IS CORN A TYPE OF VEGETABLE?

IS CORN A TYPE OF VEGETABLE-min

Corn is a popular food worldwide as it is used to make different dishes, with the most popular one being popcorn used as a snack worldwide. But with its nutritional composition, is corn a type of vegetable? Read on to find out.

Despite our daily encounter with corn, we may not have taken time to know whether it is a vegetable or not. Many people would say that corn is a different type of food but not a vegetable. Once the corn is detached from the cob, it is considered to be a grain. However, the grain from the cob has two scars, making it qualify to be a fruit.

Interestingly, when the corns are still attached to the cob, the whole thing becomes a vegetable. Eating this food as a fruit, vegetable, or whole grain can benefit you in several ways. Reading through this blog will help you understand how you can benefit from corn, its origin, and several ways you can incorporate it into your diet.

The Corn Origin

Corn was first grown in America before its popularity spread to other parts of the world. In some areas, corn is referred to as maize. It is a staple food for almost all communities worldwide. There are different varieties of corn; some are grown for human consumption, for decoration, while others are grown to manufacture animal feeds. However, we will consider the variety grown for human food, sweet corn, and the corn used to make popcorns.

Nutrients Found in Corn

Corn is quite nutritious, especially when eaten as a whole grain. Some people prefer eating it when it is more refined. However, refining it eliminates some of the nutrients, such as fiber. It contains other nutrients, minerals, and compounds such as proteins, potassium, magnesium, fiber, zinc, thiamin, niacin, pyridoxine, phosphorus, antioxidants, copper, fats, carbs, and calories.

Corn Health Benefits

The nutrients found in corn are attributed to many health benefits such as:

It Helps toImprove Digestion

Corn is rich in fiber which is crucial in the digestion of food. It also facilitates smooth movement of stool hence preventing constipation.

Assist in Preventing Diverticular Disease

The high fiber content in corn lowers the bad cholesterol in the body, preventing diverticular disease.

Corn May Reduce Blood Sugars in The Body

Diabetes is a condition where blood sugars in the body rise beyond normal. Taking a diet high in fiber may help control the condition. Fiber reduces the rate at which sugars are absorbed in the blood. Patients with diabetes can consider eating whole grain corn in moderation.

Improves Eye Health

Corn is rich in lutein and zeaxanthin. These nutrients are crucial in improving eye health and sight.

Cancer Prevention

The antioxidants found in corn prevent diseases such as cancer, especially colorectal and prostate cancer. Polyphenols in maize are the main antioxidants responsible for this role. Antioxidants also prevent damage to body cells that is caused by free radicals.

Blood Sugar Regulation

Corn may help in preventing blood pressure. Potassium found in corn may significantly lower blood pressure by assisting in heart muscles contractions. It may also aid in regulating the body fluids balance preventing the accumulation of water in the body to hypertension patients.

It May Boost Metabolism

Magnesium found in corn has been attributed to boosting chemical reactions in the body. Increased metabolism boosts energy production and also improves the contraction and relaxation of body muscles. Increased metabolism may also contribute to preventing obesity and diabetes.

It May Aid in Weight Loss

High-fiber diets are friendly to weight loss. Fiber increases the feeling of fullness after eating hence reducing the number of calories intake in a day. It also reduces cholesterol in the body. However, taking a large amount of corn can lead to weight gain.

How to Incorporate Corn in Your Diet

Corn is a quite flexible food served in several ways. There are different recipes to get corn into your diet. The most common way of serving corn is by popping and boiling them. Here are some other ways you can enjoy eating corn.

  • Substituting regular white rolls with whole-grain corn muffins.
  • Cheese chowder and corn. A delicious and simple meal to prepare.
  • Baked corn with cream. This meal is simple to prepare and attractive, especially to children.
  • Tomato pasta salad and corns. This meal is so healthy, attractive, and delicious. You may not necessarily require chicken. You can make it without the chicken and add it to many other meals.
  • Popcorn snack. A simple and healthy snack. One can make it healthier by preparing it at home rather than buying the pre-popped corns in the food stores. Those in the food stores may contain some additives such as flavors, colors, and excess salt.
  • Mexican grilled corn with cilantro. This is a delicious meal where corn is served on its cob. It is also attractive—a good snack for your breakfast.
  • Classic succotash.This is a healthy, attractive, and delicious meal that does not require many ingredients. However, many people find it complicated as it takes longer to prepare
  • Quick pickled corn. A simple, delicious dish to prepare. However, it requires a lot of time in the refrigerator. It is mostly taken during the summer season.

Side Effects

Corn is healthy when eaten as a whole grain. However, eating too much of it might lead to an increase in weight. It is also rich in carbs and calories. Diabetes patients should eat small portions of corn.  Eating highly sifted corn is unhealthy as it removes some of the nutrients found in the germ and the husk.

Conclusion

Corn is a vegetable, fruit, and wholegrain, depending on how you eat it. It is rich in vitamins, fiber, antioxidants, protein, zinc, copper, and phosphorous. Eating whole grain corn can help you to improve your digestion. Reduce chances of prostate cancer, reduce weight and manage diabetes. Corn is flexible. It can make different dishes such as Cheese chowder and corn, tomato pasta salad and corns, and Mexican grilled corn with cilantro.

Elena Ognivtseva

Nutritionist, Cornell University, MS I believe that nutrition science is a wonderful helper both for the preventive improvement of health and adjunctive therapy in treatment. My goal is to help people improve their health and well-being without torturing themselves with unnecessary dietary restrictions. I am a supporter of a healthy lifestyle – I play sports, cycle, and swim in the lake all year round. With my work, I have been featured in Vice, Country Living, Harrods magazine, Daily Telegraph, Grazia, Women's Health, and other media outlets.

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