Corn is not inherently evil. When the health and well being community tells you it is, use common sense and don’t believe the hype.
Recently, the world has vilified corn to an unreasonable degree. It’s been unfairly classified as what is making our nation fat and out of shape. In fact, there’s been an entire documentary made about the subject.
It’s simply not true. It my not be spinach or any other near perfect food, but corn has redeeming qualities. From whfoods.com:
While it might sound surprising to some people who are used to thinking about corn as a plain, staple food, or a snack food, or a summertime party food, corn is actually a unique phytonutrient-rich food that provides us with well-documented antioxidant benefits. In terms of conventional antioxidant nutrients, corn is a good source of the mineral manganese. But it is corn’s phytonutrients that have taken center stage in the antioxidant research on corn.
Not only do phytonutrients award benefit to the plants but they also provide benefits to those who enjoy plant food. That’s because they have health-promoting properties including antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and liver-health-promoting activities.
Last night, I shared a memorable meal with a friend. Despite playing a supporting role to the protein of the dish, the corn stole the show. Sweet but not overwhelming, crunchy yet perfectly cooked, the bites provided a finish that no other starch would have been capable of matching. The quality of the organic corn coupled with the preparation inspired confidence that I was not only invigorating my senses, but I was reaping the rewards of a healthy balance with the greens and salmon.
Corn is rich in vitamin B constituents, especially Thiamin and Niacin. Thiamin is essential for maintaining nerve health and cognitive function. Niacin deficiency leads to Pellagra; a disease characterized by diarrhea, dementia and dermatitis that is commonly observed in malnourished individuals. Corn is also a good source of Pantothenic acid, which is an essential vitamin for carbohydrate, protein, and lipid metabolism in the body. Deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women can lead to the birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects in newborns. Corn provides a large percentage of the daily folate requirement, while the kernels of corn are rich in vitamin E, a natural antioxidant that is essential for growth and protection of the body from illness and disease.
Don’t get me wrong. By no means am I making the assertion that highly processed products made from corn, like HFCS, should be regularly consumed. Quite the contrary. I’m simply advocating that, in moderation (like with anything else), you could do a lot worse than boiling some high quality corn and slathering it with some grass fed butter and sea salt. If you dig cooking with it, and it improves the quality of the experience for your palate, don’t hesitate to mix it in.