Is Sweet Corn healthy?
Health Benefits of SWEET CORN – The Myths and Facts Revealed
Ah! The yellow sweet corn roasted on fire to perfection is just a true pleasure for your eyes. Further piped up with oodles of butter and masalas is one of the essence of the rainy season. We use it as a part of salad, as toppings for pizza, as a stuffing for wraps, in soups and so on…. Well, this Sweet Corn is high in simple carbohydrates like glucose and sucrose along with fiber but low in fat. It contains some key nutrients, while it lacks some. Hence it is advisable to consume it in reduced quantities in a balanced diet.
8 health benefits of Sweet Corn
1. Sweet Corn for Energy: It's an energy boosting vegetable when compared to most other vegetables in the list. A cup of sweet corn kernels (154 grams) yields about 132 calories and 29.2 grams of carbohydrates.
2. Sweet Corn – A Rich Source of Fiber: Fiber is a nutrient which has a recommended requirement of at least 25 grams / day. A cup of sweet corn gives approx. 4.15 g of fiber i.e. 16.6% of the RDA of 25 grams. This score is what makes it a suggested addition to a healthy diet as it keeps you full for long hours and so you are less likely to overeat.
3. Sweet Corn Abounds in B Vitamins – When we talk of vitamins it's the B complex vitamins sweet corn in rich in, providing about 21.75% of vitamin B3 (Niacin) and 46.8% Vitamin B9 (Folate). While the former functions as a co-factor to many enzymes involved in carbohydrate, protein and fat metabolism in the body, the latter helps prevent anemia by assisting in the production of healthy red blood cells.
4. Sweet Corn Possess Necessary Minerals –The minerals that sweet corn scores fair on the nutrition scale include Potassium (8.84%), phosphorus (4.59%), Magnesium (11.9% ) and Zinc (6.4%). While Magnesium is used for improved nerve conduction that is the sensory and motor movements, zinc helps build immunity and promotes skin and hair health.
5. Sweet Corn's Anti-carcinogenic Effect: Sweet corn comprises of antioxidants like lutein, xanthine and crypto xanthine which are said to offer protection from different types of cancer.
6. Sweet Corn for Cardiac Health: The high vitamin B3 – 2.61 mg / cup is known to reduce cholesterol levels in body and in turn promote heart health.
7. Sweet Corn as a Gluten free food: People having gluten allergy can use corn as an alternative. It can also be used for patients having celiac disease.
8. Sweet Corn for Mums-to be: All the benefits listed till now like high folate content and antioxidants - lutein and xanthine together are known to promote cell health of the foetus and reduce the risk of birth defects in baby. It is also known to prevent constipation in pregnant women. But care should be taken to not go overboard. Excessive consumption of sweet corn is not at all advisable. An added word of caution here… Opt only for fresh sweet corn and not the tinned option.
2 issues with Sweet Corn
1. Sweet Corn and Weight Loss: Though sweet corn is a good source of fiber, low in fat and helps control appetite, considering that it is a vegetable it has more calories than other fiber rich veggies. So given a choice it is wise to opt for other veggies first. However while on a weight loss regime, given a choice between fried snacks and sweet corn, the latter is a healthier option to satiate you. It would be as good as eating an apple which gives you 120 calories and 6.4 grams of fiber. But do not forget moderation is the key to health and so is the frequency of adding it to your daily diet as it also abounds in carbs. Do not forget to make exercise a part of your regime along with adding sweet corn to your diet as burning calories is an important factor to climbing the ladder of fitness.
2. Sweet Corn and Diabetes Control: Depending on its variety, the glycemic index of sweet corn is said to be between 55 to 58. This is about the edge of the low glycemic index to medium glycemic index range. Thus it would be best for diabetics to restrict the use of sweet corn while trying to keep blood sugar levels under control. Since the glycemic load of sweet corn is 8.5, which is low, those diabetics who wish to include sweet corn in their diet should sit with their dietitian and/or doctor and chalk out a plan which would indicate the quantum and the frequency of including it in their diet. This would depend largely on your blood sugar fluctuations and kind of medications you are on.