Sep 17th, 2016
Author: Cocoon Web Design
Maize (from Spanish: maíz after Taíno mahiz), also known as corn, is a large grain plant first domesticated by indigenous peoples in Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The six major types of corn are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn. The leafy stalk of the plant produces separate ears, which are fruits, yielding kernels (often erroneously called seeds). Maize kernels are often used in cooking as a starch. (reference: Wikipedia)
It seems that corn has been given a bad rap in the US ever since advertisements included the fact that corn is also a grain, not just a vegetable. *The truth is, the corn seed is actually a vegetable, a grain, and a fruit. Corn seed is a vegetable because it is harvested for eating (usually sweet corn when grain is harvested at the milk stage.) Corn seed is a grain because it is a dry seed of a grass species (usually field corn when harvested after the grain is relatively dry.) Corn seed is a fruit because that is the botanical definition. (*http://articles.extension.org). But people who are concerned about their intake of starches and sugars may not take a chance on it, fearing perhaps the calories and carbohydrates from corn are fattening. Another truth is that an ear of corn has about the same number of calories as an apple but also one-quarter less the sugar.
Sweet corn is fairly healthy because carotenoid antioxidant activity is actually increased when corn is cooked. These antioxidants are known to support the immune system and defend the eyes and skin against oxidative stress, as well as protect the body from cancer and heart disease. The two most beneficial phytochemicals in sweet corn are lutein and zeaxanthin, which promote healthy vision. Additionally, a mid-size ear of corn contains about 3-4 grams of dietary fiber, which has a beneficial effect on the digestive system. (reference: eatingwell.com)
According to The World’s Healthiest Foods the best way to prepare Corn-on-the-Cob is to bring two cups of water to a boil in a steamer with a tight fitting lid (do not salt the water.) Remove husks and corn silk from corn cobs just before you are ready to cook and place the corn in the steamer basket, cover, and steam for five minutes.
Be aware that any “extras” to the corn are what may reduce its health benefits, such as too much butter or salt. But enjoy the last days of Summer with your sweet corn seasoned with a little organic butter, olive oil or flaxseed oil, or any herbs or spices you prefer!
-Personal Trainer Billi-Jean
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