Corn isn’t exactly high on the list when most people think about healthy foods. There are many myths about corn, such as the ideas that it’s not healthy, contains empty carbs or makes you gain weight. In reality, whether you love grilled sweet corn or corn flour tortillas, this golden vegetable offers a surprising number of benefits.
Sweet Corn Doesn’t Hurt Your Blood Sugar
One misconception people have is that sweet corn is packed with sugar and bad for your blood sugar. While sweet corn does have natural sugars, it’s actually a low-glycemic food. This is because there’s plenty of fiber to slow down digestion, so it doesn’t trigger sugar spikes.
People who have diabetes should always follow a doctor’s recommendations, which may mean eating smaller portions. That said, an ear of corn only has 6 grams of sugar. That’s less than half what apples and bananas have.
A Bag of Popcorn Has About 50% of Your Daily Fiber Needs
Everyone needs plenty of fiber to encourage healthy digestion. High-fiber foods contribute to regularity and support your gastrointestinal tract. In turn, GI health is related to better cholesterol levels and blood sugar.
One bag of popcorn (without grease and salt) provides about 16 grams of fiber. Men should get 30–38 grams a day, and women need 21–25 grams. With the help of this healthy snack, you can hit your fiber goals relatively easily.
Fiber Helps You Lose Weight, Not Gain It
What about the myth that corn is just waiting to add pounds to your waistline? It’s true that this vegetable has starch, but it’s not empty carbs. In reality, the abundance of fiber helps you feel full and keeps cravings for sugary treats away.
In other words, it’s much better to reach for a bag of fresh popcorn than a candy bar. You won’t experience the “crash” that comes from sugar, and you’ll feel satisfied until mealtime. This can have a positive effect on weight loss.
Corn Has Many Nutrients
Contrary to the idea that corn doesn’t do anything for your health, different types of corn have a large variety of nutrients:
- Vitamins: Fresh corn gives you vitamins A, B-1, C and E.
- Antioxidants: Corn is a great source of the natural compounds lutein and zeaxanthin. These protective antioxidants are good for healthy vision.
- Minerals: Corn has potassium, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc and copper. It’s like a mini-multivitamin.
The Ear That’s Good for Your Eyes
Did you know that eating corn can reduce your risk of cataracts and age-related eyesight problems? Antioxidants help to protect your eyes from damaging UV rays. Blue corn is even better than yellow corn at taking care of your vision.
The insoluble fiber in corn can help you keep your colon and GI tract clean. According to an important study, the risk of colon disease was almost 30% lower in men who ate popcorn regularly. That’s a huge difference for a sweet veggie.
A Tasty, Flexible Option for Dinner
Whether you choose fresh corn or the frozen variety, you can get health benefits. It’s easy to add some corn to chicken soup, sprinkled over your salad, in chili, or grilled on the cob. However you enjoy it, corn deserves a regular place at your dinner table.