Corn is good for you as it offers various health benefits, such as protecting your eyesight, strengthening your immune system and improving your intestinal health. This grain is high in carbohydrates, fiber and antioxidants.
There are many forms of corn and it is available in yellow, white, red, blue, purple and black color. Each of these vary in terms of taste and the types of antioxidants they contain. Yellow corn has a sweeter taste and the other types have a milder flavor. While purple, black, red and blue corn contain more anthocyanins, white and yellow corn contain more quercetin.
Corn can be boiled or roasted, and consumed on its own or added to recipes like salad, soup or made into popcorn. Corn is also used in the form of flour, for making polenta, bread, cake and couscous, or you can extract its oil, which is often used for frying or sautéing food.
The main health benefits of corn are:
1. Maintaining eye health
Because it contains excellent amounts of zeaxanthin and lutein, which are antioxidant carotenoids, corn is a great way to maintain eye health. It can help to protect the eyes from damage caused by the sun's ultraviolet rays as well as from the blue light emitted by electronic devices. This can prevent conditions such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
2. Strengthening the immune system
Corn strengthens the immune system because it is rich in beta-carotene, a carotenoid that increases the body's defenses, helping to reduce the duration of illnesses such as the flu and colds. Check out other immune system boosters that you can incorporate into your diet to boost immunity.
3. Promoting weight loss
Because it is a great source of fiber, corn increases time it takes for food to digest, which can help to manage hunger throughout the day and help you to lose weight.
However, to lose weight, corn must be incorporated into a healthy diet that is combined with regular physical activity. Learn more about the best foods to eat in a weight loss diet.
4. Lowering LDL cholesterol
Corn contains high amounts of insoluble fibers, which help reduce fat absorption in the intestines. This can lower LDL cholesterol levels in the blood.
5. Maintaining healthy skin
Corn helps to keep your skin healthy because it contains vitamin A, lutein and beta-carotene. These are nutrients and carotenoids that prevent free radical damage to the skin, which prevent sagging, wrinkles and premature aging.
6. Preventing diabetes
Because it is rich in fiber, corn slows down the absorption of carbohydrates from food, controlling blood glucose levels and thus preventing insulin resistance and diabetes.
7. Improving mood
Corn improves physical disposition and mental mood because it contains carbohydrates, a nutrient that is essential for providing energy for the brain and body.
In addition, corn is also rich in vitamin B3, a vitamin that is important for transforming the energy in food into energy for the body's cells.
8. Improving intestinal flow
The fiber present in corn improves intestinal flow because it promotes the formation of stools and stimulates natural bowel movements to make stool elimination easier.
Popcorn is even richer in fiber, making it a great option to encourage optimal intestinal function.
9. Preventing cardiovascular diseases
Corn is rich in carotenoids, quercetin and anthocyanins, which are bioactive compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory action. They improve arterial health and prevent the formation of clots, which can slow the progression of cardiovascular diseases such as high blood pressure, heart attacks and atherosclerosis.
Can corn lead to weight gain?
Corn will not lead to weight gain if consumed in moderation, and if consumed in boiled or roasted forms in soups, salads, couscous or breads.
However, because it contains carbohydrates, corn can be fattening when consumed in excess. In addition, high-calorie preparations with corn, such as cakes, corn cooked with butter or popcorn made with oil, for example, can also lead to weight gain.
The following table outline the nutritional information for 100 g of cooked green corn:
|100 g de boiled green corn
|Lutein e zeaxanthin
It's important to mention that to obtain all the benefits mentioned above, corn should be part of a balanced and healthy diet, and combined with regular exercise.
How to eat
Corn can be eaten boiled or roasted, and consumed on its own or added to recipes such as canjica, salad, curau, soup. Kernals can also be popped into popcorn.
Corn is also found in the form of flour, which can be used to make polenta, bread, cake and couscous, or you can extract its oil, which is often used for frying or sauteeing food.
Below are some healthy recipes that can be prepared with corn:
- 1 cup corn starch
- 1 liter of water
- 1 cup milk
- 200 ml coconut milk
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 cloves
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 2 tablespoons of sweetener
Place the corn starch in a bowl and add 3 cups of water, leaving to soak for 12 hours. Discard the water and put the corn starch, cloves, cinnamon and 1 liter of water in a pressure cooker and cook for 30 to 40 minutes.
Remove from heat, open the pressure cooker, add the coconut milk, milk and sweetener and bring to a low boil, stirring well. Cook for another 30 minutes or until the broth thickens a little. Turn off the heat and transfer the canjica to a bowl. Leave to cool and serve warm or chilled.
2. Corn cake
- 3 eggs
- 1 can of drained green corn
- 100 ml skim milk
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 3 tablespoons of powdered sweetener
- 6 tablespoons of rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
Beat the egg whites in a mixer and set aside. In a blender, beat the egg yolks, butter, milk and canned corn. Put the mixture prepared in the blender, the sugar and the oat flakes in a bowl and mix well with a spoon or spatula.
Then add the yeast and finally the egg whites, very gently. Pour the batter into a greased pudding tin and bake in a preheated medium oven for about 30 minutes or until golden brown.
3. Chicken soup with corn
- 1 skinless chicken cut into pieces
- 2 liters of water
- 2 ears of corn cut into slices
- 1 cup diced raw pumpkin
- 1 cup diced raw carrot
- 1 cup diced raw potato
- 2 sprigs of chopped coriander
- 1/4 red bell bell pepper
- 1 bunch of spring onions
- 1/2 large onion, halved
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 2 crushed garlic cloves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place the olive oil, onion and garlic in a large saucepan and bring to the boil to sauté for 3 minutes. Then add the water, chicken, spring onions, onions, peppers, corn slices, salt and black bell pepper.
Cook over medium heat until the corn and chicken are tender. Then add the pumpkin, carrots and potatoes and remove the peppers and set aside. When all the ingredients are soft, add the coriander, spring onions and peppers. Serve afterwards.