Corn (maize) is one of oldest known crops – it was domesticated 7-12 thousand years ago on the territory of modern Mexico. Corn health benefits are appreciated all over the world. This plant is widely used not only in cooking but also in natural medicine.
Corn nutritional value cannot be underestimated. Corn grains are rich not only in vitamins A, PP, E, D, K, B1, B2 and ascorbic acid but also in several minerals (potassium, calcium, phosphorus, iron, magnesium and trace elements of nickel and copper). Corn is a good source of valuable essential amino acids (tryptophan, lysine) and protein. Its high fiber content ensures that it plays a significant role in the prevention of digestive ailments like constipation and hemorrhoids as well as colorectal cancer. The antioxidants present in corn also act as anti-carcinogenic agents and prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
Corn health benefits – antioxidants
Corn is a rich source of powerful antioxidants which fight cancer-causing free radicals. Antioxidants are able to reduce many of the most dangerous forms of cancer thanks of their ability to induce self suicide of cancerous cells (so called “apoptosis”), while leaving healthy cells unaffected. It was noted that cooked corn contains more antioxidants.
Corn contains anticancer phenolic compound (so called “ferulic acid”) which can effectively fight breast cancer and liver cancer.
Corn anthocyanins (mainly found in purple corns) can act as eliminators of cancer-causing free radicals.
In addition, corn beta-carotene in the body that is not converted into vitamin A can act as pretty strong antioxidant and can fight not only cancer but also life threatening heart diseases.
Corn health benefits – cardiovascular system
Corn health benefits
Corn is extremely useful for the cardiovascular system because of the unique grease containing about 80% of unsaturated fatty acids such as linolenic, linoleic and arachidonic. These acids are essential for the regulation of cholesterol in the blood. According to scientists, corn can reduce cholesterol absorption in the body and decrease levels of LDL (“bad cholesterol”) in blood stream without changing levels of HDL (“good cholesterol”).
According to natural medicine, corn can protect your heart thanks to corn oil anti-atherogenic effect on cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of various cardiovascular diseases. Corn oil can improve heart. Corn omega-3 fatty acids can strip away the damaging “bad” cholesterol and replace them at the binding sites – it protects vessels from clogs, prevents atherosclerosis, reduce blood pressure and decrease risks of heart attack and stroke.
Corn health benefits – diabetes
According to recent studies, the consumption of corn kernels assists in the management of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM). It was noted that corn phytochemicals can regulate the absorption and release of insulin in the body, which can reduce the chance of spikes and drops for diabetic patients which can help them to maintain normal lifestyle.
Corn health benefits – weight control
Corn is a good product for weight control. Corn in low in calories and contains 73% of water. At the same time, corn is good source of protein and fiber, both of which make you feel full and help maintain satiety for a longer period of time.
It should be noted that corn is also high enough in carbohydrates that it moderately boosts blood sugar.
Corn health benefits – gastroenteral system
Corn fiber aids in alleviating digestive problems including constipation and hemorrhoids. It was noted that corn can reduce risks of colon cancer due to corn being a whole-grain.
Corn fiber helps to bulk up bowel movements, to stimulate peristaltic motion and to trigger production of gastric juice and bile. Corn can also add bulk to overly loose stools, which can reduce risks of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and diarrhea.
Corn health benefits – nervous system
Corn vitamins are essential for nervous system – rich content of vitamins insure the normal functioning of the nervous system. Thiamin is very useful for maintaining nerve health and cognitive function. Corn protects nerve cells from damage, prevents and helps treat certain central nervous system disorders such as polio, epilepsy and mental fatigue.
Thanks to corn folic acid, consumption of this vegetable during pregnancy can prevent birth of underweight infants and neural tube defects in newborns.
Corn health benefits – cosmetic
Cornmeal (corn-flour) is well known cosmetic product. Mask of steamed corn meal allows you to clean the skin, improve the skin tone and get rid of pigmentation. The mask of cornmeal is perfectly moisturizes the skin, relieves dryness and flaking. Regularly used cornmeal masks made of corn flour mixed with lemon, honey and eggs can restore the elasticity of the skin.
Some cosmetic products contain corn starch – they can be applied topically to soothe skin rashes and irritation.
Corn health benefits – vision and skin
Yellow corn is a good source of beta-carotene which forms vitamin A (essential vitamin for good vision).
Melon belongs to Cucurbitaceae family which also includes squash, cucumber, pumpkin and gourd. Melon originated in Africa and southwest Asia. Most popular varieties of melon include watermelon, honeydew melon, musk…
Disclaimer: It is strongly recommended to consult your doctor for professional advice. Above mentioned information and recommendations are just general and should be adapted to each person according to personal health indicators and status.