Corn Nutritional Benefits


Corn is a wonderful whole grain food that is a good source of vitamin B1, Vitamin B5, folate, fiber, vitamin C, Phosphorous, Manganese and a nutrient called beta-cryptoxanthin.

In addition to preventing birth defects, Folate can also help to lower your risk of heart attack, stroke and peripheral vascular disease. It has been estimated that consumption of 100% of the daily value of folate would, by itself, reduce the number of heart attacks suffered by Americans each year by 10%. Folate-rich diets are also associated with a reduced risk of colon cancer.

Consuming foods rich in beta-cryptoxanthin, an orange-red carotenoid found in high amounts in corn, may significantly lower one's risk of developing lung cancer. A study published in the September, 2003 issue of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention reviewed dietary and lifestyle data collected from over 63,000 adults in Shanghai, China, who were followed for 8 years. Those eating the most crytpoxanthin-rich foods showed a 27% reduction in lung cancer risk. When current smokers were evaluated, those who were also in the group consuming the most cryptoxanthin-rich foods were found to have a 37% lower risk of lung cancer compared to smokers who ate the least of these health-protective foods.

Corn is also a good source of Thiamin which is a nutrient essential to good brain cell health and mental function. The brain uses Thiamin to make a neurotransmitter called acetylcholine which is essential for good memory. In addition, maintaining healthy acetylcholine levels may help to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease.

Research reported at the 2004 American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) International Conference on Food, Nutrition and Cancer, by Rui Hai Liu, M.D., Ph.D., and his colleagues at Cornell University shows that whole grains, such as corn, contain many powerful phytonutrients whose activity has gone unrecognized because common research methods have overlooked them. Dr. Liu's team measured the antioxidant activity of various foods, assigning each a rating based on a formula. Broccoli measured 80, Spinach 81, Apples 98, Bananas 65, but Corn topped them all measuring a whopping 181.