Do a Google search on “Superfoods” and you’ll find that corn usually never pops up in the results. That’s unfortunate, because corn has some surprising health-boosting benefits to offer. Here are three:
Overall Health Booster
Corn comes in many colors including red, pink, black, purple, blue, and, of course, yellow. And all contain carotenoids—antioxidants that help decrease your overall risk of disease, and, in particular, cancer and eye disease. Two of the most commonly consumed varieties in the U.S. are yellow and blue. Yellow corn contains high concentrations of vision-protective lutein and zeaxanthin— they absorb damaging blue light that can impair your eyesight over time. Blue light damage is thought to be a causative for age-related macular disease. Blue corn is rich in anthocyanins, which, research suggests help to protect against heart disease.
Better Gut Health
All varieties of corn contain resistant starch. Resistant starch acts as an indigestible form of fiber that, once it reaches the colon, boosts healthy gut flora. In fact, research shows that the good flora-boosting action of resistant starch helps protect you from colon cancer.
Because corn is so rich in resistant starch, it can also help you lose weight. Research shows that resistant starch produces short chain fatty acids that delay hunger and increase the breakdown of body fat. And best of all, resistant starch contains few calories—most of which do not raise glucose levels. Good news if you’re concerned about diabetes.
Although corn is available year-round at your local grocer, it’s best eaten in the summer when it’s in season. And try to choose locally grown varieties, they will taste the best and, typically, be the least expensive. Don’t forget to check out your local farmer’s market. That’s where you will find the freshest options. Since corn is one of the most genetically-modified crops on the planet, avoid GMOs by purchasing organic.
Tip: Want to increase the resistance starch in corn? Simply cool it down in the fridge after cooking prior to eating it. A good way to do this is to steam some ears of corn and then stick them in the fridge. After they have cooled, you can use the corn in salads, soups, or even just to snack on. If you don’t want to do that; Take the lazy way out (like me!) and buy frozen corn. You will get the same boost in resistant starch because the cooking and cooling have already been done for you.
To your good health!