Corn is known as maize. It is a cereal crop which is cultivated throughout the world. It is a large grain plant, belongs to grass family and is believed to have originated in Mexico and Central America. Corn is considered as staple food in many nations across the world. It is scientifically known by Latin name Zea mays. United States is the largest maize producer country in the world. According to the research, worldwide production of maize is more than 785 million tonnes. There are different varieties of corn available and each has its own characteristic. They are available in different colors like yellow, white, purple, blue, black, red and pink. Besides that, each color contains its own antioxidant, phytonutrient and carotenoid combination. In India corn is also called as makka, makki or makkai. And vendor use cob for selling maize which is called as “Bhutta”.
Corn is use for various culinary as well as non-culinary purposes. Being a food item it is used in various forms like cornstarch, corn flour, corn gluten, ground corn, roasted corncobs, corn syrup, whole corn, corn oil, popcorn, cornflakes, cornmeal, beer, alcohol and livestock feet etc. Besides that it is also utilized in herbal medicine, chemical products like plastics and fabrics, and to produce ethanol etc.
Corn is loaded with large number of valuable nutrients which are extremely beneficial for physically powerful human health. It is loaded with vitamin A, C, K, and E. apart from that, it contains B-complex group of vitamins such as niacin, pantothenic acid, folates, riboflavin, pyridoxine and thiamin. Some of these B- complex groups of vitamins act as co-factor to enzymes during substrate metabolism. Corn is packed with minerals like potassium, phosphorous, selenium, iron, zinc, calcium and magnesium etc. Corn is an excellent source of ferulic acid and phenolic flavonoid antioxidant. Research has proven that ferulic acid plays a key role in preventing aging, inflammation and cancer in human being. As maize is loaded with several valuable minerals, vitamins and fibers, it offers enormous health benefits as well which are mentioned below:
WONDERFUL HEALTH BENEFITS OF CORN:-
1) Beneficial in pregnancy:-
Corn is rich source of folic acid, a part of vitamin B, is essential during pregnancy. Because deficiency of folic acid may lead to birth defect in child. Folic acid is vital during pregnancy as it helps in the development of cells and regeneration during first couple of weeks of pregnancy. It makes certain spinal cord and brain form without any deformities. Also wipes out the chances of having a miscarriage. Hence, pregnant women should include corn in their diet as it beneficial for both child and expecting mother.
2) Known to have anti-cancer properties:-
One of the major benefits of cancer is that it plays a key role in the prevention of cancer. It is an excellent source of phytonutrients like ferulic acid, carotenoids, anthocyanins, vanillic acid, syringic acid, caffeic acid and coumaric acid which helps effectively in fighting tumors in the breast and liver. Besides that, antioxidants present in corn fight and eradicate cancer causing free radicals. Hence it reduces the occurrence of cancer.
3) Reduces the LDL cholesterol:-
Basically there are two types of cholesterol. One is good cholesterol that is (HDL) and the other one is bad cholesterol (LDL).Cholesterol is fat (lipid) produced by the liver and it is essential for normal body function. Regular consumption of fatty foods can cause into increase in bad cholesterol and thus may lead to cardiovascular diseases. Presence of vitamin C, carotenoids and bioflavinoids in corn helps to keep healthy heart by controlling cholesterol level and enhances flow of blood in body.
3) Prevent anemia:-
Anemia occurs due to lack of red blood cell and hemoglobin. Corn is an excellent source of vitamin B12, folic acid and iron. Significant amount of iron is essential to form new red blood cells. Because iron play a key role in anemia. Lack of iron can be a cause of anemia.
4) Improve digestive capacity:-
Corn is a rich source of dietary fiber which classifies into both soluble and insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber helps to prevent the problem of constipation and intestinal. Constipation causes due to slow movement of stool through the colon. It promotes the stool through the intestines and reduces the chances of irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. It maintains healthy development of friendly bacteria in large intestine. Thus, it ensures digestive health and reduces the chances of colon cancer.
5) Lowers the risk of macular degeneration:-
Corn contains beta carotene in large quantity. Beta carotene is essential to improve vision. because in macular degeneration people lose their vision. This disease mostly occurs in adults due to the deficiency of beta-carotene. So, having a diet including corn can be a great option to reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
6) Promote healthy heart:-
Corn oil is known to have anti-atherogenic effect on cholesterol level. Corn oil is a good combination optimal fatty acid which is beneficial for healthy heart. Thus, Omega-3 fatty acid plays a key role in alleviating damaged bad cholesterol and replacing them at bonding sites. Consequently prevent arteries from getting blocked (choked). As a result it reduces the risk of other heart diseases and stroke. Hence, daily consumption of corn is a good diet supplement for healthy heart.
7) Strengthen connective tissue:-
Connective tissue support, connect or separates different types of tissues and organs of the body. It is divided into bones, ligaments, tendons, cartilage and muscles. Corn contains manganese in large quantity which helps to strengthen connective tissue. In addition corn is a rich source of various minerals like iron, copper, phosphorus, zinc and magnesium which promote healthy bones and prevent from bone thinning and cracking.
8) Reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Though Alzheimer’s is a long term and non curable disease yet corn work effectively in reducing the risk of Alzheimer’s. Corn contains thymine, which provides energy to brain cells and acts as neurotransmitter.
9) Promote healthy skin:-
Corn is a rich source of antioxidant which fights against free radicals in the body and gives younger and glowing skin. Besides that it contains beta carotene and vitamin A which helps in maintaining healthy skin. Corn starch the form of corn is also beneficial to get rid from the skin irritation and rashes.
10) Other benefits:-
• Reduces kidney problems
• Good for diabetic people
• Relieves from urinary difficulties (Urinary tract infection)
• Beneficial to gain weight