Corn is an extremely versatile product that has been grown in the Americas for hundreds of years. Native Americans introduced it to the settlers who landed in Mesoamerica. The Native Americans called this vegetable maize. The English changed the name to corn because in England, the term corn was used to denote small particles or particular grains that referred to the grains on the corn cob. There are three main varieties of corn: sweet corn, dent corn and flint corn. Sweet corn is almost
entirely eaten by humans on the cob. Sweet corn is often found in supermarkets and in roadside produce stands. Dent corn is used as animal feed and for other industrial purposes. Flint corn is still grown in Central America and is the closest variety to maize. Varieties of flint corn are often used to make popcorn. Corn is such a versatile commodity that it can be used to make a variety of goods including sweetener, oil, flour and even plastic.
Corn is low in saturated fat and cholesterol, as well as sodium. It’s also a good source of dietary fiber, thiamin and folate. However, 82 percent of the calories in this food are from carbohydrates. This high-carbohydrate content is why corn can be used to make corn syrup a low-priced sugar alternative.
Health Benefits and Concern:
Corn can be made into a variety of healthy snacks. One example is popcorn. Popcorn is high in fiber and low in fat and calories, as long as butter or oil isn’t added. Corn on the cob is probably not the best vegetable to eat because there are many more vegetables that are healthier, contain less sugar and have more nutritional content. Corn is also mildly inflammatory, meaning that it causes inflammation in the body. This is most likely due to the fact that corn can raise blood sugar very quickly.
How Cooking Affects Corn’s Nutritional Value:
Raw corn is just about inedible; our bodies are not able to break down the cellulose of the corn kernels, so cooking is a must. However, raw corn does contain vitamin C, magnesium and phosphorus, which are not found in cooked corn. The cooking process causes the cell walls to break down, which makes this vegetable edible. But vitamins and minerals are lost during this process. Frozen cooked corn loses thiamin but does retain vitamin C and some minerals such as folate.