100) that indicates how food affects blood sugar levels. The higher the number is (70 above), the more it is likely to cause blood sugar spikes.

    Did you know that corn has a low glycemic index (less than 55), which means it can be great for people with diabetes.

    4. It can promote heart health

    Some of the nutrients in corn can promote heart health.

    For one, fiber can help reduce cholesterol, high levels of which can trigger cardiovascular problems.

    Besides corn calories, it also has potassium, which helps regulate blood pressure, and magnesium, which can protect against stroke and other ischemic diseases.

    5. It can be a good rice alternative or extender

    The Department of Agriculture has long since acknowledged that corn can be a good alternative to rice because of its nutritional value. If not an alternative, it can be an extender where people can mix rice with corn.

    Tips in Choosing And Preparing Corn

    Remember that you can eat corn kernels raw. But if you prefer to cook them, it’s best to do so when they are freshly picked. Should you want to store them, you can partially boil corn cobs, collect the kernels, and then store them in the freezer.

    When it comes to preparation, please refrain from adding extra fat and sugar to the corn (butter and white sugar). Doing so can negate the health benefits. Instead of frying kernels with butter, why not simply microwave, broil, boil, grill, steam, or roast corn cobs? Remember that you can also add corn kernels to soups, salads, and casseroles.

    Finally, please be careful with packed or canned corn. Check their labels first if they have added sugars and fats. If they contain too much sugar or fats, it’s best to not buy them at all.

    Learn more about Nutrition Facts here.

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    Sources

    DA pushes corn as healthier alternative to rice, https://newsinfo.inquirer.net/8251/da-pushes-corn-as-healthier-alternative-to-rice, Accessed July 1, 2022

    Corn, sweet, yellow, raw, https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169998/nutrients, Accessed July 1, 2022

    Harvesting the Health Benefits from Corn, https://www.nutritionletter.tufts.edu/general-nutrition/harvesting-the-health-benefits-from-corn/ , Accessed July 1, 2022

    Fat, Sugar, Whole Grains and Heart Disease: 50 Years of Confusion, https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/10/1/39, Accessed July 1, 2022

    Corn: A versatile, nutritious choice, https://www.mayoclinichealthsystem.org/hometown-health/speaking-of-health/corn-a-versatile-nutrition-choice, Accessed July 1, 2022

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    Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated 4 weeks ago
    Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen
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