Corn is native to Central Americas which later introduced to the rest of the world through Spanish explorers. Genetically, sweet corn differs from the field corn by mutation at the sugary (su) locus. Its crop has achieved a major success as one of the important commercial cash crops in many tropical and semi-tropical countries.
Health benefits of sweet corn
- At 86 calories per 100 g, sugar corn kernels are moderately high in calories on comparison to other vegetables. However, fresh sweet corn has much less calories than that of in the field corn and other cereal grains like wheat, rice, etc. Their calorie chiefly comes from simpler carbohydrates like glucose, sucrose than complex sugars like amylose and amylopectin, which is a case in the cereals.
- Sweet corn is a gluten-free cereal and may be used safely in celiac disease individuals much like rice, quinoa, etc.
- Sugar corn features high-quality phyto-nutrition profile comprising of dietary fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants in addition to minerals in moderate proportions. It is one of the finest sources of dietary fibers, 100 g kernels carry 2 g or 5% of daily-requirement of dietary-fiber. Together with slow digesting complex carbohydrates, dietary fiber in the food helps regulate in gradual increase in blood sugar levels. However, corn, in line with rice, potato, etc., is one of high glycemic index food items, limiting its authority as the chief food ingredient in diabetes patients.
- Yellow variety corn has significantly high levels of phenolic flavonoid pigment antioxidants such as ß-carotenes, and lutein, xanthins and cryptoxanthin pigments along with vitamin A. 100 g fresh kernels provide 187 IU or 6% of daily-requirement of vitamin-A. Altogether; these compounds are required for maintaining healthy mucusa, skin and vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in flavonoids help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Corn is a good source of phenolic flavonoid antioxidant, ferulic acid. Several research studies suggest that ferulic acid plays vital role in preventing cancers, aging, and inflammation in humans.
- It also contains good levels of some of the valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as thiamin, niacin, pantothenic acid, folates, riboflavin, and pyridoxine. Many of these vitamins function as co-factors to enzymes during substrate metabolism.
- Further, it contains healthy amounts of some important minerals like zinc, magnesium, copper, iron, and manganese.