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Corn

Background

Native to America, Corn is Canada’s third largest grown crop after wheat and barley. In 2011, Canada was marked as the 11th largest corn producing country in the world. Corn is one of the most versatile cereal grains in the world. A kernel of corn has four parts: bran, gluten, starch, and germ. Each of these parts can be separated and used to make cornflakes, cornstarch, corn syrup, and corn oil, which are often used in making other food products. These can include marshmallows, hard candies, frozen desserts, margarine and other food oils, and products used in the feed of beef and cattle, poultry, and hogs. Corn flour and cornmeal is used as the base in many gluten-free products such as corn pasta, cornbread, and corn-based baking mixes.

Benefits

  • Is a source of dietary fibre, which helps lower cholesterol, improve gut health, and reduce the risk of colon cancer. Corn has a fibre called ‘resistant starch’ that escapes digestion and influences cholesterol metabolism, reducing the risk of atherosclerosis, hyperlipidemia, diabetes, and obesity. The fibre also helps with weight control by making you feel full for longer.
  • Is a source of thiamine (vitamin B1), a vitamin important for energy production, cell viability, and proper neuronal function.
  • Also contains iron. Iron helps carry oxygen in the blood and is important for growth, development, and normal functioning of the cells in the body.

 

Nutritional Value of ½ cup (80 g) of Cooked Corn

  • 75 calories
  • 18 g carbohydrate
  • 2 g fibre
  • 3 g protein
  • 1 g fat
  • ~12% daily recommended intake of thiamine (vitamin B1)
  • ~6% daily recommended intake of iron

Did You Know

Cornstarch is used for industrial purposes such as a thickening, gelling, and a binding agent in wallpaper paste, aspirin, and chalk, to name a few. Also, corn on the cob was not always sweet and tender as it is today. A genetic mutation in the grain back in mid 1700’s resulted in high sugar levels in corn. Before this, fresh corn was starchier and less sweet.

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