Poor corn. So faithful. So forgotten.
For generations, corn has been a staple for whole civilizations of people. Today, however, not many people toot its horn. Let me change that for just a minute.
One of the most well-known benefits of corn is its huge fiber content. It has so much fiber that it is really difficult to digest. A single ear of corn (medium size, about 7″ long) has 3g of dietary fiber. One cup of corn has 14.3% of the daily needs of fiber. The insoluble fiber found in corn is great for working on (and preventing) digestive issues like constipation and hemorrhoids.
Anyone who has eaten corn knows how hard it is to digest and has experienced its benefits but did you know that corn also has the following benefits?
- Corn is a good source of Vitamin C and manganese. These are both well-know antioxidants that help protect many of the body’s systems and its cells.
- More recently, corn’s phytonutrients have been documented to be good antioxidants and also to help reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.
- Some of the phytonutrients found in corn include beta-carotene and lutein, both of which help keep our eyes healthy.
- Corn is a low-calorie food that still has enough fiber to actually makes you feel full. One ear of corn has only 77 calories.
- Corn is also a good source of folic acid. The importance of folic acid (especially for pregnant women) was discussed in more detail in a previous post.
- Surprisingly, there is a decent amount of protein found in corn, with a single ear having 3g. The best part of the protein found in corn is that it is high quality with a great amino acid score of 83.
- Let’s see if I can explain the amino acid score without putting anyone to sleep.
- Protein is made up of amino acids. The body breaks protein down into its amino acids in order to use them. There are 9 essential amino acids, or amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own so we have to get them from our diet.
- Amino acids can only be used by our bodies in specific proportions. If you have 100% of 8 amino acids but only have 50% of the 9th, the body will only use 50% of each of the amino acids. This is a simplification, I’m sure, but you get the point.
- The amino acid score is a number (from 0 – 100) that tells you how proportionately balanced the amino acid in that food is. By comparison, a sirloin, which is considered a great protein source, has an amino acid score of 94.
- In other words, corn is a good source of good protein.
- The high fiber and good protein quality in corn help regulate how quickly it passes through the digestive system. This benefits blood sugar by regulating the uptake of sugar from the digestive tract into the blood stream. This makes corn great for diabetics and anyone trying to control blood sugar.
- Corn just tastes good.
There are many reasons corn is a great staple for our dinner tables. If you haven’t had the pleasure of eating some delicious corn lately, look up your favorite recipe and have some tonight.
And, of course, with so many amazing health benefits, you know you can find corn in Dee’s Cereal.