There are a lot of different names, and many varieties of maize, but most of us know it better simply as corn. Corn has been around for thousands of years, and became a staple in what is now Mexico, but has since spread around the world. Every type of corn has their benefit, but the type that we’re looking at today is the common sweet yellow corn. This is the type that a lot of people like to eat straight from the cob, or slice off and eat as a side dish or mix with other foods.
Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there that are lathering up their corn with butter and salt, making what is otherwise a healthy food very unhealthy. So what is it about corn that makes it so nutritious? You might be surprised about all of the great benefits. Let’s take a look at the nutritional breakdown of corn, and what those health benefits are.
Nutrition of Corn
When not lathered up in butter, sweet yellow corn is not going to have very many calories, with only around 130 in each one cup serving. There are some carbohydrates, with around 30 grams in each serving, but you’ll be getting 10 percent of your daily protein and nearly 20 percent of your fiber recommendation. Raw corn is also very low in fat (less than two grams per serving) with no cholesterol.
There are also plenty of vitamins and minerals in each serving of corn. There is between 10 and 20 percent of your daily recommendation of vitamin C, thiamin, niacin, folate and pantothenic acid. Minerals in the same department are magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. Pretty much every nutrient is included in corn, though some are in smaller amounts around five percent of recommended value such as vitamin A, vitamin B6, iron, zinc and copper.
Good For the Heart
The oil that you find in corn has been shown to have some great benefits for your heart. Studies have shown that more of this corn oil can reduce your LDL (bad) cholesterol levels without lowering your HDL (good) cholesterol levels. Lowering your cholesterol levels just a little bit can extend your life for years, reducing your chances of heart attack or stroke. In addition to that, you can also lower your blood pressure overall from having more corn oil.
Many heart problems also happen as a result of inflammation. Thankfully, corn has anti-inflammatory properties that can help with that. Minerals inside of corn such as manganese and zinc are very good for your heart, and should keep your ticker going for years. Whether you’re getting it from eating corn or corn oil, you’re doing yourself a favor.
You probably don’t really think of corn being one of those foods that you eat to make your skin look better, but it’s once again a result of the corn oil. If you look closer at the ingredients of many different beauty products such as lotion, you’ll see that corn is one of the ingredients. Much of that has to do with the great vitamins in corn, including vitamin A that helps your skin to glow.
There’s also a good amount of vitamin C, which helps your body to produce more collagen, giving your skin elasticity. Even if you have problems such as blemishes or rashes, products with corn oil are effective in reversing the problems. Corn also has a good effect on your hair thanks to the vitamins, promoting a healthier scalp that gives your hair an opportunity to grow thicker and faster.
When it comes to corn and the digestive tract, there are always people that are quick to make a joke that you can still “see the corn” when it leaves your body. While that might be true, corn is actually doing your body a huge benefit when you are eating it regularly. Corn contains a lot of fiber in each serving, which allows your digestive system to operate more efficiently as a whole.
Those that are suffering from irregularities and other problems that include constipation and diarrhea will see a huge benefit from eating more fiber. You’ll also be lowering your chances of colon cancer by eating more fiber in your diet. If you’re not used to eating a lot of fiber, it can cause some minor discomfort at first, but it goes away after a few days of a healthier fiber-filled diet.
Not all of us are looking to shed weight, as surprising as that might sound. For those that are trying to put on weight in a healthy way (especially in the muscle department), corn is a great way of doing that. While one cup of corn doesn’t have many calories on its own, not many people limit themselves to just one cup. This makes corn a good way to gain weight, and a big reason why you see many bodybuilders eating quite a bit of the yellow goodness.
Normally foods that are high in calories are packed with unhealthy additives such as sugar, and don’t have any benefits for your digestive system. Thankfully, that’s not the case for corn, as the fiber will help. Of course, you can gain weight even faster by buttering up your corn, but that’s going to be as healthy of a way of going about it.
Sweet corn might have the right name and taste, but it isn’t packed with sugar like a lot of sweet foods. Sweet corn contains a lot of phytochemicals, which have been shown to help your body absorb insulin. This is especially important for diabetics who are looking to regulate their blood sugar while preventing crashes and spikes. Overall, corn has a very low glycemic index when raw.
Summing it Up
As you can see, corn is pretty healthy when you aren’t pouring liquid butter all over it or even using solid butter. When at its healthiest, is there anything negative that you need to know about eating corn? As long as you’re eating corn as part of an overall healthy diet, you’re not going to see too many problems (unless you’re allergic, of course). People with diabetes should be careful by how much corn they eat, as they could raise blood sugar temporarily.
The one thing that most of us know about corn is that it’s not easily digested by our bodies, which can result in some gas and bloating. If you’re eating a healthy diet overall, it’s not going to cause much pain or discomfort. You’ll just want to limit how much corn you eat since it can be higher in calories and starches that could lead to weight gain, but that shouldn’t be too hard. Now that you know everything about corn, go ahead and grab a cob of that wonderful stuff.