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Is Corn Healthy?

Answer:

Corn IS healthy.

More Info: Corn is a versatile grain that has been cultivated in the North America for centuries.  Originating in Mexico from the wild grass teosinte, the Native Americans followed by the first American settlers cultivated the common corn plant that we recognize today.  Corn has an abundance of health benefits that include vitamin C, fiber, folate, and pantothenic acid.

is-corn-healthy

Fiber

The large amount of insoluble fiber in corn helps your digestive process by speeding the movement of food through your bowels. In turn, this helps with weight loss by helping you feel full longer, which keeps you from indulging in fattening snacks between meals. The fiber effect also prevents blood sugar spikes, which can make you feel hungrier or lead to developing diabetes. [“High-fiber foods.” Mayo Clinic]

Protein Content

The protein in corn is inadequate, although it is relied upon heavily in many third world countries. It is lacking in several important amino acids, and can cause malnutrition in parts of the world where it is relied upon as the sole food source. Corn should be mixed with other grains like beans and rice to round out its amino acid profile.  [Ensminger, 235]

Corn Helps Lower Cholesterol

Corn’s fiber also can help lower cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of developing colon cancer- a health threat to seniors.  [Ramjiganesh, T, Journal of Nutrition]

Folate

Corn is a good source of folate. If you are pregnant, or planning to get pregnant, folate is a vitally important ingredient in your diet. Folate deficiency can lead to neural tube defects in newborns. Symptoms of folate deficiency include: fatigue, gray hair, mouth ulcers, poor growth, and swollen tongue. [“Folate deficiency.” National Center for Biotechnology Information]

Thiamine

Your body must have thiamine, or vitamin B1, to metabolize the carbohydrates you consume and convert it into energy. Thiamine also helps with the proper functioning of your heart and cardiovascular system, as well as your nervous system and brain. [“Thiamine .” National Center for Biotechnology Information]

Pantothenic Acid

Corn contains pantothenic acid- a water-soluble vitamin your body needs to synthesize carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. A pantothenic deficiency can cause fatigue, irritability, and apathy. Other symptoms include hypoglycemia, insulin sensitivity, sleep disturbances, nausea, and muscle cramps.

 

“The Evolution of Corn.” Learn.Genetics™. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2012. http://learn.genetics.utah.edu/content/variation/corn/

“High-fiber foods – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2012. <http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fiber-foods/NU00582>.

“Folate deficiency – PubMed Health.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2012. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0001394/>

Ramjiganesh, T, and et al. “Corn fiber oil lowers plasma cholesterol by altering hepatic cholesterol metabolism and up-regulating LDL receptors in guinea pigs..” Journal of Nutrition 132.3 (2002): 335-340. Print.

Ensminger, Audrey H.. “Corn.” The concise encyclopedia of foods & nutrition. Boca Raton, Fla.: CRC Press, 1995. 235. Print.

“Thiamine – PubMed Health.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2012. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0000721/>

“Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University.” Linus Pauling Institute at Oregon State University. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2012. <http://lpi.oregonstate.edu/infocenter/vitamins/pa/>

“Where Did Corn Come From?.” Iowa Corn Association. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2012. www.iowacorn.org/en/corn_use_education/faq/

“Fruits & Veggies Matter: Fruit & Vegetable of the Month: Corn | CDC .” Fruits & Veggies Matter: Home: Eat a Colorful Variety of Fruits and Vegetables Every Day for Better Health | CDC. N.p., n.d. Web. 7 May 2012. http://www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov/month/corn.html

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