40 Health Benefits of Corn : Antioxidant, Vitamin & Mineral Sources
Corn is also known as maize is a large grain plant originated from Mexico. From there, corn were introduced to the South America 5,000 years ago and then to Europe in the late 15th Century. Today, corn is consumed in many different ways by many different countries from around the world, corn could be steamed, boiled, barbequed, soup mix, salad mix and also many options of processed food made from corn and one that becomes world’s favorite is corn cereal. There are some varieties of corn, many people around the world only know that corn has yellow color but the fact is there are more colors like red, black, pink, purple and blue. However, the yellow corn contains high carotenoids like lutein and zeaxanthin.
|Corn – Boiled – Yellow
Serving Size: 100 gr
|– Sugar||4.5 g|
|– Fiber||2.4 g|
|– Saturated||0.2 g|
|– Monounsaturated||0.37 g|
|– Polyunsaturated||0.6 g|
|– Omega 3||0.02 g|
|– Omega 6||0.59 g|
|Vitamin A||13 µg – 1%|
|Vitamin C||5.5 mg – 6%|
|Vitamin E||0.09 mg – 1%|
|Vitamin K||0.4 µg – 0%|
|Vitamin B1 – Thiamine||0.09 mg – 8%|
|Vitamin B2 – Riboflavin||0.06 mg – 4%|
|Vitamin B3 – Niacin||1.68 mg – 11%|
|Vitamin B5 – Phantothenic Acid||0.79 mg – 16%|
|Vitamin B6 – Pyridoxine||0.14 mg – 11%|
|Folate||23 µg – 6%|
|Choline||29.1 mg – 5%|
|Calciums||3 mg – 0%|
|Iron||0.45 mg – 6%|
|Magnesium||26 mg – 7%|
|Phosphorous||77 mg – 11%|
|Potassium||218 mg – 5%|
|Sodium||1 mg – 0%|
|Zinc||0.62 mg – 6%|
|Copper||0.05 mg – 5%|
|Manganese||0.17 mg – 7%|
|Selenium||0.2 µg – 0%|
Corn is common food available all year around and could be found in all countries. So, people tend to think nothing special about corn, besides that the taste is kind of plain even the sweetest varieties. However, corn contain a lot of properties that are highly beneficial for human’s health and in some countries, corn is used as the replacement of rice or wheat because of the carbohydrate contained in corn. Below is the list of health benefits of corn.
Excellent Source of Antioxidant
Though the taste is kind of plain, the antioxidant contained in corn is surprisingly high. Many studies have tried to find out the list of antioxidant contained in many varieties of corn and the benefits from those antioxidants are as below:
1. Lowers Blood Pressure
It is a common knowledge that food rich of antioxidant is able to reduce the risk of all cardiovascular diseases and especially on corn, it contains compounds that produce special enzymes that is beneficial in lowering the blood pressure.
2. Fights Tumor
Do you know that tumor occurs when cells are not able to regenerate normally due to free radicals? Instead it will cause some abnormal mutations well known as cancerous cells that could promote the development of tumor.
Related Article: How to Prevent Cancer Naturally
3. Prevents Breast Cancer
Recent studies related to ferulic acid contained in corn proven to be effective in preventing the development of cancerous cells and reduce the risk of breast cancer in women after menopause.
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4. Prevents Liver Cancer
The same compound, ferulic acid, also has been proven to effective in prevent liver cancer. Furthermore, anthocyanin mostly found in purple corn is also effective in eliminating the main causes of cancer by fighting the free radicals.
5. Fights Free Radicals
For those who have been familiar with antioxidant and its main function surely know that there is no better compound that could fight free radicals effectively but antioxidants. In corn the amount of antioxidants are surprisingly available in relatively high amount.
Related Article: Benefits of Vitamin E
Food Rich of Fiber
It is a common knowledge that fiber is the solution to deal with all the digestion problem and constipation is the common one. However, not everyone knows that fiber has functions more than you could imagine.
Related: Health Benefits of Fiber
6. Good for Digestive System
Fiber, though it cannot be extracted into something beneficial for body to absorb but its function is amazing and nothing could take its place because fiber has function to bind some excessive properties inside the bowel to be washed off from digestive system.
Related Article: Health Benefits of Fiber
7. Promotes the Growth of Friendly Bacteria
Believe it or not, the fiber contained in corn could function as probiotic by promoting the growth of friendly bacteria inside the intestine. Well, this type of bacteria is essential for the health of digestive system.
8. Reduces the Risk of Colon Cancer
Many studies have proven that there is strong connection between fiber and cancer prevention because corn is rich of fiber and antioxidants and helping the bowel movement and reduce the risk of colon cancer.
Related Article: Symptoms of Colon Cancer
9. Controls Blood Sugar Level
Not only the fiber content in corn that is beneficial to control blood sugar but also some vitamins, especially the vitamin B1 and vitamin B5, folid acid. The fiber will assist in slowing down the digestive tract and the result is also slow absorption of glucose in the blood stream.
As it is rich of fiber and able to control blood sugar level surely corn is considered to be friendly food for people with diabetes. Furthermore, it is also containing carbs which function as energy booster and great replacement of rice and wheat.
11. Treats Constipation Effectively
It is a common knowledge that there is no better solution to treat constipation but fiber because it helps in improvement the bowel movement inside the intestine and provide excellent solution effectively.
12. Solution to Hemorrhoids Naturally
Hemorrhoids considered to be one of the conditions is not as easy to deal with as constipation but the fiber contained in corn could be the natural solution people have been looking for to deal with this condition.
13. Promotes Healthy Bowel Movement
Healthy bowel movement means the intestine is working in normal pace without disturbance and without pressure. Furthermore, the nutrients will be absorbed optimally and all the excess and unnecessary compounds will be washed away from the bowel.
Related Article: Benefits of Healthy Eating
14. Prevents Diarrhea
Fiber is not only able to optimize the bowel movement but also able to control its movement. If it is needed, fiber could assist in slowing it down and treat diarrhea effectively. The slow movement also beneficial to the absorption of glucose in bloodstream to prevent the raise of blood sugar.
Related Article: How to Prevent Diarrhea
15. Controls the Cholesterol Level
Fiber has prominent function in binding the LDL and provides HDL to function optimally while the antiatherogenic effect of corn could reduce the cholesterol level in the body by reducing its absorption by the body.
Related Article: Food that Lowering Cholesterol Level
16. Protects Arteries from Blood Clot
The accumulation of blood clot could occur in the arteries and disturb the distribution of blood. How to protect arteries is by making sure the amount of HDL is enough to deal with the amount of LDL since LDL is the main reason how blood clot accumulated.
Related Articles: Risk of Saturated Fat and Cholesterol
Food Rich of Vitamins
Let’s start listing the list of vitamins contained in corn from vitamin B-complex up to vitamin E. Those vitamins have a lot of benefits for human health and below are the lists:
17. Promotes Nerve Health
Vitamin B complex is the essential for nerve health and nerve health is essential so your body system could communicate optimally. Consuming corn will provide niacin which is mostly required to promote nerve health.
18. Maintain Cognitive Function
The health cognitive function is closely related to how your nerve system is functioning. If it is functioning optimally, the cognitive system will follow suit. Just making sure you consume corn in proper amount to provide enough vitamins to promote nerve health.
19. Prevents Pellagra
Niacins is not only prominent for nerve health but also prevent pellagra, which is a condition characterized by diarrhea. The deficiency of niacin will cause this condition to occur.
20. Prevents Dementia
Dementia and Alzheimer is a brain condition that mostly suffered by elderly. Well, this condition could be prevented during younger age by consuming foods rich of thymine and others Vitamin B-complex that has been well known as good for cognitive function.
21. Prevents Birth Defect
Birth defect occur when during pregnancy, the fetus is suffering some deficiencies and not well-protected so viruses and bacteria will easily infect the fetus. Corn contains adequate amount of folid acid that will make sure the fetus grows healthily.
Related: Health Benefits of Mung Beans
22. Good for Pregnant Woman
All foods high in folate or folid acid, vitamins and minerals are good for pregnant women and corn are rich of those compounds. Furthermore, minerals like iron and zinc is essential to produce red blood cells which prominent to the development of fetus.
Related Article: Health Benefits of Folid Acid
23. Supports Immunity System
Vitamins are what you need as immunity booster especially vitamin C that could fight several types of virus and provide protection to the immunity system.
24. Promotes Healthier and Younger Skin
Many studies have proven that corn is good for skin. First is because of its antioxidant properties that promote the health regeneration of cells including skin cells, so your skin will always look healthy and young.
25. Promotes Eye Health
Macular degeneration and cataracts are the world’s common visual impairments that could cause some eye problems and even blindness is not the worst but the most case found caused by those two conditions. As rich of vitamins like Vitamin A, Vitamin B-complex and Vitamin E, corn is able to promote eye health and prevent macular degeneration to occur.
Contains Relatively High of Minerals
Besides rich of vitamins, corn is also rich of minerals like phosphorous, zinc, iron, manganese and magnesium and below is the list of benefits due to the high contain of minerals in corn.
26. Essential for Body Development
Phosphorous is what you need to make sure body develops normally. During childhood, corn could make sure the children grow optimally.
Related Article: Health Benefits of Iron
27. Promotes Bone Health
Not only phosphorous that essential to the bone growth but other minerals along with calcium is good to promote the bone health.
Related Article: Health Benefits of Calcium
28. Optimizes the Kidney Function
Minerals contained in corn also able to help in optimizing the kidney function especially phosphorous.
29. Natural Source of Selenium
Selenium is one of the important minerals that required by human body. However, selenium is normally found in agriculture product but this compound is surprisingly found in adequate amount in corn.
Related Article: Health Benefits of Selenium
30. Maintains the Normal Heart Rate
Speaking of healthy heart, potassium is what you need to protect your heart and together with minerals like magnesium will make sure the normal heart rate. Normal heart rate means heart will function normally without any forces.
Related Article: Health Risk of Magnesium Deficiency
31. Protects Your Heart
Minerals are important for heart. Magnesium will maintain the normal heart rate, iron will optimize the production of red blood cells.
Related Article: Health Benefits of Magnesium
32. Reduces the Risk of Stroke
Once blood pressure is no longer under controlled some conditions like stroke could happen anytime and corn which is containing minerals and adequate amount of potassium could make sure the risk of stroke could be reduced effectively.
33. Reduces the Risk Heart Attack
If corn has been proven to be effective in reducing the risk of stroke and it means corn is also possible to reduce the risk of heart attack by protecting heart optimally.
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34. Prevents and Treat Anemia Effectively
Surely you would never think that eating something as delicious and fun as popcorn could help you preventing and treating anemia effectively. It is due to the iron contained in corn is relatively high.
35. Prevents Hypertension
Hypertension could occur when blood pressure is no longer under controlled. Once blood pressure and heart rate is under controlled, something like hypertension could be prevented easily.
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Natural Source of Calories
Among other foods in many populations, corn considered to be one of the grain which is containing calories in relatively high amount.
Related: Foods and Drinks Calories Table
36. Weight Gain Solution
As high in calories, corn is recommended food for those who have problem with gaining weight. Furthermore, corn is also containing carbohydrate that will assist in the process of gaining weight.
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37. Survival Solution in Agricultures-based Nations
In some countries with food problems, corn is type of food firstly exported as food aid because of its high calories contain will becomes the best survival solution to assist in dealing with food problems.
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More Benefits of Corn
Though there are a lot of studies have been conducted but there are more studies should be taken to proof more benefits of corn. Corn has shown positive indication towards certain conditions and though some benefits below still required more studies, but at least a good news is just around the corner.
38. Optimizes the Absorption of Minerals
Aside from the facts that corn is also containing compound best known as ant nutrients, some researchers also found that with the combination of other legumes will provide the opposite effect and optimize the absorption of minerals though further studies still required.
Related Article: Zinc Deficiency
39. Cosmetic Benefits
Today many cosmetic products have been using corn as part of the ingredients because even raw corn could assist in soothing the skin rashes and irritations. Many studies have been conducted to find out whether corn is able to be used as substitution of carcinogenic petroleum.
40. Possibly Could Act as Anti-HIV Activity
One thing that attracts many researches of corn is the possibility of corn as anti-HIV activity. It is due to the lectins found in corn which could bind a certain compound that help in inhibiting the activity of certain viruses including HIV virus. Though surely more studies are still required in more specific field.
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Cautions of Corn
It is true that all of the benefits mentioned above mostly have been proven through researches, studies or just daily observation but still there are some concerns you shouldn’t take for granted related to the cautions or side effects of consuming corn whether it is the amount or from where your corn comes from.
1. Be Aware of Corn from GMO
GMO or Genetically Modified Organism is the technology in agriculture we should appreciate but until now, GMO is not entirely safe for human body. That’s why you should aware from where your corn is cultivated. Today there are a lot of myth regulated that sweet corn is the product of GMO. Well, it is not entirely true because most of corn variety is taste deliciously sweet, so don’t worry but still be aware of where it comes from is important.
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2. Anti nutrients of Corn
Many legumes contain a certain acid called phytic acid which is also well known as anti nutrients. This compound is able to impairing the absorption of zinc and iron which is important to human body. However, it is not a big problem as long as you consume it in proper amount and besides the variety of foods you consume is also important. Consuming corn with meat regularly could cause this problem.
3. Fungi Contamination
The problem with agriculture product like corn is it is easily contaminated with fungi. The problem is not the fungi but the toxin that produced by the contamination called mycotoxins. Don’t be too panic with this toxin as long as you consume it in proper amount and not regularly, the worst effect could be avoided.
Corn is containing high carbohydrate and fatty acid. Mostly corn used as part of diet by those with weight gain problems. However, if you already have problem with your weight, avoiding corn and all products made from corn is important. Remember that corn contains the high source of carbohydrates, so if you consume it then please do balance it with protein and more nutrient body needs.
Related Article: Risk of Obesity
5. Be Aware of Corn Sweetener
There are a lot of products made from corn and one of them is artificial sweetener claimed from corn. Well, don’t fall to this cheap sweetener solution because the sugary level is much worse than the actual sugar product. So, be careful.
There are some discussions about corn since it is one of the crops cultivated in all over the world, so surely the number of people who are wondering how much corn benefits to human health is a lot and also some myths that are regulated. Corn is not type of vegetable you could consume uncooked, but there is myth stated that cooked corn will contain less nutrients. Well, it is not entirely true, cooked corn is just increasing and activating some antioxidants contained in corn. So, since corn is easy to find, offered in relatively cheap price and available all over the years, let’s start consuming corn from today onward and enjoy all the health benefits of corn.