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Benefits of corn: how healthy is it?

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This grain has been seen in almost every kitchen in the world, in one form or another. Discover the benefits of corn in today’s article.

Maize is a type of cereal with ancient origins. The original inhabitants of America, before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, considered it the basis of life. This grain has seen almost every cuisine in the world since then. Today you will discover all the benefits of corn, as well as some contraindications.

It comes in countless varieties and appears in a variety of recipes on all continents. You’ve probably eaten it hundreds of times in your life!

But have you ever wondered what it does to your health? Can it be unhealthy to eat corn? In this article, we will tell you all about the health benefits of corn, and the nutrition it adds to your diet. Read on and learn more!

Advantages of corn: The nutritional value

From a nutritional standpoint, corn is superior to other grains, apart from its protein content. According to the Swedish Food Agency, 100 grams of boiled corn provides 100 grams of calories, 3.3 grams of protein, 17 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of fiber. It is considered a good source of starch, with its 5.7 grams.

It is a great source of minerals. It contains 19 mg of magnesium, 196 mg of potassium, 89 mg of phosphorus, and 233 mg of sodium. As for vitamins, it contains 9 mg of vitamin C, 20 micrograms of vitamin A, 32 micrograms of folate, and 0.26 mg of B6.

It is the only grain that contains provitamin A, which is the only one that can be converted into vitamin A by the body.

Benefits of corn for health

Adding corn to the diet has important health benefits. We will tell you about them below.

1. Antioxidative properties

Corn contains carotenoids, such as lutein (644 international units) and cryptoxanthin (115 international units), and their ability to block free radicals is notorious. Both substances are considered potent antioxidants.

Lutein and cryptoxanthin are what we can see as orange and yellow colors in fresh foods. They are also called carotenoids if we classify them chemically.

Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are chemicals that introduce oxygen into the body’s cells, causing oxidation in various parts and accelerating aging.

2. Good for weight control

Some types of corn are rich in amylose, one of the components of starch. Due to this content, corn can help control weight. This variety of starch is not digested in the small intestine; it, therefore, reaches the large intestine where it nourishes the intestinal flora. This helps to regulate bowel movements and gives a greater feeling of satiety.

3. For brain function

Thanks to its choline content, corn is an important part of the diet for brain function. Choline is a necessary nutrient for the synthesis of acetylcholine. This is a neurotransmitter that helps memory and muscle control .

In addition, corn also contains large amounts of folate. Folates are involved in the functioning of the central nervous system, in the metabolism of nerve cells, and in the synthesis of myelin. Myelin is a substance that protects nerve cells (neurons), which increases the speed of impulse transmission.

4. It’s gluten-free

Corn is a staple food in the diet of people who cannot consume gluten. Gluten is a protein found in certain grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.

Benefits of corn in cooking

Corn is an ingredient in almost every kitchen in the world. In addition to using the grain itself in cooking, you can also obtain various preparations from it, such as corn flour.

Some of the most common preparations you can get from corn are the following:

Maize is used as a staple food in the cuisines of Mexico, Latin America, and sub-Saharan Africa. In these regions, the forms of cooking vary.

It is eaten cooked, as roasted grain, in soups or jellies, and in stews such as cachapas , as well as in fermented grains or as dough. There are many corn-based preparations, such as arepa, polenta, popcorn, cornbread, tacos, tamales, and tortillas.

Contraindications

Now we have told you about the various benefits of corn, but we should also remember that the product has certain contraindications. The main one lies in its high starch content. Starch is composed of glucose chains, i.e. sugars .

But beyond these specific cases, there are no other problems with including this product in your diet. As long as it is part of a varied and balanced diet, it can be very beneficial to your health!

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