Sweet corn is one of the simplest and purest delights of summer. Popping it makes an ideal snack for movies or events. And rolling its flour gives the crunchiest tortilla wraps. But do not let the sweetness of the corn trick you. This sweet delight comes with various benefits. However, from kids to adults, we all relish sweet corn for its natural sweetness.
Opting for sweet corn than processed flour products is beneficial. It can improve gut health and reduce your risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and even cancer.
Because of the various misconceptions, sweetcorn may be one of the most perplexing delicacies. For instance, some people assume it is abundant in sugar due to its name. However, it is simply a myth. Sweet corn is as nutritious as any whole cereal grain. It is high in fibre and contains various vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. And these properties are what gives sweet corn its benefits.
Everything About Sweet Corn
Corn is commonly known as maize. It is a starchy food in kernels on a cob wrapped in a husk. When the silks at the top turn brown, sweet corn is mature. And this is the best time to harvest it. Corn is generally yellow. However, it is also available in red, orange, purple, blue, white, and black.
Sweet Corn Vs. Field Corn
- Sweet corn and field corn may appear alike. However, they are not identical. They have varied tastes. And thus, they have distinctive culinary uses.
- Field corn is taller and has more leaves than sweet corn. On the other hand, sweet corn appears to be short and spindlier.
- Field corn is less sweet than sweet corn. Thus, it does not have any taste right off the cob. Hence, we use meal or cornflour of field corn. These have various culinary uses. Some foods that include corn are tortilla chips and corn flakes.
- Harvesting of sweet corn is earlier than field corn. Due to this, sweet corn is moister and juicier.
Nutritional Value of Sweet Corn
Corn is dense in carbohydrates and is high in fibre. It is also a rich source of antioxidants and vitamins.
Here are the nutritional values of sweet corn (100gm):
- Calories: 86 Kcal
- Carbohydrates: 18.70 g
- Protein: 3.27 g
- Fat: 1.35 g
- Dietary Fibre: 2 g
- Sodium: 15 mg
- Potassium: 270 mg
- Carotene-ß: 47 µg
Sweet Corn Benefits
1. High in Fibre
The high fibre content is one of the sweet corn benefits. Dietary fibre is beneficial for overall health, including the digestive system. Additionally, it may reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke, type 2 diabetes, and bowel cancer.
Furthermore, fibre gives satiety. It ensures that you feel fuller and rescues you from overindulging. This corn benefit also comes into play when used as a part of a diet for weight maintenance.
Sweet corn is a rich source of fibre. For example, a 100gm of sweet corn serving contains 2.7gm of fibre.
2. Improves Heart Health
One of the sweet corn benefits is that it is rich in fibre. The potential of fibre to decrease blood pressure and cholesterol plays a role in preventing heart disease. It is also filling that allows you to eat less. And this may result in a healthy weight loss.
According to a review, people who consume high dietary fibre can dramatically lower their risk of heart diseases. Additionally, mortality (death) from heart disease was lower in those who consumed more fibre.
Corn provides a decent amount of fibre. Adding sweet corn to your diet may boost your fibre intake. Thus, eating corn may keep your heart healthy.
3. Source of Antioxidants
The cells in your body confront significant threats. These dangers range from a lack of nourishment to viral infection. Substances known as free radicals are another such hazard. They are capable of causing cell damage.
At high concentrations, they may even lead to the damage of genetic material. Physical activity, exposure to cigarette smoke and air pollution may also produce free radicals. Surplus free radicals are known to cause various diseases. Heart disease, cognitive decline, cancer and even vision loss may result from free radical damage.
Due to such consequences, our body must combat excessive radicals. And thanks to antioxidants, we can get rid of harmful free radicals.
Sweet corn is rich in vitamin C. It is a potent antioxidant food that protects your cells from damage. As a result, vitamin C may prevent heart diseases and cancer.
Yellow sweet corn contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin; antioxidants that can help combat free radical damage.
4. Prevents Diverticulitis
Diverticular disease is a widespread health issue. It refers to a collection of conditions that might impact your digestive system. Diverticulitis is a severe form of diverticular disease. Thus, it can induce unpleasant symptoms. Its complications may even lead to long-term health issues.
A study shows that corn consumption may keep diverticulitis at bay. Meaning, eating corn is beneficial for gut health.
5. Eye health
Free radicle damage may lead to poor eyesight. In extreme cases, it may even cause the loss of vision.
Sweet corn (yellow variant) contains the carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin. Both are also antioxidants and can help combat free radical damage. These are beneficial for eye health as they reduce lens damage that leads to cataracts.
A study shows that high blood levels of these carotenoids are beneficial to lower the incidence of both macular degeneration and cataracts.
6. Enhances Memory
Eating corn may promote healthy cognitive (brain) function. It may lower the risk of memory, especially in the elderly.
Corn has a high concentration of vitamin B1. This vitamin is often known as thiamine. Thiamine is required to make acetylcholine in our bodies. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that helps people remember. Thus, having good levels of acetylcholine may improve memory. In addition, it minimises the risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Hence, eating corn may help as a memory booster.
Additional Benefits of Eating Corn
Sweet corn is a storehouse of essential vitamins and minerals. Each of these nutrients gives supplementary corn benefits.
Eating corn also comes with the following perks:
- Folate: Folate is often known as vitamin B9 or folic acid. It is an essential nutrient that is especially crucial during pregnancy. Corn contains 42 micrograms of folate.
- Vitamin B6 refers to a group of vitamins, the most common of which is pyridoxine. It performs a variety of tasks in your body. Cron contains pyridoxine which may help with depression, PMS and promote brain health.
- Niacin: It is also known as vitamin B3. It is essential for healthy digestion, skin and the nervous system. However, niacin from corn is poorly absorbed. But, cooking corn with lime can increase the availability of this vitamin for absorption.
- Potassium: It is an essential mineral. Potassium is necessary for blood pressure regulation and may promote heart health. Corn has 270 mg of potassium. It ensures you get these corn benefits.
Uses of Sweet Corn in Cooking
Humble cooked corn cob is a delicious summer treat. But do not restrict yourself to this one culinary use of sweet corn. It is a versatile ingredient that can make a range of recipes.
- Sweet corn in salads: Add some sweet corn kernels to your regular salad recipe. It gives a sweet punch to the salads.
- Make sweet corn soup: Boil some sweet corn and whip them into a soup. If you like smooth soups, blend the corns entirely. You can also leave some chunks, as per your preference. Finally, add some spices, garlic and onions.
- Add it to your wraps and burritos: Complete your favourite wrap recipe with sweet corn.
- Make a sweet corn dip: You use sweet corn as a dip. Yes, you read that right. Boil the corn cob, add seasonings (as per preference) and whip it into a dipping. You can also add lemon juice for tartness.
- Sweet corn in baked goodies: sweet corn kernels add a great crunch to your savoury cookies and cakes.
- Sweet corn Chillas: You can add corn kernels into your Chilla and thali peeth for a twist of texture. It will give a crunch and sweetness to your recipe.
- Make poppers and tikkis: You can make tikkis out of sweet corn. You can also add them to your go-to Tikki/popper recipe for a bite.
- Boiled and roasted corn: Do you prefer to eat corn cobs in the good ol’ traditional way? Well, you can boil or roast your sweet corn. Garnish with lime and paprika.
- Add it to your sauces: You can use sweet corn kernels in your pasta sauces.
- Add to risotto or rice: You can make pulao and risottos using sweet corn.
Recipes Using Sweet Corn
1. Corn Mexican Dip
- Sweet corn- 1 cup (kernels)
- Sour cream- ½ cup
- Garlic- 1 tbsp (minced)
- Hot sauce/ chili sauce- ½ tbsp
- Lemon/ lime juice- 1 lime
- Cheese (of choice)- 1 tbsp (crumpled)
- Green chilli – 1 whole (chopped)
- Red onions- ¼ cup (chopped)
- Fresh coriander- ¼ cup (chopped)
- Salt as per taste (optional)
- Put sour cream, garlic, hot sauce, lemon juice, and cheese in a blender. Blend until smooth.
- Transfer this mixture into a large bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Stir well to combine.
- Pour mixture into pan and turn on the stove. Cook till the mixture is thick and bubbly.
- Garnish with more coriander and cheese.
- Serve with your favourite chips and enjoy!
2. Creamed Sweet Corn Soup
- Sweet corn kernels- 3 cups
- Onion- 1 small (diced)
- Fresh milk – ½ cup
- Heavy cream- 1 Tbsp (optional)
- Whole wheat flour – 1 tbsp (optional)
- Butter- ½ Tbsp
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Oregano (as per taste)
- Put 2 cups of sweet corn in a mixer and make a puree. You can make it to a smooth paste or leave it chunky as per your preference.
- Now, put onion and butter in a pan. Cook over medium heat until the onion is translucent. It may take about 3-4 minutes.
- Add flour, salt and pepper. Cook 2-3 minutes. Keep stirring to avoid burning.
- Next, add in the sweet corn paste and 1 cup sweet corn kernels. Mix well.
- Add milk, cream and oregano. Stir till it starts boiling.
- The soup will start thickening. Allow boiling 2-3 minutes. Keep on stirring to avoid lumps.
- Turn off the flame and serve hot.
Side Effects of Sweet Corn
Consuming sweet corn is generally safe. But some drawbacks do exist.
High in calories:
Sweet corn can be a nutritious addition to your diet when taken in moderation. But keep in mind that corn is a starchy vegetable. Thus, it contains lots of carbohydrates. Hence, it might cause your blood sugar levels to rise. Therefore, if you have diabetes, you should manage your portions when eating corn.
Corn contains phytic acid (phytate). Phytic acid reduces your ability to absorb nutrients such as iron and zinc from the same meal. You can decrease phytic acid levels by soaking, sprouting, and fermenting corn.
Mycotoxins generally contaminate corn. It is a fungus that produces toxins. Eating lots of corn contaminated with this may prove hazardous to health. It may lead to liver problems, lung issues, low immunity and cancer.
In celiac disease:
Corn causes issues for certain people with celiac disease. It is a disease that produces an immunological response when they consume any gluten. Corn may provoke a symptom flare if you have irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Corn is one of the most popular grains. In addition to being naturally sweet, sweet corn benefits are diverse. For example, yellow sweet corn may benefit eye health since it contains antioxidants. It also has a lot of vitamins and minerals. These properties give the sweet corn its benefits for protecting the heart and preventing diverticulitis.
However, corn is a rich source of calories and carbs. Therefore, overindulging in sweet corn may lead to weight gain. It may also be potentially risky for people with diabetes. Hence, it is best to consult your health care professional before eating corn if you have diabetes. Nevertheless, given the sweet corn benefits, eating it in moderation may benefit. It can be a fantastic addition to your balanced diet.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Q. Is it good to eat sweet corn daily?
A. You can eat sweet corn daily but maintain portion size. You can get all the corn benefits when you have it in moderation. But it may prove to be hazardous in excess.
Q. What are the disadvantages of sweet corn?
A. Sweet corn has numerous benefits when taken in moderation. In excess, it may lead to weight gain as it is rich in calories and crabs. Additionally, people with diabetes should eat sweet corn in recommended portion sizes. Sweet corn also has toxins and phytates that may prove to be dangerous.
Q. Does sweet corn increase weight?
A. Yes, eating an excess of sweet corn may lead to weight gain as sweet corn is calorie-dense and is rich in carbs.
Q. Is sweet corn bad for skin?
A. No. On the contrary, sweet corn may be beneficial for the skin. It is a storehouse of vitamins and minerals that may be great for skin and vision.
Q. Is boiled sweet corn healthy?
A. Yes, boiled sweet corn is healthy. It can improve digestion, vision, memory and heart health.
Q. What are the health benefits of sweet corn?
A. Sweet corn can improve gut health and reduce your risk of heart diseases, type 2 diabetes and even cancer. It may also improve vision and memory.
Q. What is the difference between corn and sweet corn?
A. Field corn is taller and has more leaves than sweet corn. On the other hand, sweet corn appears to be short and spindlier. Sweet corn is also sweeter than field corn.
Q. Is sweet corn good for diet?
A. Sweet corn can be an excellent addition to your diet when taken in moderation.
Q. Is corn healthier than rice?
A. Corn has more fibre and protein. It is also low in glycemic index. On the other hand, rice has more carbohydrates owing to starch and calories.
Q. Is sweet corn high in carbs?
A. Yes, sweet corn is high in carbs. It is rich in calories. And most of these calories come from carbohydrates. Sweet corn (100gm) contains 18.70 gm of carbohydrates.
Q. Is sweet corn high in sugar?
A. Yes, sweet corn rich carbohydrates. Your body converts carbs into glucose (sugar).
Q. What is the main nutrient in sweet corn?
A. Sweet corn is abundant in carbohydrates and fibre.
Q. How much protein is in 100gm of corn?
A. There is 3.4gm of protein in 100gm of corn.
Q. What is the nutritional value of 100gm of sweet corn?
A. Sweet corn (100gm) contains:
- Calories: 86 Kcal
- Carbohydrates: 18.70 g
- Protein: 3.27 g
- Fat: 1.35 g
- Dietary Fiber: 2 g
- Sodium: 15 mg
- Potassium: 270 mg
- Carotene-ß: 47 µg