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Corn, it’s Pretty A-Maize-ing

Corn, it’s Pretty A-Maize-ing

We are in the works of planning the garden out, by picking seeds and visiting the plant nursery. It’s always a hopeful time of year as the snow melts and little green sprigs of grass poke through the brown. We buy a bag of corn seed and imagine how it will taste freshly shucked, boiled and buttered later this summer. The unfortunate truth is that corn hasn’t gotten much spotlight in the vegetable world. With myths and rumors about the nutritional value of corn, I’ve listed a few clarifications below.

Myth #1: Corn is genetically modified.
Yes, most corn is field corn, the type that is grown to make ethanol and high-fructose corn syrup. However, sweet corn is not genetically modified. In fact, if you buy certified organic sweet corn, it is unlawful for the grower to sell a genetically modified product.

Myth #2: Corn will cause weight gain.
In one ear of sweet corn, there is roughly 100 calories – comparable to an apple. It’s what you put on the corn that can cause weight gain; just one tablespoon of butter has 100 calories. If you are trying to lose weight, remember one serving of corn has 3 grams of fiber. Fiber helps you feel fuller, longer. Sweet corn also contains a type of starch that is slow-to-digest and helps with weight control.

Myth #3: Corn is full of sugar.
One ear of sweet corn has 6 grams of sugar – less than half the amount in a banana and about a third the amount in an apple. Glucose, dextrose and high-fructose corn syrup are derived from field corn, not sweet corn.

Myth #4: Corn has no nutritional value.
It’s just not true. Sweet corn is full of phytochemicals that promote healthy vision. It also features insoluble fiber, which promotes healthy bacteria in the gut and keeps you regular. With B vitamins, loads of potassium, iron and protein, the claim that corn has no health benefits is simply false.

Myth #5: All nutritional value is cooked away.
While the amount of Vitamin C in corn is decreased through the cooking process, the power of the antioxidants present in corn actually increases, fighting the diseases of aging – certain cancers and even Alzheimer’s disease.

My advice: visit your local farmer’s market this summer and take advantage of the goodness sweet corn has to offer. Be mindful of what toppings you add to your vegetables, and remember that sweet corn is pretty a-maize-ing. (Sorry, couldn’t help myself.)

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Thanks for reading my blog, A Bushel and A Plate.

As a mom who cares about eating good food and knowing the farmer who grew my food, I want to help other families to nourish your families with good, traceable, sustainable food.


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