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Is Corn the World's First Superfood?

Corn, often called maize, is a cereal grain, a staple food in many cultures, and has been cultivated for thousands of years in the Americas. It is celebrated on Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year's Day. It is also a popular summer food, often enjoyed at barbecues and picnics.


But is corn good for you?


This blog post will debunk common myths about corn, break down the nutrition facts, and explore its health benefits and potential drawbacks. By the end, you'll see whether corn deserves a place on your plate.


Common myths about corn:

While corn is a nutritious food, some common myths circulate online and in popular culture. Let's take a look at some of these myths and debunk them.



>> MYTH #1

“Corn is not a good source of nutrients”


Fact: Corn is a good source of complex carbohydrates, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, including vitamin C, thiamine (B1), and folate. It is also a good source of antioxidants like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are beneficial for eye health.


Explore: cornmeal-based recipes like cornbread, corn muffins, or polenta for a delicious and versatile meal addition.


>> MYTH #2

“Corn is a significant allergen”


Fact: Corn allergy is rare, affecting only about 0.2% of the population. Symptoms of corn allergy can include hives, itching, swelling, and difficulty breathing.


Enjoy: Make your own popcorn at home using plain kernels for a low calorie, high fibre healthy snack. Avoid adding excessive butter or salt.


>> MYTH #3

“Corn is terrible for your blood sugar levels”


Fact: While corn is a starchy food and can cause a spike in blood sugar levels if eaten alone, it is essential to note that corn also contains fiber, which can help to slow down digestion and absorption of carbohydrates. Additionally, pairing corn with other foods high in protein and healthy fats can help stabilize blood sugar levels.


Enjoy: Homemade high-protein crumbed fish tacos with crunchy red cabbage, boiled corn, green chili and lime!


>> MYTH #4

“Corn is a significant contributor to weight gain”


Fact: While corn is a calorie-dense food, it is essential to note that all foods can contribute to weight gain if consumed in excess. However, no evidence suggests that corn is more likely to cause weight gain than other foods.


Enjoy: The natural sweetness of corn by boiling or grilling corn on the cob. Season it with a pinch of salt and a dab of butter for a classic treat or experiment!


>> MYTH #5

“Corn is unhealthy because it is often processed”


Fact: While it is true that some corn products are highly processed, such as corn syrup and cornstarch, there are also many healthy and unprocessed corn products available, such as whole corn kernels, cornmeal, and popcorn. When choosing corn products, it is essential to read the label carefully and look for products that are low in added sugar and salt.


Explore: Add fresh or grilled corn kernels to salsas, salads, and even pasta dishes for a yummy flavor and texture.


_________________________________________________________


Corn is Packed With Essential Nutrients. Here's Seven Vital Benefits:

  1. Corn is rich in carbohydrates, providing you with energy. It's a staple in many diets worldwide.

  2. Corn contains dietary fiber, which aids digestion and helps maintain healthy cholesterol levels.

  3. Corn boasts vitamins like B-complex (thiamine, niacin, folate) and vitamin C. These are essential for energy production and a strong immune system.

  4. It's a good source of minerals like magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese, important for bone health and various bodily functions.

  5. Corn contains antioxidants like zeaxanthin and lutein, which promote eye health and reduce the risk of age-related eye conditions.

  6. Corn is naturally low in fat, making it a healthy choice for those watching their fat intake.

  7. Corn is moderately calorie-dense, so it's filling without being too high in calories.


Five Potential Downsides to Consider When it Comes to Corn:

While corn contains some protein, it's not a primary source. Relying solely on corn for protein might lead to an insufficient intake of essential amino acids.


Many processed corn products like corn chips, sugary cereals, and sweetened corn syrups are often laden with unhealthy additives, excessive salt, and added sugars. Consuming these regularly can contribute to health issues like obesity, high blood pressure, and dental problems. Opting for whole corn or minimally processed corn products is a healthier choice for your diet.


A significant portion of commercially grown corn is genetically modified (GMO). Some individuals prefer non-GMO options due to potential health and environmental concerns.

Corn has a relatively high glycemic index, which means it can cause rapid spikes in blood sugar levels. This can be problematic for people with diabetes or those trying to manage their blood sugar.


Corn syrup, particularly high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), is commonly used as a sweetener in many processed foods and sugary beverages. Excessive consumption of HFCS has been linked to health issues like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. It's essential to limit your intake of foods and drinks high in corn syrup to maintain a healthy diet.


So, is corn good for you?


Yes, corn is a nutritious food that can be a valuable part of a balanced diet. It’s a good source of fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals and is naturally gluten-free.


However, it's essential to avoid high-fructose corn syrup (HFCS), as it has been linked to several health problems, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease.


To maximize the nutritional benefits of corn, enjoy it in its less processed forms. For example, instead of eating canned corn or corn chips, try grilling corn on the cob or adding it to salads, soups, and stews.


Overall, corn is a healthy and delicious food that can be enjoyed as part of a balanced diet.



Best health to you all,

Eleanor Campbell, Holistic Nutritionist


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