Corn. Think summer, sun, freshly roasted ears, buttery and delicious! But how nutritious is corn?
This humble vegetable has been much debated. Is it just a starchy vegetable or is there actually value in this sweet dish?
Corn, whether whole kernel or on the cob, contains a potent phyto-chemical known as ferulic acid. This amazing phyto-chemical is also found in rice bran and tomatoes. Ferulic acid fights free radicals that are cell damaging. Ferulic acid helps diminish plaque buildup in artery walls. Corn also contains significant amounts of folate, which helps to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine. Elevated levels of this amino acid can damage blood vessels, and are considered a factor in stokes, heart attacks, and peripheral heart disease. Diets that are rich in folate are also associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. Amazing maize!
Adding foods to your diet such as corn and other yellow, red, and orange foods (think tangerines, melons, red bell peppers), may significantly reduce one’s risk of lung cancer by providing beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoids found in significant amounts in corn and the above mentioned foods. Research indicates smokers benefit from these healthy foods as well.
Thiamin, found abundantly in corn, is critical for brain cell/cognitive function, which can be a contributing factor in age-related problems such as memory loss, senility, and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Corn also contains lutein, which helps protect our eyes as we age! Definitely a worthy menu item! So run out and get some corn! Cook it, grill it, grind it, bake it, but make sure it is a part of your healthy food choice today!