The burnt, salted ears of corn with a zest of a lime on it are the perfect snack on a rainy day. But did you that besides tasting delicious, corn has many health benefits too? Very few people know that corn is a great source of fibre and many vitamins. They are used in salads, fast food, sold as ears with dressing and are easily available at local stalls and eateries. Corn starch is an important ingredient in many dishes, especially the Chinese preparations. In spite of the many forms, their nutritional value remains the same and provides great benefits to the body.
Rich in Fibre
A medium size corn cob can provide as much as 10 per cent of the daily dietary fibre required by our body for healthy functioning. Corn is rich in soluble and insoluble fibre and helps reduce cholesterol levels and protects the heart from various diseases and heart risks. The insoluble fibre content found in corn binds with cholesterol in the body and prevents it from being absorbed into the blood stream. Insoluble fibre also facilitates the proper functioning of the digestive system and eases the passage of waste from the body, thus preventing constipation. Including corn in the diet can be an effective remedy for those who are suffering from constipation. It absorbs water from the body to keep the stools soft and plays an important role in reducing the problem of haemorrhoids. Dietary fibre can also reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and it helps patients manage their disease.
Effective tool for weight loss
Corn produces a feeling of fullness in the body which makes a person eat less. This is particularly helpful for those who are trying to lose weight but are afraid of going on a diet.
Healthy for the Eyes
According to studies, corn is effective in preventing and protecting the eyes from chronic eye diseases. A condition such as Age Related Macular Degeneration is one of the major causes of blindness in the elderly. Corn contains essential carotenoids such as lutein and zeaxanthin which play an important role in slowing down the development of cataracts. According to researchers, these carotenoids prevent the clear proteins found in the lenses of the eyes from getting oxidised and turning cloudy.
Rich in Vitamins
Corn is rich in Vitamins B1, B5 and Vitamin C. Vitamin B1 plays a pivotal role in the metabolism or breakdown of carbohydrates. Vitamin B5 is important for proper physiological functions and Vitamin C is known to be an essential nutrient that helps the body fight diseases. It is also rich in folate which helps in the generation of new cells.
Corn is low on fat and provides only about 80 calories per medium ear. The lutein component of ear is not just beneficial for the eyes but it is also believed to prevent hardening of the arteries which can cause heart attacks and strokes. Corn also contains beta-cryptoxanthin, which is a relative of Vitamin A, which is believed to be effective in reducing bone loss, reducing the risk of inflammatory diseases and protection from cancers. This aspect is currently a subject of research. Corn is also an important source of folate which boosts cardiovascular health and is also known to be effective in reducing birth defects of neural tube. Corn is also believed to provide more energy to the body as it is rich in thiamine which is an important element for converting carbohydrates into energy. Furthermore, it also promotes the proper functioning of the heart, nervous system and the muscles.