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Corn Benefits and Side Effects You Should Know

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Introduction

 

 

Raining season in Nigeria and in most of the African countries is a time when corn would be widely consumed in different forms. Some roasted it, some boiled it, some grind it to make pap or make a powdered one that can be used to make tuwo.

 

Based on this, even if not roasted or boiled, corn has been one of the key components of an average Nigerians daily meal. And while this continues, many failed to know the  benefits and side effects attached to it.

 

In this post, you’ll be schooled on the corn benefits and side effects of corn.

 

Background

Corn, also known as maize (Zea mays), is one of the world’s most popular cereal grains. It’s the seed of a plant in the grass family, native to Africa but grown in countless varieties worldwide.

 

Popcorn and sweet corn are popular varieties, but refined corn products are also widely consumed, frequently as ingredients in processed food.

 

These include tortillas, tortilla chips, polenta, cornmeal, corn flour, corn syrup, and corn oil.

 

Whole-grain corn is as healthy as any cereal grain, as it’s rich in fiber and many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.

 

Corn is typically yellow but comes in a variety of other colors, such as red, orange, purple, blue, white, and black.

 

This article tells you everything you need to know about corn.

 

Nutrition facts

Here are the nutrition facts for 3.5 ounces (100 grams) of boiled yellow corn (1Trusted Source):

  • Calories: 96
  • Water: 73%
  • Protein: 3.4 grams
  • Carbs: 21 grams
  • Sugar: 4.5 grams
  • Fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Fat: 1.5 grams

Carbs

Like all cereal grains, corn is primarily composed of carbs.

Starch is its main carb, comprising 28–80% of its dry weight. Corn also provides small amounts of sugar (1–3%) (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source).

 

Sweet corn, or sugar corn, is a special, low-starch variety with higher sugar content, at 18% of the dry weight. Most of the sugar is sucrose (1Trusted Source).

 

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Despite the sugar in sweet corn, it is not a high-glycemic food, ranking low or medium on the glycemic index (GI) (3).

 

The GI is a measure of how quickly carbs are digested. Foods that rank high on this index may cause an unhealthy spike in blood sugar.

 

Fiber

Corn contains a fair amount of fiber.

One medium bag (112 grams) of cinema popcorn boasts approximately 16 grams of fiber.

This is 42% and 64% of the Daily Value (DV) for men and women, respectively. While the fiber content of different types of corn varies, it’s generally around 9–15% of the dry weight (1Trusted Source, 2Trusted Source, 4Trusted Source).

The predominant fibers in corn are insoluble ones, such as hemicellulose, cellulose, and lignin (2Trusted Source).

 

Protein

Corn is a decent source of protein.

Depending on the variety, the protein content ranges from 10–15% (1Trusted Source, 5).

The most abundant proteins in corn are known as zeins, accounting for 44–79% of the total protein content (6Trusted Source, 7Trusted Source).

 

Overall, the protein quality of zeins is poor because they lack some essential amino acids (8Trusted Source).

 

Zeins have many industrial applications, as they’re used in the production of adhesives, inks, and coatings for pills, candy, and nuts (7Trusted Source).

 

Health Benefits of Corn

Moreover, aside from the ones mentioned above, below are the best health benefits of eating Corn.

Let’s check out how corn good for weight loss management, easy digestion, kidney problem and fatty liver and also included in pcos diet plan.

 

Corn prevents haemorrhoids

Corn has 18.4% of the daily recommended dosage of fiber, which means that it is good for your bowel movements. It can help you with various digestive problems like constipation and haemorrhoids, and can also protect you from getting colon cancer. Fiber present in corn is good for your bowel movements because it bulks up your stool and facilitates its movement down the digestive tract. As a result, it is also good for diarrhoea and irritable bowel syndrome.

 

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Corn promotes growth

Corn has high amounts of vitamin B constituents, thiamine and niacin, which is good for facilitating growth. Thiamine helps your body improve nerve health and cognitive functions while niacin can prevent a series of problems like dementia and dermatitis. Corn is also known for having high amounts of folic acid and is therefore good for pregnant women. Since corn is rich in Vitamin E, which is a natural source of antioxidants, it protects the body from various illnesses, helping you grow without the hindrance of disease.

 

Corn for weight gain

Corn contains a high amount of calories. As a result, it is used to gain weight quickly. This corn grain can be used in agricultural nations as it can grow in almost any type of conditions.

So if you consistently eat corn, know you’re liable to put on weight

 

Corn provides minerals

Corn is loaded with all the essential minerals that your body needs. It has high amounts of copper, iron, zinc, phosphorous, manganese, magnesium, and even selenium, which is not very easy to find in other foods. Phosphorus present in corn helps with a number of body functions and can be used to regulate kidney function, induce normal bone growth, and maintain bone health. Magnesium can help you maintain a healthy heart rate and also boosts bone density.

 

Corn prevents cancer

Corn is also known for preventing cancer. It is a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are extremely important as they get rid of the free radicals in your system. The buildup of free radicals is what often leads to cancer. Furthermore, corn is also known for the ability to induce apoptosis in cancer cells, and leaving the health cells unaffected. Corn also contains phytochemicals, which are also a good source of antioxidants.

 

Corn protects your heart

Corn grain has an optimal combination of fatty acids in it, which is why it lets the Omega 3 fatty acids get rid of bad cholesterol and replace them at the binding sites. As a result, you end up reducing your risk of developing cardiovascular disease by a huge margin. Corn prevents your arteries from getting clogged and even controls your blood pressure as a result. Corn lowers your chances of getting heart attacks and strokes. You can cook your food in corn oil to gain these benefits of corn.

 

Corn prevents anemia

Corn is extremely rich in Iron. Iron helps your body form new blood cells, which is important when it comes to preventing anemia. Corn can also help you avoid the symptoms of anemia such as exhaustion, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and shortness of breath.

 

Corn good for the eyes and skincare

Eating yellow corn can provide your body with a ton of beta-carotene, which is what produces vitamin A in your body. Corn is extremely good for your eyesight and your skin in general. Beta-carotene also has high amounts of antioxidants that can prevent cancers and heart disease. Since vitamin A can be toxic if ingested in high amounts, its best to get your vitamin A through the beta-carotenes in your body.

 

Corn for diabetes patients

Diabetes is a deadly disease that cannot be cured, only controlled. This is why keeping an eye on your diet can be extremely important if you have diabetes. Corn contains a healthy amount of phytochemicals. Due to this, you can regulate the insulin present in your blood. This can help you control the rise and drop of sugar in your body, and therefore control your diabetes as well.

 

Corn for cosmetic uses

Apart from medicinal benefits, corn also provides a whole range of cosmetic benefits. It can be applied topically to soothe skin irritations, rashes, and skin diseases. It is better to use corn as opposed to products from the market as they normally contain petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly can block your pores and prevent your skin from breathing. This can make your skin look dull and clogged.

 

Uses of Corn

Corn is mainly used in the culinary industry in a variety of ways. It can be steamed, grilled, boiled, baked, braised, or even cooked in a stew or soup to eat it. Certain herbal cosmetics contain corn as it is good for your skin. Homemade face masks and packs that used boiled corn that’s ground into a paste can also be used to improve the way your skin looks. Corn is a staple part of the diet in many countries. Corn is also used to make corn syrup, which is a popular form of sweetener used in many western countries.

 

Side-Effects & Allergies of Corn

Corn has extremely high amounts of fatty acids and therefore should be consumed with caution. People who are generally at risk of heart diseases should not eat food that is cooked in corn oil as it can accelerate the problems in them. Corn syrup is considered worse than sugar and is identified as a leading cause of obesity in many nations. It can also negatively impact the levels of sugar in your blood and put you at risk for type 2 diabetes. Corn syrup should ideally be avoided at any cost. If you have sensitive skin, or are prone to allergies, consult with a doctor before adding corn to your meals. On a general note, it is always better to speak to a physician before adding anything new to your diet or lifestyle.

 

Cultivation of Corn

Corn was first cultivated 10,000 years ago in Africa and is native to this Continent. However, since this grain does not have any specific special requirements for growing in terms of weather or soil, it is now cultivated almost all over the world.

 

Corn is used in many world cuisines and is grown most popularly in countries that have an agrarian economy as it is a rich source of nutrients and can even help you put on weight.

 

It has minerals such as magnesium, iron, copper, and phosphorus. These minerals enhance the bones’ strength.

 

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Takeaways: Benefits of Roasted Corn

  • Roasted maize reduces cholesterol levels hence controlling the blood flow, pressure and keeps the heart healthy.
  • It contains an anti-oxidant which makes the skin soft and increases the immunity power. It also eliminates the symptoms of aging.
  • For pregnant women, folic acid contained in roasted corn is a very essential element for the development of the foetus.
  •  Due to the presence of carbohydrates in roasted maize, it acts as a source of energy hence eliminating fatigue.
  • Chewing of the maize also plays a role in your teeth as far health is concerned. While you will be chewing the maize, bacteria present in teeth will be rubbed off and this will protect your teeth from periodontal diseases.
  • Since roasted corn is high in fibre, it is good for weight loss..eat roasted corn if you want to lose weight.
  • Roasted corn is good for snacking.
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