Also known as corn (Zea mays), corn is one of the most popular grains in the world.
Corn seeds are seeds of grassy plants, originating from Central America but they are now bred into countless varieties in the world.
Popcorn and sweet corn are the most popular corn foods, and many refined corn products are also widely consumed, as raw materials for dishes.
Corn-based dishes include tortilla, corn tortillas, corn porridge, corn flour, corn starch, corn syrup and corn oil.
Whole corn also has many benefits on par with other grains. They are rich in fiber and vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.
A normal yellow corn will look like:
Maize is usually yellow, but it is now possible to create a variety of maize varieties, such as red, orange, purple, blue, white and black.
Besides being rich in water, corn is primarily made up of carbohydrates and a small amount of protein and fat
The following table provides detailed information on all the nutrients in corn .
seventy three %
Do not produce cholesterol
Like all cereal grains, corn mainly contains carb .
Starch is the main type of carb found in corn, accounting for 28-80% of dry weight. Corn also contains a small amount of sugar (1-3%) .
, also known as sugar corn, is a type that contains extremely little starch (28%) and has a high sugar content (18%) which is mainly sucrose .
is an indicator of carb digestibility. Foods with this high index can cause blood sugar to spike.
Although sweet corn has relatively high sugar content, it is not a high glycemic food. Corn is ranked low to moderate on the glycemic index .
Summary: The main ingredient of corn is carb. It has a low to moderate glycemic index, so whole corn does not cause a sudden increase in blood sugar.
Corn contains relatively high fiber content.
A bag of medium sized cinema popcorn (112g) contains about 16 grams of fiber.
This amount of fiber is equivalent to 42% and 64% of dietary fiber intake, respectively for men and women .
The fiber content of maize types is often different, but generally ranges from 9-15% .
The main types of fiber in corn are insoluble fiber like hemicellulose, cellulose and lignin .
Summary: Whole grain corn has a high fiber content. In fact, a bag of popcorn can contain a large amount of fiber, which accounts for a high proportion of the recommended daily intake.
Protein in corn
Corn is a rich source of protein.
Depending on the corn variety, the protein content may range from 10-15% .
The protein with the highest content in corn is zein, accounting for 44-79% of the total protein content .
In general, the protein quality of zein is quite low because they lack some essential amino acids, mainly lysine and tryptophan .
In addition to being nutritious, zein is also quite unique and is used in the industry of manufacturing glue, printing ink, capsule, candy and nuts .
Summary: Corn contains many low quality proteins.
Fat content in corn ranges from 5-6%, which makes corn a low-fat food .
However, Corn - a byproduct of milling, is rich in fat and is used to make corn oil, often used in cooking.
Refined corn oil mainly contains linoleic acid, a polyunsaturated fatty acid, the rest is monounsaturated and saturated fat .
Corn oil also contains a significant amount of vitamin E, ubiquinone (Q10) and phytosterols, which increase the life span of corn oil itself and also make it effective for lowering cholesterol levels .
However, there are still some doubts with refined seed oils like corn oil. Although whole corn is beneficial, corn oil is not recommended.
Summary: Whole corn is relatively low in fat. However, corn oil can occasionally be produced by processing corn germ, a byproduct of corn milling.
Vitamins and minerals
Corn contains vitamins and minerals with relative content.
However, this content depends on the type of corn.
Generally, popcorn is quite rich in minerals, while sweet corn contains many vitamins.
Popcorn / Popcorn:
Mangan: An essential trace element found in high levels in cereals, beans, fruits and vegetables. In corn there is phytic acid so the amount of manganese absorbed from corn is quite small .
Phosphorus: Found in both high levels of popcorn and sweet corn, phosphorus is a mineral that plays an important role in the growth and maintenance of muscle tissue in the body.
Magie: An important nutrient mineral. Magnesium deficiency may increase the risk of many chronic diseases such as heart disease .
Zinc: A trace element has many important functions for the body. Due to the presence of phytic acid in corn, the absorption of zinc from corn is not highly effective .
Copper: A trace element has antioxidant properties, often lacking in Western diets. Copper deficiency can cause adverse effects on cardiovascular health .
Pantothenic acid : A B-type vitamin, also known as vitamin B5. This substance is found in most foods and cases of vitamin B5 deficiency rarely occur.
Folate: Also known as vitamin B9 or folic acid, folate is an essential nutrient, especially important during pregnancy .
Vitamin B6: A group of related vitamins, the most common of which is pyridoxine. This substance contains many different functions for the body.
Niacin: Also known as vitamin B3, niacin in corn is often difficult to absorb. Cooking corn with lemon can release more niacin to absorb .
Potassium: An essential nutrient to control blood pressure and improve cardiovascular health .
Summary: Corn is a nutritional source that contains many vitamins and minerals. Popcorn tends to contain more minerals, while sweet corn has a higher vitamin content.
Other plant compounds
Corn contains a large amount of antioxidants
Corn contains a number of bioactive plant compounds, some of which may have certain health benefits.
In fact, corn contains high levels of antioxidants compared to many other common cereals .
Ferulic acid: One of the main polyphenol antioxidants in corn. This content in corn is higher than other grains such as wheat, oats, rice .
Anthocyanin: A group of antioxidants is responsible for creating colors of corn such as blue, purple, red .
Zeaxanthin: Named after the science of corn (Zea mays), zeaxathin is one of the most common carotenoids in plants. In humans, this substance can improve eye health .
Lutein: One of the main carotenoids in corn. Like zeaxathin, this substance is found in the human eye (retina), where it acts as an antioxidant, protecting the eyes from being damaged by blue light .
Phytic acid: An antioxidant can reduce the absorption of nutrient minerals, such as zinc and iron .
Summary: Corn contains a large amount of antioxidants, more than some other grains. Corn is especially rich in carotenoids that are beneficial for eye health.
Popcorn is a special type of corn - corn kernels will bloom when exposed to high temperatures.
This happens when water - trapped in the corn grain core turns into steam, creates pressure inside the corn grain, and eventually makes the corn grains explode.
This is an extremely popular snack, popcorn or popcorn is one of the most popular whole-grain foods in the United States.
In fact, popcorn is one of the few common cereals consumed in a single food form. Often cereals are consumed in the form of ingredients in foods, such as bread and tortilla .
Whole foods have many health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes .
However, eating popcorn today does not improve cardiovascular health .
Although popcorn itself is healthy, they are often combined with sugary drinks and are often added with salt and processed with high-calorie cooking oils - this factor may be bad health effects over time .
Summary: Popcorn is processed by heating corn grain until the grain explodes. It is a popular form of snacks, classified as whole grains
Benefits to health
Eating whole-grain corn regularly may have some health benefits.
Beneficial to the eyes
and are two of the most common visual impairments in the world and the main cause of blindness .
Infection and old age are also one of the main causes of these two diseases, but nutritional deficiency also plays an important role.
Dietary intake of antioxidants, especially carotenoids, such as zeaxanthin and lutein, may have significant benefits for the health of the eyes .
Lutein and zeaxanthin are the major carotenoids in corn, accounting for about 70% of the total carotenoid content. However, the content of these substances is generally quite low in white corn .
Often referred to as retinal pigments, lutein and zeazanthin are found in the human retina - the inner surface of the eye - which is very sensitive to light. Here they protect the eyes from oxidizing agents caused by blue light .
High levels of carotenoids in the blood are closely related to reducing the risk of two diseases: macular degeneration and cataract .
Observational studies have also shown that a diet high in lutein and zeaxanthin is able to protect the body , but not all studies have come to this conclusion .
One study conducted with 356 middle-aged and elderly people found that people who consumed carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxanthin, had a 43% reduction in the risk of macular degeneration compared with peers. receive the least .
In short, regular eating foods rich in lutein and zeaxanthin such as yellow corn, have a positive effect on the health of the eyes.
Summary: As a nutrient rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, corn plays an active role in maintaining eye health.
Preventing excess bagitis
Sick (Colon inflammation of the colon) is a disease condition characterized by the appearance of vesicles on the lining of the colon.
The main symptom of this disease is abdominal pain, flatulence, bloating - other less common symptoms are bleeding and infection.
Although there is a lack of evidence, it is advised to avoid popcorn and other high-fiber foods, such as dried nuts and grain foods, to prevent colitis inflammation of the colon .
However, a study that looked at 47,228 men over the past 18 years had a result that went against the advice above.
In fact, eating popcorn has been shown to protect the body. Men who eat popcorn are 28% less likely to develop colitis than those who eat less popcorn .
We still need to do more research to confirm this result.
Summary: Corn does not develop colon inflammation, as is often thought. On the contrary, it seems to be a food that can protect health.
Side effects and issues to consider when eating corn
Corn is still considered a safe food.
However, eating corn may become a concern for some, especially for those who consider corn a staple food.
Anti-nutritional substances in corn
Like all cereal grains, whole grains contain phytic acid (phytate).
Phytic acid weakens the ability to absorb nutrients, such as iron and zinc, in the same meal .
Normally, eating corn does not have a big impact if a balanced diet of foods or meat is regularly eaten, but this can become a concern for developing countries - where Grains and beans are the main food.
The immersion, germination, and fermentation of corn can significantly reduce phytic acid concentration .
Summary: Corn contains phytic acid, a plant compound that can reduce the absorption of minerals such as iron and zinc.
Some cereals and beans are susceptible to fungal infections.
Fungi produce various toxins, called mycotoxins, and this is considered a serious health concern .
The main mycotoxins found in corn are fumonisin, aflatoxin and trichothecene.
Special attention should be paid to fumonisin.
They are found in most preserved cereals around the world, but their effects are mainly related to the consumption of corn and corn products, especially for maize users. main food at meal .
Eating contaminated corn is considered a risk of cancer and neural tube defects - a common type of birth defect that can lead to disability or death .
An observational study in South Africa suggests that regular consumption of cornstarch may increase the risk of esophageal cancer - duct feeding from the mouth to the stomach .
Other mycotoxins in corn can also cause many side effects.
In April 2004 in Kenya, 125 people died of aflatoxin poisoning after eating the same corn they planted but were not properly stored .
To effectively prevent fungi, we can use fungicides and corn drying before storing.
In the most developed countries, food safety agencies always monitor the level of mycotoxins present in food in the market, and all food production and preservation processes are subject to regulation. Strict.
Generally eating corn and corn-based foods is not the cause of the above concerns.
However, in developing countries and wherever corn is grown, the risk of adverse health effects will be higher
Summary: When corn is stored improperly, it can be contaminated with fungal toxins, leading to adverse health effects. This is often not common in developed countries.
Corn is one of the most widely consumed grains.
A nutritional source of many antioxidant carotenoids, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, yellow corn (or other colors) can help improve eyes health.
Corn is also a good source of vitamins and minerals
For this reason, eating whole corn with moderate doses, such as eating popcorn or sweet corn, is a perfect fit for a healthy diet.