The common American eats about 5.5 kilos of contemporary candy corn yearly, making it probably the most well-liked crops grown within the United States. Corn is sort of versatile. You can eat it contemporary on or off the cob (it’s a vegetable!). Or in merchandise like cereal, grits and tortillas (it’s a grain!). It even has its very personal well-liked tune (It’s Corn!).

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But can one thing so multifunctional and scrumptious be good for you? For essentially the most half, sure, says registered dietitian Elyse Homan, RD, LD. Corn has plenty of well being advantages. It has loads of insoluble fiber, making it a low-glycemic index meals. That means you digest it slowly, so it doesn’t trigger a sudden, unhealthy spike in your blood sugar.

Nutritionally, a half cup of corn (about one medium-sized ear) has roughly:

Homan discusses extra about how this meals — well-liked with individuals of all ages — is sweet for you.

Why corn is wholesome

“You can eat corn fresh, frozen or canned. Any way you eat it, corn can be part of a healthy diet — just don’t add a lot of extras like butter and salt,” says Homan. Instead, attempt more healthy corn toppings like olive oil, lime juice, reduced-fat feta cheese or salsa. Whole-grain corn in cornmeal, corn flour, polenta, grits and even popcorn additionally has well being advantages.

But high-fructose corn syrup or corn sugar, a sweetener discovered in lots of processed meals like cereals, breads, cookies and crackers, will increase your threat of weight problems, diabetes and different well being points. “It’s best to avoid products made with corn syrup,” states Homan.

Here’s a have a look at six well being advantages of corn:

1. Aids digestion and intestine well being

Corn is excessive in insoluble fiber, which bulks up stool (poop) and prevents constipation. If you’ve ever observed what seems to be like complete kernels of corn in your poop (or your child’s diaper) it’s not as a result of there’s an issue together with your digestive system.

“Your digestive system breaks down the fleshy inside part of the corn kernel, which has the important nutrients, vitamins and fiber,” explains Homan. “Those kernels in your poop are the waxy, tough outer shell made of cellulose.” Your physique can’t digest these fibrous shells. They ferment in your intestines, which is why you might really feel gassy after consuming a variety of corn.

Corn fiber additionally acts as a prebiotic. “Prebiotics feed the healthy bacteria in your gut,” she continues. “They help your digestive system break down and absorb nutrients from corn.” During this course of, micro organism in your intestine microbiome change corn right into a product known as short-chain fatty acids. These fatty acids might decrease your threat of colorectal most cancers.

2. Helps enhance eye well being

A medium ear of yellow corn has nearly 900 micrograms of antioxidants known as lutein and zeaxanthin. A 2018 study means that these antioxidants promote wholesome imaginative and prescient and eyes.

Antioxidants additionally shield your physique from free radicals, molecules that trigger continual irritation, coronary heart illness and different situations. Antioxidants additionally hold your immune system wholesome, so it could battle viruses, micro organism and infections.

3. Protects your coronary heart

Another 2018 study discovered that individuals with excessive ldl cholesterol who consumed 4 tablespoons of corn oil a day in baked items had decrease levels of cholesterol than those that consumed the identical quantity of coconut oil (additionally in baked items).

Corn oil comprises phytosterols, a pure plant substance that minimizes how a lot ldl cholesterol your physique absorbs. It additionally has ubiquinone (CoQ10), a heart-healthy vitamin which will decrease your threat of coronary heart harm.

“Corn oil can be a healthy cooking oil option as long as you use it in moderation,” says Homan. “It has healthier essential fatty acids, or polyunsaturated fats, that give you energy.”

While you might be most acquainted with yellow or white corn, the vegetable is available in many colours. Blue and purple corn get their coloration from anthocyanins, an antioxidant linked to lowered blood strain and a decreased threat of coronary heart illness and most cancers.

4. Provides vitamins and nutritional vitamins your physique must work properly

In addition to fiber and antioxidants, these golden kernels have a variety of vitamins and nutritional vitamins. A medium-sized ear (a few half cup) of corn has:

5. Moderately impacts blood sugar

Natural sugars in corn give the kernels their sweetness. But corn remains to be comparatively low in sugar. A medium ear has 4 grams of pure sugar — lower than a 3rd of the sugar in a Red Delicious apple.

Corn’s low-sugar, high-fiber, complex-carb profile locations it low on the glycemic index. “Your body gradually breaks down low-glycemic foods, providing a slower release of energy,” says Homan.

6. Offers a wholesome gluten-free choice

Corn is of course gluten free, making corn and corn merchandise a terrific choice for these with celiac illness or gluten sensitivity. But learn meals labels fastidiously when shopping for corn-based merchandise. Some objects might have added gluten.

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