Cereals are granaries of calories. They are the main calorie suppliers to many people. Corn, often referred to as maize, is the second most important cereal that is grown for human consumption. The best thing about corn is that every part of the plant is useable. Not even the cornhusk goes wasted. Husk of corn is widely used for making tamales, food kernels and animal feed. Corn silks made from the cornhusk are used for making medicinal tea.
Corn products that have become a part and parcel of our diets include sweeteners, corn oil, corn syrup and even bourbon. One cup of raw corn supplies one hundred and thirty calories. Apart from this it contains 5 grams of protein, 2 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbohydrate and 4 grams of fibre. Cholesterol is absolutely absent in this cereal.
The antioxidants that are abundant in corn are lutein and zeaxanthin. These two antioxidants are beneficial to health as they are associated with decreased risk of chronic disorders. Essential fatty acid, linoleic acid and vitamin E that are of vital importance to the body are present in corn oil.
The major mineral salts present in corn are magnesium, manganese, zinc, copper, phosphorous, iron and selenium. Traces of potassium are also found in this cereal. Almost all the categories of Vitamin B such as Vitamin B6, Niacin, Riboflavin, Thiamine and Folate are found in Corn. It also holds Vitamin A, though in fewer quantities.
The calorific value of corn comes to 342 per 100 gm. Corn is efficient enough to provide the necessary energy for body metabolism. It is also found to stimulate the nervous system. Corn also plays a major role in ensuring the smooth functioning of the digestive system. In cholesterol regulation also, cone plays a decisive role. Due to its Vitamin E content, corn is also found to be good for skin.