Corn is one of the most commonly eaten grains on the planet. Despite the fact that it is a basic element of much of the world’s diet, many people are unaware of the nutritional value of corn. Lovers of this grain will be happy to learn that it is a good source of some important nutrients, including several B vitamins, fiber, phosphorus, manganese, and vitamin C. It is also free of unhealthy saturated or trans fats. When considering the nutritional value of corn, however, it is also important to note that it is somewhat high in calories, and thus should be consumed in moderation.
One of the most beneficial aspects of the nutritional value of corn is its B vitamin content. Corn is considered a good source of the B vitamins thiamin, folate, and pantothenic acid. Regular consumption of these vitamins can help preserve the memory, prevent birth defects, lower the risk of heart disease, and facilitate the breakdown of carbohydrates.
Another noteworthy aspect of the nutritional value of corn is fiber content. One cup (approximately 130 grams) of corn kernels provides more than 18 percent of the recommended daily intake of fiber as determined by the United States Food and Drug Administration (US FDA). When eaten regularly and in adequate quantities, fiber can provide a wide range of health benefits, including reducing the risk of heart disease, assisting digestion, and providing a feeling of fullness that may discourage overeating.
Further, corn is considered a good source of phosphorus, manganese, and vitamin C. Both phosphorus and manganese contribute to bone health. Vitamin C provides a number of health benefits, including supporting the eyes and the immune system as well as protecting from heart disease.
It should also be noted that corn contains no saturated or trans fats. These fats can elevate the body’s levels of harmful low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, in turn increasing the chance of heart disease. Consuming a diet low in these fats can contribute to good cardiovascular health.
When considering the nutritional value of corn, it is important to remember that it is somewhat high in calories, with one cup (approximately 130 grams) of kernels containing nearly 180 calories. Corn should therefore be consumed in moderation, as part of a nutritionally balanced diet. It should also be noted that spreads and sauces which are commonly used to enhance the flavor of corn, such as butter, can be high in both harmful fats and calories, and thus should be used sparingly.