6 benefits of corn and simple recipes with it

Corn is a food with high nutritional qualities . Rich in fiber and carbohydrates, it helps you lose weight, is good for the intestines and even lowers cholesterol . It is also abundant in other nutrients such as: phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, copper, manganese, B vitamins and potassium.

Basic food of several important civilizations over the centuries, it can be consumed in several ways: cooked, pure or mixed in savory recipes with rice, meat and salads; in the form of popcorn, or also to make sweets such as corn cake , curau, mush and even ice cream.

Benefits of corn for our health

It is a source of energy and an ally of the exercises

According to functional nutritionist Mariana Duro, the main benefit of corn for our health is its expressive energy value, as carbohydrate is the predominant nutrient in this food.

In this way, corn becomes beneficial for those who work. “Because it has a high carbohydrate content, corn is considered an energy food for those who exercise”, says the professional.

Improves bowel function

The large amount of fiber present in corn, on the other hand, provides many benefits for the intestine and the digestive system in general.

“Corn has soluble and insoluble protein and fiber in its composition. Its insoluble fibers help in the proper functioning of the intestine, as they act in the formation of fecal bolus and prevent constipation ”, explains Mariana.

Help with weight loss

The fibers are also responsible for another benefit of corn: help reduce body measurements.

“Because it has fiber in its composition, it can contribute to satiety for those on a slimming diet , as long as it is consumed in a balanced way”, emphasizes the professional.

Controls cholesterol

Corn can also help control cholesterol as it has soluble fiber in its composition.

“These help in reducing the intestinal absorption of cholesterol, as they bind to cholesterol molecules and help ‘drag them’ out of the body”, explains Mariana.

But the nutritionist has an important caveat: it’s no use consuming corn for this purpose, if the other foods in your diet are irregular.

“It will only interfere with cholesterol control if its consumption is associated with other eating behaviors and the practice of regular physical activity.”

Great option for celiacs

People intolerant to gluten face a great difficulty in the search for foods that can be consumed without risk.

Characterized by an inflammatory reaction in the mucosa of the small intestine, celiac disease can cause several complications, such as diarrhea, vomiting, migraines, dermatitis, among others.

In this sense, corn is a good option for those who suffer from this condition, as it does not contain gluten . It is also the base ingredient in products that can be used to replace wheat flour, such as corn flour and cornmeal.

Prevents eye diseases

In corn we can still find significant amounts of carotenoid substances that contribute to eye health and help prevent eye diseases. They are: zeaxanthin and lutein.

According to information from the Minas Gerais Ophthalmological Center , these substances are antioxidants and protect healthy cells in the body against the action of free radicals.

Zeaxanthin is a sunscreen, meaning it protects vision from ultraviolet rays, and lutein helps prevent eye diseases.

Ensuring good levels of these substances in the blood can reduce the risk of both macular degeneration and cataracts .

Nutritional table of raw corn

100 gram servingAmount per serving
Energetic value86 Kcal
Protein3,27 g
Cholesterol –
Carbohydrate18,7 g
Fiber2 g
Calcium2 mg
Match89 mg
Ferro0,52 mg
Sodium15 mg
Potassium270 mg
C vitamin6,8 mg
Magnesium37 mg

*Daily reference values ​​based on a 2000kcal or 8400kj diet. Your daily values ​​can be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. Data taken from USDA.

Nutritional table of cooked corn

100 gram servingAmount per serving
Energetic value109 Kcal
Protein2,14 g
Cholesterol1 mg
Carbohydrate15,32 g
Fiber1,6 g
Calcium13 mg
Match46 mg
Ferro0,22 mg
Sodium218 mg
Potassium121 mg
C vitamin1,5 mg
Magnesium12 mg

*Daily reference values ​​based on a 2000kcal or 8400kj diet. Your daily values ​​can be higher or lower depending on your energy needs. Data taken from USDA.

What is the best way to consume corn?

According to Mariana Duro, the best way to consume corn is cooked with little salt, in addition to popcorn popping in the pan. Learn about some of the most common variations of this food:

Popcorn

According to the nutritionist, popcorn can be quite beneficial for having fiber , vitamins and minerals in its composition.

However, as it also has a high carbohydrate content, it should be consumed with caution in a diet focused on weight loss.

“It is worth mentioning the way the popcorn is made, as the ideal is to always prioritize popped popcorn in a popcorn maker or in a pan with little butter or oil”, advises the specialist.

Corn cake

Corn cake is another very common delicacy on the Brazilian table. However, it is not considered as healthy as some people think. It will all depend on how it will be done.

According to Mariana, a corn cake can contain other ingredients such as oil, butter, flour and sugar , for example. Therefore, although corn is highly nutritious, its cake contains ingredients that, if consumed in excess, are not good for your health.

To make this preparation more functional, you can substitute whole wheat flour and use skimmed milk, reducing the amount of fat present in the sweet.

Corn meal

Cornmeal occurs when dry corn is ground and then turned into powder. The professional says that this variation has the same nutrients as the corn grain .

An interesting detail is that corn meal and corn flour are not exactly the same thing, they differ according to the grain production process. In the case of cornmeal, we can use it in many recipes , such as: polenta, cakes, soups, porridge, bread, biscuits, creams, breaded, cornmeal, etc.

Corn flour, on the other hand, is more used in bakery products, not being very suitable for polentas and creams.

In addition, there is still the so-called flocão, which is corn flour that has larger grains. In this case, the product is more interesting for making dishes such as virados and farofas.

Maize starch

Also known as cornstarch (in reference to the brand Maizena), cornstarch is a carbohydrate extracted from the endosperm of corn . The endosperm is one of the parts of corn where starch and protein are concentrated. The other parts are the husk and the germ.

In cooking, cornstarch is mainly used as a thickening agent for sauces, soups, stews, pies and other desserts. It is also often used to prepare porridges .

According to Mariana, corn starch is very different from corn grain in terms of nutritional composition and its consumption should be more cautious.

“While corn has a high amount of fiber and protein in its composition, corn starch only has carbohydrates. In this way, its glycemic index is much higher and its consumption should be much more moderate for people who want to lose weight”, explains the nutritionist.

Simple and practical recipes with corn

Now that you know all the benefits of corn, how about making some delicious dishes with it? Check out the corn cream recipe suggested by nutritionist Mariana Duro:

Corn cream

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of corn
  • 250ml of almond milk
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon of cornstarch
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of light ricotta cream
  • Black pepper to taste
  • Oregano to taste
  • salt to taste
  • chives to taste
  • Parsley to taste.

Preparation mode

  1. Chop the onion and garlic well.
  2. In a pan, put the butter and saute the onion and garlic until golden.
  3. Add the corn and sauté for another 2 minutes over low heat.
  4. Put the milk in a blender (reserve a little), 1 cup and ½ of the braised corn and salt to taste.
  5. Beat well until it becomes a smooth cream.
  6. Return this mixture to low heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
  7. In another container, mix some reserved milk with cornstarch until completely diluted.
  8. Add the diluted cornstarch, add the rest of the corn and the ricotta cream. Mix well.
  9. Now add the seasonings and add the salt.
  10. Turn off the heat, sprinkle the chives and parsley and serve.

We’ve set aside some more simple and practical recipes to make with corn on a daily basis. Check out:

light corn cake

Light corn cake is as delicious as the traditional corn cake, but it has fewer calories, sugars and other ingredients that can harm our health.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of canned green corn
  • eggs
  • ½ cup of water (optional if you don’t want your dough to get too heavy)
  • 6 tablespoons of coconut oil
  • 2 cups of oat bran
  • ½ cup linseed flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of cinnamon powder
  • 1 tablespoon of chia seed
  • 1 tablespoon of baking powder.

Preparation mode

  1. Wash the corn well to remove the sodium and let it drain.
  2. Preheat the oven and then beat the eggs, corn, water and coconut oil in a blender until creamy.
  3. Mix the dry ingredients in a bowl and then add with the cream of corn prepared in the previous step. Stir until you get a homogeneous substance.
  4. Place the dough in a greased mold and bake for 25 minutes or until golden. Test it with a toothpick or fork before turning it off: skewer the cake with one of the objects and if they come out completely dry, you can already turn off the oven.
  5. When removing the cake, wait for it to cool and help yourself.

green corn salad

Corn also goes very well with salads, being a healthy and nutritious option.

Ingredients

  • 1 can of green corn (drain the water and set aside)
  • ½ pepper girl’s finger
  • 1 diced seedless tomato
  • 1 small onion, chopped into cubes
  • 1 red pepper, chopped into cubes
  • 2 chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 pinch of cumin
  • ½ lemon
  • salt to taste
  • Olive oil for sauteing.

Preparation mode

  1. Heat the oil in a pan and start by sauteing the garlic.
  2. Add the onion, pepper and tomato.
  3. Add the finely chopped girl’s finger pepper (with seed, it gets spicier. If you prefer it milder, remove the seeds).
  4. When the onion is transparent, add the drained green corn and season with cumin and salt.
  5. Finish with lemon zest and squeeze the juice of half a lemon over the salad.
  6. If you prefer, mix coriander leaves to finish and serve.

Salted corn pancake

How about using corn as a pancake filling? A practical and very tasty recipe that is also perfect for vegetarians.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup of cooked green corn (170g)
  • 1 cup of oatmeal (115g)
  • 1 small raw yam (85g)
  • ½ cup of water (125ml)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil (15ml)
  • 1 teaspoon of powdered yeast (5g)
  • ½ teaspoon of salt (3g)
  • Vegetable oil, enough to grease the pan
  • Fresh parsley chopped to taste.

Preparation mode

  1. Peel the yam and cut into small pieces. Place in a blender with water and olive oil. Beat well until smooth.
  2. Transfer the raw yam mixture to a container and add the corn, oatmeal, salt and parsley. Mix well.
  3. Add the yeast and gently mix until incorporated into the dough.
  4. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Grease with a little oil and pour in a portion of the dough.
  5. Spread it out until it forms a layer of uniform thickness, do not make it too thick or you run the risk of getting raw on the inside.
  6. Fry until golden and peel from the pan, turn and cook on the other side. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough. Serve still hot.

Green corn brigadeiro

Have you ever heard of corn brigadeiro? Because this delicacy is super easy to make and is a super original candy option to serve at parties.

Ingredients

  • 2 ears of corn, threshed and cooked
  • 2 cans of condensed milk
  • 1 can of sour cream
  • 1 yolk
  • 200g of grated and dry coconut.

Preparation mode

  1. Beat the cream and corn in a blender.
  2. In a pan, with the heat off, place the condensed milk.
  3. To make the base of the white brigadeiro, mix the condensed milk and the yolk over low heat for about 10 minutes, without stopping. No need to add butter.
  4. Place the cream with the corn that has been mixed in a blender. Stir without stopping, until you have the brigadeiro point, for another 10 minutes.
  5. When the brigadeiro detaches slightly from the bottom of the pan, you can remove it from the heat and wait for it to cool.
  6. Then just roll it up and pass it on the grated coconut.

Contraindications and harm

If consumed correctly, corn poses no health risks. According to Mariana, the contraindication of corn is only for people with carbohydrate or fiber restriction.

In this case, it is necessary to pay extra attention to the amount you will consume, as corn is very caloric and can cause the accumulation of fat.

Also, in the case of canned corn, a good tip is to check the food label before buying. Nowadays it is already possible to find versions without the addition of salt or sugar, just immersed in water, preserving its properties, without increasing the amount of sodium.

Remember to always consult a nutritionist to confirm the benefits and harms of any food, especially if you have any illness.

Ellie Lauderdale

My name is Ellie Lauderdale, MD and I am USA based professional Nutritionist .

I am a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist and board certified specialist in sports dietetics who is trained in integrative medicine. I have worked with hundreds of clients, from those suffering with chronic disease to professional and olympian athletes. My goal is to help optimize you from the inside so that you can feel, perform, and look your best on the outside.

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