*Corn, also called sweet corn or sugar corn is a variety of maize, Zea mays var. rugosa.
*Sweet corn is picked when immature and eaten fresh as a vegetable.
*Corn grows in "ears," each of which is covered in rows of corn kernels, which are then protected by the silk-like threads called "corn silk" and encased in a husk.
*Though white and yellow corn are the most common varieties, corn comes in a variety of colors like red, pink, black, and blue.
*Yellow corn is a very rich source of Vitamin A and carotenoids than the other varieties.
*Corn can cause allergies in some people, so people with known corn allergies should stay away from it.
*Buying and storage: Select corn placed in the refrigerator or in a cool place and enveloped by fresh bright green husks. Kernels should be juicy, plump and tightly arranged in rows. Remove its husk just before cooking and use within 1-2 days. To store, place in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, keeps well for up to 3 days. Freezes well and keeps well for up to a year.
Is it raw?
Yes and No.
*Yes, when picked fresh from the supermarkets.
*No, because the canned corn kernels are processed.
1. Corn is very low in calories, has minimal amounts of fats and no cholesterol.
2. Good source of folic acid, a B- group vitamin, which is very essential for proper cell division because of its role in DNA synthesis. When consumed regularly by pregnant women, it prevents birth defects like spina bifida in the fetuses.
3. Folic acid is also essential for a healthy heart. It prevents the accumulation of homocysteine, an intermediary metabolite of protein metabolism, which promotes atherosclerosis by reducing the integrity of blood vessel walls and by interfering with the formation of collagen.
4. Yellow corn is rich in a substance called beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoids is found to lower the risk of developing the lung cancer.
5. Very good source of thiamine, which is needed for the synthesis of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for memory. Thiamine enhances the production of energy and improves memory.
6. Pantothenic acid, is another very important B-group vitamin essential for carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism.
7. Good source of other B – group vitamins like thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, and B6 that are essential to enhance the energy production from the foods.
8. Good source of Vitamin C, a natural water soluble antioxidant. It enhances the body's immune system, increases the elasticity of skin and blood vessels, and prevents bruising of the skin.
9. Moderate source of minerals like calcium, iron, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and manganese, which play a very important role in maintaining proper metabolic activities of the body.
10. Good source of dietary fiber. It adds roughage to the contents of the intestines, promotes satiety, promotes the health of the colon, and also helps in relieving constipation, hemorrhoids, diverticular disorders, etc.
11. Good source of phytonutrients like lutein and zeaxanthin, which are carotenoids with antioxidant properties. These are naturally present in large concentrations in the eyes. They lower the risk of eye diseases like cataract formation and age-related macular degeneration (hardening of arteries in the eyes)