Corn is quite a popular meal that is eaten widely around the world. In the United States alone, there are over 200 species that are grown. Corn is such a versatile food and can be eaten in various ways. This is why there have been so many questions as to whether it is a vegetable, fruit, or grain.
In this article, I will be dissecting why it could fit into any of those categories. Ride with me.
Is corn a carb?
Corn is primarily a carb as it is quite high in carbohydrates and fiber. It is relatively low in protein and fat.
Is corn a vegetable
Corn, when harvested fresh, is considered a vegetable. The kernels are still juicy and filled with water. The way it is eaten is quite different from its dry form. In this state, it can be cooked and eaten off the cob. Alternatively, it can be mixed with other vegetables.
Is corn a fruit
In technical terms, corn is a fruit because it develops from the ovary of the maize plant. Corn is a one-seeded fruit that is called a caryopsis, with the outer wall and seed fused tightly together. In general, fruits that belong to the caryopsis family are referred to as grains. Wheat, rye, and barley are all members.
Is corn a grain?
Corn can be considered a grain. When corn is picked when it is fully grown and dry, instead of when it is still green, it is called a grain. In this form, it can be milled into cornmeal and flour and used to produce foods such as bread, tortillas, flour, etc. Corn fits the definition of a “whole grain,” which is a grain that has all its parts intact-the germ, endosperm, and bran.
What are the nutritional components of corn?
- A 100 grams of boiled corn yields the following
- 96 calories
- 3.4 grams of Protein
- 21 grams of Carbs
- 2.4 grams of Fiber
Corn, like other cereal grains, is mostly made up of carbohydrates. Dry weight ranges from 28 percent to 80 percent starch. The corn you eat also has some sugar in it (between 3% and 5%).
Sweet corn, sometimes known as sugar corn due to its increased sugar content of 18% by dry weight, is a low-starch type of maize. Sucrose makes up the bulk of the sugar.
The glycemic index places sweet corn in the low to medium range, despite its high sugar content (GI). The GI estimates how quickly carbohydrates are absorbed by the body. Foods that score highly on this index have a greater potential to induce an undesirable surge in blood sugar.
Corn is rich in dietary fiber. The average amount of fiber in a medium bag of popcorn (112 grams) is 16g.
This corresponds to 42% of the DV for men and 64% for women. This corresponds to 42% of the DV for men and 64% of the DV for women. Depending on the variety, corn’s fiber content can range from 9-15% of its dry weight.
Non-water-soluble fibers, including hemicellulose and lignin, make up the bulk of corn’s structural components.
Corn is a food that has a fair amount of protein. Depending on the type, the protein content ranges between 15% and 30%.
Zeins are the most common proteins in corn, accounting for up to 79% of the total protein content. However , zeins have low protein quality due to a lack of some necessary amino acids.
The manufacturing of adhesives, inks, candies, and nuts are just some of the many ways zeins are utilized in industry. Zeins also have a wide range of other applications.
- Several vitamins can be found in corn as well.
Vitamin B5, or pantothenic acid, This acid, which is sometimes referred to as vitamin B5, is present in small amounts in the vast majority of foods. As a result, deficiency is unusual.
Folate. Folate, sometimes called vitamin B9 , is an important vitamin, but it’s especially crucial for pregnant women.
Vitamin B6 Pyridoxine is the most common form of the vitamin in the B6 family, which also includes several other compounds that are very similar. It performs a number of important tasks in your body.
Niacin. Niacin, often known as vitamin B3, is poorly absorbed in corn. Lime can be added to maize while cooking to increase the absorption of this vitamin.
Potassium. Potassium, an essential mineral, helps maintain healthy blood pressure and may benefit heart function.
Is corn good for you when trying to lose weight?
Corn, because of its high fiber content, makes for a fantastic grain for dieting. Corn has a type of carbohydrate called resistant starch, which is also found in bananas and cold pasta. This type of carbohydrate cannot be broken down by the body.
Because of this, the body doesn’t get enough calories and glucose, a substance that turns into fat if it isn’t used for energy. Weight loss is aided by the digestive benefits of fiber. Antioxidants included in corn speed up the metabolic process.
What are some enjoyable ways to eat corn?
Corn can be enjoyed in a variety of ways.
Popped corn: Corn kernels, especially those of the Indian variety, can be placed in a sauce pan on low heat to create some tasty, crunchy popcorn. Add butter, milk, and sugar as you deem fit to create a tasty snack.
Roast corn: Corn can be grilled or roasted over an open flame.
Sweet corn can be stir fried with other vegetables of your choice.
Corn kernels can also be removed from their cob and enjoyed in salads.
What are the benefits of corn?
Rich in potassium
Many Americans don’t receive enough of the vital vitamin potassium, which is abundant in corn. Potassium aids in controlling blood pressure and ensuring a healthy cardiac rhythm. Hypokalemia, brought on by low potassium levels, can be dangerous.
Promotes eye health
Cataracts and age-related macular degeneration are two of the leading causes of blindness worldwide. These disorders can be caused by a number of factors, including infections and old age, but nutrition may play an important influence. Carotenoids like zeaxanthin and lutein are two examples of antioxidants that may help keep your eyes healthy if you eat them.
About 70% of corn’s carotenoid content is made up of lutein and zeaxanthin, the two most abundant carotenoids. However, they are typically not very numerous in white corn. These molecules, also known as macular pigments, can be found in the retina and serve to prevent oxidative damage from blue light.
Protection against Diverticulitis
If you suffer from diverticular illness (diverticulosis), your colon will develop pouches. Cramps, gas, bloating, and, less frequently, bleeding and infection are the major signs. People used to think that eating foods high in fiber, like popcorn, would bring on this illness. New research, on the other hand, shows that popcorn really can help keep these diseases from happening.
Corn is rich in insoluble fiber, which is eliminated without being digested. MedlinePlus says that eating foods with insoluble fiber makes stools bigger and helps get rid of waste more quickly. This keeps stools soft and regular, which lowers the risk of constipation, hemorrhoids, and maybe even colon cancer.
One more study in June 2019 indicated that increasing one’s fiber intake was associated with reduced body fat. So, the fiber in maize may help people lose weight by making them feel fuller after eating.
What are the health risks of corn
Increased diabetes risk
Corn, much like potatoes , is a starchy vegetable. The sugar and carbs in it can cause a spike in blood sugar. Including it in moderation can still contribute to a healthy diet. In general, diabetics shouldn’t stay away from maize, but they should be mindful of their intake.
Presence of antinutrients
Antinutrients, which are also found in corn, make it hard for the body to absorb phytic acid (phytate) in the right way. Minerals in food, such as iron, are less absorbed when phytic acid is present. Phytic acid levels in corn can be greatly decreased through soaking, sprouting, and fermentation.
Presence of mycotoxins
Fungi can easily infect some types of cereals and legumes. Mycotoxins are a group of poisons made by fungi that are very dangerous to people’s health. Corn is frequently infected with fungi that release these poisons. When you eat too much corn with these toxins, it can cause cancer, liver disease, lung problems, and a weaker immune system.
Celiac disease, also called gluten intolerance, is an autoimmune disease that happens when you eat wheat, rye, or barley.
Gluten intolerance can make you feel weak, bloated, have diarrhea, and lose weight quickly, among other things.
Gluten-free diets alleviate symptoms for the vast majority of people with celiac disease. Still, it appears that the symptoms linger in some individuals.