Corn: benefits, nutritional values ​​and contraindications

When was the last time you consumed corn? It may not be that long ago. It is a popular cereal.

Last update: October 27, 2021

Corn is a cereal with ancient origins. The Native Americans, before the arrival of Christopher Columbus, considered it the basis of life. This seed has penetrated almost all the gastronomies of the world since then.

It has innumerable varieties and can be found in different preparations on each continent. You must have eaten it hundreds of times in your life.

But, have you ever wondered what consuming it brings you? Can ingesting it cause you any harm? In this article we will tell you what benefits you get and their value in the kitchen. Keep reading and you know it.

Nutritional values ​​of corn

From a nutritional point of view, corn is superior to other cereals, except for the protein content. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), 100 grams of corn provide 86 grams of kilocalories, 3.27 grams of protein, 18 grams of carbohydrates and 2 grams of fiber. It is considered a good source of starchas it has 5.7 grams.

It is a great source of minerals. It provides 37 milligrams of magnesium, 270 of potassium, 89 milligrams of phosphorus and 15 of sodium. Of vitamins it contains 6.8 milligrams of vitamin C, 187 International Units of vitamin A, 42 micrograms of folic acid and 23 milligrams of choline.

It is the only pro-vitamin A cereal, which means that it is the only one capable of being converted into vitamin A by the body.

Corn benefits

Eating corn has significant health benefits. We explain them below.

Corn is an ancient product. American cultures have always had it as the basis of their diet.

1. Antioxidant properties

Containing carotenoids, such as lutein (644 International Units) and cryptoxanthin (115 International Units), the power to block free radicals is remarkable. Both substances are considered powerful antioxidants.

Lutein and cryptoxanthin are often responsible for the orange and yellow color of food. These are carotenoids if we classify them chemically.

Antioxidants fight free radicals, which are chemical substances that introduce oxygen to the cells of the body, causing oxidation in different parts and accelerating aging.

2. Weight control

Some types of corn are rich in amylose, one of the components of starch. Therefore, they help control weight. This variety of starch is not digested in the small intestine, reaches the large intestine and feeds the intestinal flora. Therefore, it helps to regulate the transit and gives a greater feeling of satiety.

3. For brain function

By containing choline, corn becomes an important part of the diet for brain function. Choline is a nutrient that is necessary for the synthesis of acetylcholine. It’s about a neurotransmitter that performs functions in memory and muscle control.

What’s more, corn also contains large amounts of folic acid. It is involved in the function 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), increasing the speed of impulse transmission.

4. Gluten free

Corn is one of the Diet Bases for People Who Cannot Consume Gluten. Gluten is a protein found in some grains such as wheat, barley, and rye.

Uses of corn in the kitchen

Almost all households in the world consume this product. Different ingredients can be obtained from it to prepare products or the grain can be used in the preparations.

Some of the products that you may know and use are the following:

  • Flour.
  • Syrup.
  • Starch.
  • Pasta.
  • Oil.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) ensures that corn is used as a basic human food in Mexico, all of Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa. In these regions, the forms of preparation vary.

They are eaten boiled, the toasted grain, in soup or jelly and stews known as cachapas, in fermented grains or as a dough. There are numerous corn-based preparations, such as arepa, polenta, popcorn, corn bread, tacos, tamales, and tortillas.

Popcorn is a staple movie companion in many countries.

Corn contraindications

As we already know the benefits, now it is also necessary to consider that the product has some contraindications. The main one resides in its high starch content. Starch is made up of glucose chains, that is, sugars.

People with diabetes should reduce the intake of this food and its derivatives.

Beyond that specific care, there are no other care recommendations for the food. As long as it is included in a varied and balanced diet, it will be prudent for it to be present in the pattern.

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