Corn/Maize Plant Description, Health Benefits, Uses, Side Effects, Health Effects, Various Names, Scientific Classifications and FAQ
What is Corn/ Maize?
Corn is an annual food crop, widely grown for its fruit. Its scholarly name is ‘Zea may’. Corn is used as a human and livestock food and as a source of biofuels. Corn provides many health benefits.
Some 10,000 years ago, Mexico and some parts of Central America were the first to grow Corn/Maize. Although corn is considered a vegetable, it is actually a food grain rich in minerals, fiber, vitamins and antioxidants. Although yellow one is seen all over the world, the varieties of corn can be of other colors, they are- red, blue, white, orange, purple and black. Most of the nutrients are contained in the corn seeds.
Health Benefits and Uses of Corn/Maize
Corn is a tall annual crop with a thick, standing, solid stem. Leaves can grow linearly or lanceolate with a clear midrib (primary vein) and length to 30-100 centimeters (11.8-39.4 inches). One plant can have 1-4 corn. The Corns are trapped in husk and the number of seeds in each Corn can be 30-100. The corns can be white, yellow, red, purple and black in color.
Corn is cultivated all over the world, and the production is higher than any other crop. Leading by USA (34.2% of total production), the worldwide production of maize in 2018 was 1.15 billion tones. China provided 22.4% of the total global production.
The following article brings you some important health benefits of Corn or Maize along with its use and other related things.
Various Regional Names of Corn/Maize
- Assamese : Maakoi, Goomdhan
- Hindi: Makki, Makai
- Tamil : Makkacholam, Ponthi Cholam,Cholam
- Malayalam : Cholam
- Telugu : Jonnalu ,Mokka Jonna
- Kannada: Musukina Jola, Govina Jola, Jola, Maka
- Gujarati : Makkai
- Marathi : Maka / Jondla
- Odia: Maka
- Punjabi : Makai
- Kashmiri: MakaaY
- Bengali: Bhutta
Nutritional Value of per 100g of Corn
- Energy:360 kJ (86 kcal)
- Carbohydrates:18.7 g
- Starch: 5.7 g
- Sugars6.26 g
- Dietary fiber:2 g
- Fat:1.35 g
- Protein:3.27 g
- Tryptophan: 0.023 g
- Threonine: 0.129 g
- Isoleucine: 0.129 g
- Leucine: 0.348 g
- Lysine: 0.137 g
- Methionine: 0.067 g
- Cystine: 0.026 g
- Phenylalanine: 0.150 g
- Tyrosine: 0.123 g
- Valine: 0.185 g
- Arginine: 0.131 g
- Histidine: 0.089 g
- Alanine: 0.295 g
- Aspartic acid: 0.244 g
- Glutamic acid: 0.636 g
- Glycine: 0.127 g
- Proline: 0.292 g
- Serine: 0.153
- Vitamin A:9 micrograms
- Lutein Zeaxanthin: 6440 micrograms
- Thiamine (B1): 0.155mg
- Riboflavin (B2): 0.055mg
- Niacin (B3): 1.77mg
- Pantothenic acid (B5): 0.717mg
- Vitamin (B6): 0.093mg
- Folate (B9): 42 microgram
- Vitamin C: 6.8mg
- Iron: 0.52mg
- Magnesium: 37 mg
- Manganese: 0.163mg
- Phosphorus: 89 mg
- Potassium: 270mg
- Zinc: 0.46mg
Scientific Classification of Corn
- Kingdom: Plantae
- Clade: Tracheophytes
- Clade: Angiosperms
- Clade: Monocots
- Clade: Commelinids
- Order: Poales
- Family: Poaceae
- Sub family: Panicoideae
- Genus: Zea
- Species: Z.mays
- Scientific name: Zea may
Benefits of Corn/Maize
- Prevents Hemorrhoid
18.4% of daily recommended doses of dietary fiber for humans are found in Corn, which means it is good for your bowel movements. It can help you with various digestive problems like constipation and hemorrhoids, as well as protect you from developing colon cancer. Corn is good for your bowel movements as it increases your bowel stool and makes it easier to move under the digestive tract. As a result, it is also good for diarrhea and Irritable Bowel syndrome (IBS).
Also Read: Constipation Health Impacts: 9+ Ways to Cure
- Promotes Growth
Corn contains high levels of vitamin B element, thiamine and niacin, which is good for growth. Thiamin helps your body improve nerve health and cognitive function while niacin can prevent several problems like dementia and dermatitis. It is also known to be beneficial for pregnant women as there is a high amount of folic acid in it. Since corn is rich in vitamin E (a natural source of antioxidants) it protects the body from various diseases. In absence of diseases, your body can grow healthy and easily.
Also Read: Vital Importance of Vitamin B for Human Body
- For Weight Gain
Corn contains high calorie content. As a result, it is used to gain weight quickly. This crop can be used in agricultural countries as it can grow in almost any kind of situation.
- Provides Minerals
All essential minerals that your body needs are found in the Corn. It contains high amounts of copper, iron, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, magnesium and even selenium, which is not very easy to find in other foods. Presence of phosphorus in corn supports several body functions such as- kidney function, stimulate normal bone growth, and maintain bone health etc. Magnesium can help you to keep a healthy heart rate and increase bone density.
- Prevents Cancer
Corn is also known for preventing cancer. It is a good source of antioxidants. Antioxidants are extremely important as they protect the body system from free radicals. The formation of free radicals often causes cancer. In addition, the ability to induce Apoptosis in cancer cells is also known to be infected, and health cells become unaffected. Corn contains Phytochemicals, which is a good source of antioxidants.
- Protects Heart Health
Corn contains a favorable combination of fatty acids, which helps omega 3 fatty acids to get rid of bad cholesterol. As a result, you can reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease by a large margin. It prevents coagulation in arteries and this keeps your blood pressure under control. Thus corn reduces your chances of having a heart attack and stroke.
- Prevents Anemia
Corn is a rich source of iron. Iron helps your body to form new blood cells, which are important in preventing anemia. Corn can help you avoid signs of anemia such as anxiety, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and shortness of breath.
- For Eyes and Skin
You can gain a ton of beta-carotene from the yellow corn, which makes vitamin A in your body. Gummaan is extremely good for your eyesight and your skin in general. Beta-carotene contains high amounts of antioxidants that can prevent cancer and heart disease. Since high intake of vitamin A can lead to toxicity, it is best to get your vitamin A through your body’s beta-carotene.
- For Diabetes
Diabetes is a disease that cannot be fully cured, only kept under control. This is why it is extremely important to observe your diet when you have diabetes. Corn contains a healthy amount of Phytochemicals, which is helpful in controlling the amount of insulin in the blood.
- For Cosmetic Uses
In addition to medicinal benefits, Corn provides a whole range of cosmetics. It can be applied locally to soothe skin irritation, blemishes, and skin diseases. It is better to use corn commercially available cosmetics as they usually contain petroleum jelly. Petroleum jelly can block your skin pores and prevent your skin from breathing. It can make your skin look dull.
Uses of Corn/ Maize
Corn can be mainly used in cooking by making dishes in different ways. It can be steamed, grilled, boiled, baked, brised, or cooked in a stew or soup.
Some herbal cosmetics contain corn as it is good for your skin. Homemade masks and packs that can be used to enhance your skin look.
Maize is a major part of the diet in many countries. Corn is also used to make corn syrup, a popular form of sweets used in many Western countries. Popcorn can be made from raw corn. corn can be used differently in curing different diseases.
Side Effects of Corn/Maize
Corn contains extremely high fatty acids and hence should be consumed carefully.
People at risk of heart disease generally should avoid eating food cooked in corn oil as it can accelerate their problems.
Corn syrup is considered worse than sugar and are identified as a major cause of obesity in many countries. This can negatively affect your blood sugar levels and put you at risk of type-2 diabetes. Corn syrup should be ideally avoided at any cost.
Some people are seen getting allergic to corn or other corn products. If you have sensitive skin, or are likely to be allergic, consult your doctor before adding corn/maize to your diet.
The above article lets you know what are the benefits and concerns of consuming or using corn and other corn products. Information provided in the article is based on trusted sources and only for educational purposes and not intended to replace expert’s advice. Please consult your doctor if you face any health issues after consuming corn or if you are curious to know more about its health impacts.
1/ Is Corn bad for me?
Ans: Excess of anything is bad for digestion, but large amounts of intake can lead to major gastrointestinal symptoms due to its high cellulose content. Human digestive system cannot break down cellulose.
2/ Who should not eat corn?
Ans: Excessive intake of corn can lead to weight gain. People trying to lose weight should avoid eating it. Corn syrup is considered worse than sugar and has been identified as a major cause of obesity in many countries. It can negatively affect your blood sugar levels and put you at risk of Type 2 diabetes.
3/ What are the benefits of corn?
Ans: Corn is rich in vitamin C, an antioxidant that helps protect your cells from damage and avoids diseases such as cancer and heart disease. Yellow maize is a good source of carotenoid lutin ejaculateand xaxanthin, which is good for eye health and helps prevent damage to cataract lenses.
4/ Does corn clean your intestines?
Ans: Corn and pulses and vegetables contain fiber. Fiber can help in digestion and reduce the risk of constipation.
5/ Is corn beneficial for the eyes?
Ans: Corn has a vast array of major antioxidants, such as carotenoid lutein and zeaxanthin. They clean harmful free radicals from the optical tissue and increase vision. In addition, it protects the fine organelle of the eye from damage, preventing vision disorders such as glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration etc.