Corn. Think summer, sun, freshly roasted ears, buttery and delicious! But how nutritious is corn?
This humble vegetable has been much debated. Is it just a starchy vegetable or is there actually value from this sweet dish?
Corn, whether whole kernel or on the cob, contains a potent phyto-chemical known as ferulic acid. This amazing phyto-chemical is also found in rice bran and tomatoes. Ferulic acid fights free radicals that are cell damaging. Ferulic acid helps diminish plaque build up in artery walls. Corn also contains significant amounts of folate, which helps to lower levels of the amino acid homocysteine. 1Elevated levels of this amino acid can damage blood vessels, and are considered a factor in stokes, heart attacks, and peripheral heart disease. Diets that are rich in folate are also associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer. Amazing maize!
Adding foods to your diet such as corn and other yellow, red and orange foods, (think tangerines, melons, red bell peppers, and of course, corn), may significantly reduce one's risk of lung cancer by providing beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotinoid found in significant amounts in corn and the above mentioned foods. Research indicates smokers benefit from these healthy foods as well2.
Thiamin, found abundantly in corn, is critical for brain cell/cognitive function, which can be a contributing factor in age-related problems such as memory loss, senility, and Alzheimer's Disease.3
Corn also contains Lutein, which helps protect our eyes as we age! Definitely a worthy menu item!
You can check your local paper for Farmer's Markets in Rockport, Tx. Aransas Pass, Tx, and Corpus Christi, Tx,. You may also find information at http://www.localharvest.org. These feature locally grown produce, including organic, for a great price! So run out and get some corn! Cook it, grill it, grind it, bake it, but make sure it is a part of your healthy food choice today!
Shelli Rossignol, LMT/CR http://www.kiaorashelli.com
- Bazzano LA, He J, Odgen LG et al. Dietary intake of folate and risk of stroke in US men and women:NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. Stroke 2002 May;33(5):1183-9 2002.
- Yuan JM, Stram DO, Arakawa K, Lee HP, Yu MC. Dietary cryptoxanthin and reduced risk of lung cancer: the Singapore Chinese Health Study. Cancer Epidemiol Biomarkers Prev. 2003 Sep;12(9):890-8. 2003
- Ensminger AH, Esminger M. K. J. e. al. Food for Health: A Nutrition Encyclopedia. Clovis, California: Pegus Press; 1986 1986. PMID:15210.