About 10,000 years ago, corn was first cultivated in parts of Mexico and Central America. Corn is usually considered a vegetable but it is actually a grain, rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Although the yellow color corn/maize is very common around the world, did you know that corn varieties come in many other colors too such as red, orange, purple, blue, white and even black.
The Myths Busted
Myth #1: Corn is fattening and sugary.
Truth: An ear of corn has about the same number of calories as an apple and less than one-fourth the sugar. In other words, it can be one of the healthier foods at the cookout! Just remember: while sweet corn is healthy, some of the toppings people like to put on it aren’t. So don’t assume an ear of corn slathered in butter and/or doused in salt water is still a healthy option.
Myth #2: Cooking corn makes it less nutritious.
Truth: Antioxidant activity, which helps protect the body from cancer and heart disease, is actually increased when it is cooked.
Myth #3: Corn has no health benefits.
Truth: Sweet corn is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin, two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision. A midsize ear also offers a helpful 3-gram dose of dietary fibre.
Myth #4: Sweet corn is high in sugar.
Yes, corn is sweet for a vegetable-but there are only 6 grams of natural sugar in a medium-size ear of corn. An ear of sweet corn has less than half the sugar of a banana and only about one-third the sugar of an apple. Even beets have more grams of sugar per serving than corn.
Here’s a round down of Healthline’s nutrition facts;
1. It is mainly composed of carbs. It scores low to medium on the glycemic index, so the whole grain variety should not cause large spikes in blood sugar.
2. Whole corn is fairly high in fibre. In fact, one bag of popcorn may contain a large proportion of the recommended daily intake.
3. Contains a decent amount of low-quality protein.
4. Whole corn is relatively low in fat. However, corn oil is sometimes processed from corn germ, a side product of corn milling.
5. A good source of many vitamins and minerals. Popcorn tends to be higher in minerals, while sweet corn tends to be higher in vitamins.
6. Has higher amounts of antioxidants than many other cereal grains. It is especially rich in eye-healthy carotenoids.
7. Popcorn is the type that pops when heated. It is a popular snack food, categorized as a whole-grain cereal.
The Nutrient-Rich Way of Cooking
Of all of the cooking methods we tried, our favourite is Quick Steaming.
Quick Steaming—similar to Quick Boiling and Healthy Sauté, our other recommended cooking methods—follows three basic cooking guidelines that are generally associated with food science research with improved nutrient retention. These three guidelines are (1) minimal necessary heat exposure; (2) minimal necessary cooking duration; (3) minimal necessary food surface contact with cooking liquid.