HEALTH BENEFITS OF CORN
Sweet corn is one of the most popular vegetables. It is loved by adults and children alike because of its sweet flavor. This vegetable, although being sweet and delicious, is a great source or many vitamins and minerals. According to WHFoods.org, sweet corn is very rich in vitamin B1, vitamin B5, vitamin C, phosphorus, manganese, folate and dietary fiber. Because of the vitamins contained in sweet corn, many health benefits can be associated with the consumption of this delicious vegetable.
Sweet corn is an excellent source of folate. Folate is commonly known as vitamin B9. According to NaturalHomeRemedies.org, consumption of folate is effective in lowering the homocysteine levels in the body. Homocysteine is an amino acid that can damage the blood vessels. Elevated levels of homocysteine in the body can directly lead to heart attacks, strokes and peripheral vascular disease. Consumption of 100 percent of the daily value of folate can reduce the risk of heart attack by as much as 10 percent.
Sweet corn contains a chemical known as beta cryptoxanthin. Beta cryptoxanthin is chemically similar to the well known chemical beta carotene. The human body converts beta cryptoxanthin to vitamin A when consumed in foods. According to a study performed by Jian-Min Yuan published in Cancer Epidemiology Biomarkers and Prevention, there is an inverse relationship between consumption of beta cryptoxanthin and lung cancer development. This means the greater amount of beta cryptoxanthin that is consumed, the lower the prevalence of lung cancer development.
Sweet corn contains high levels of thiamine, or vitamin B1. According to WHFoods.org, thiamine is an essential nutrient required for brain cell and cognitive function. Consumption of thiamine is necessary for the body to produce acetylcholine. Acetylcholine is a neurotransmitter that is essential for the maintenance of memory capabilities. One of the primary factors associated with Alzheimer’s disease is low levels of acetylcholine.
According to AusFoodNews.com.au, sweet corn contains the antioxidant zeaxanthin. Zeaxanthin is the yellow pigment that naturally occurs in sweet corn. Consumption of zeaxanthin can have a protective effect against age-related eye diseases such as macular degeneration. In addition, sweet corn also contains folate and beta carotene, which also may protect against macular degeneration.