Health Benefits of Corn/Maize
Corn/Maize is rich in Vitamin B12, folic acid and iron which helps in the production of red blood cells in the body. Thus it reduces the risk of Anemia and doubles as energy enhancer. It is wonderful for the underweight and helps to lower blood sugar and cholesterol level. Corn also assists pregnant women as energy booster while maintaining a healthy skin.
You may wonder how nutritious or otherwise the corn is. It may gladden your heart to know that one medium ear of cooked, yellow, sweet corn provides:
* 77 calories
* 17.1 grams of carbohydrates
* 2.4 grams of dietary fiber
* 2.9 grams of sugars
* 2.5 grams of fiber
* 2.9 grams of protein
* 1.1 grams of fat
Corn/Maize also contains
Vitamins- A, B and C with potassium, magnesium, iron and zinc.
CORN/MAIZE AND DIABETES
One of the FAQs about this food is whether diabetics can eat it. The answer is YES! This is because it is a veritable source of energy, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. It is also low in sodium and fat. However, diabetics are advised to set a daily limit for the amount of carbs they plan to eat, and keep track of the carbohydrates they consume. They should also keep a tab on the glycemic index (GI) of foods they consume.
Glycemic index of corn
Glycemic index (GI) simply means how food affects blood glucose (blood sugar). Foods with a GI from 56 to 69 are medium glycemic foods. Low-glycemic foods score less than 55. Foods with a high-glycemic index (70 and above) can increase your blood sugar level. Corn/Maize ordinarily has a glycemic index 52 while other related derivatives could be higher like cornflakes (81) and popcorn (65).
Diabetics should focus on foods with low-GI.
Health benefits of eating corn
1. It contains high level of flavonoids, (its largest group of phenolic compounds) which reduces the risk of chronic diseases, including diabetes.
2. A recent study shows that moderate intake of resistant starch (about 10 grams per day) from corn can reduce glucose and insulin response.
3. Regular whole grain corn consumption improves digestive health and can lower the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as type 2 diabetes and obesity.
4. High-fructose corn syrup is a sweetener made from corn. It’s commonly found in processed foods. Although, high-fructose corn syrup may not raise blood sugar levels as much as regular sugar does, it doesn’t stimulate the release of insulin, leaving people with diabetes in need of insulin to regulate blood sugar.
A PLUS FOR CORN/MAIZE (COMMERCIALIZATION)
Beyond serving as a staple on the menu chart and assisting with keeping healthy, the corn/maize can help one achieve economic stability.
Some of the species farmed at commercial level include: dent corn, flint corn, flour corn, sweet corn and popcorn.
Dent corn is characterized by a depression in the crown of the kernel caused by unequal drying of the hard and soft starch making up the kernel.
Flint corn contains a little soft starch and has no depression.
Flour corn is composed largely of soft starch and has soft, mealy, easily ground kernels.
Sweet corn has wrinkled translucent seeds but the plant’s sugar is not converted to starch as in other types.
Popcorn, an extreme type of flint corn characterized by small hard kernels, is devoid of soft starch, and heating causes the moisture in the cells to expand, forcing the kernels to explode.
Improvements and high demands in the use of corn have resulted in hybridization, based on crossbreeding of superior inbred strains.
The various species are in high demand by people who require them for various purposes (including domestic and commercial use) u can be a corn/maize farmer today, or engage in processing and storage as a middle man. The list is endless, of the opportunities being offered by corn/maize.
Many parts of the corn plant are used in industry. Cornstarch can be broken down into corn syrup, a common sweetener that is generally less expensive than sucrose; high-fructose corn syrup is used extensively in processed foods such as soft drinks and candies. Stalks are made into paper and wallboard; husks are used as filling material; cobs are used directly for fuel, to make charcoal, and in the preparation of industrial solvents. Corn grain is processed by wet milling, in which the grain is soaked in a dilute solution of sulfurous acid; by dry milling, in which the corn is exposed to a water spray or steam; and by fermentation, in which starches are changed to sugars and yeast, is employed to convert the sugars into alcohol. Corn husks also have a long history of use in the folk arts for objects such as woven amulets and corn-husk dolls.
Corn is also used to produce ethanol (ethyl alcohol). To do this, corn ethanol is typically blended with gasoline to produce “gasohol,” an automotive fuel that is 10 percent ethanol.
Although corn-based biofuels were initially touted as environmentally friendly, it has smaller impact on the food chain than corn ethanol, though the conversion technology is generally less efficient than that of first-generation biofuels.
The CORN/MAIZE has just presented itself as a simple, friendly, stress-free crop that you can plant in the garden, just within the compound and which can assist with some health challenges, make the kitchen to bubble and possibly make you smile to the bank.