Nutrients in corn

Corn on the cob is the one vegetable that will undeniably remind you of summertime. Hot summer days are magnificently topped off with this sweet vegetable side dish. Driving through the country side and rural areas, you can see field upon field of corn stalks; this alone can make your mouth water. Although corn can be bought year-round (frozen or fresh), it is at its peak during summer. Well, little may you know, but corn is an excellent source of many essential nutrients—both vitamins and minerals. So not only does it taste good, it’s good for you, too. If you like it, you should certainly take advantage of this yellow/white vegetable (just don’t slather it in butter before you eat it)!

As mentioned above, corn has a significant amount of many of the nutrients that our bodies need daily. Corn is considered a starchy vegetable, so is a little higher in calories (and obviously carbohydrates) than most vegetables (about 100 calories for 2/3 cup). In addition, it has vitamin B1, folate, vitamin B5, vitamin C, fiber, phosphorus, manganese, zinc, copper, selenium, and a small amount of potassium.

Vitamin B1: Vitamin B1, also known as thiamine, is a water-soluble vitamin that plays an important role in the metabolism of sugars. In addition, it helps keep the mucous membranes of cells healthy and is important for the nervous system, muscle system, and cardiovascular system. A cup of corn provides about ¼ of the amount of thiamine you need daily.

Folate: Folate, which is one of the water-soluble B vitamins, is needed for the production and maintenance of new cells and for women during pregnancy because it helps prevent neural tube defects in infants.

Vitamin B5: Vitamin B5, also known as pantothenic acid, helps the body get energy (or metabolize) from carbohydrates, proteins, and fats. Additionally, it helps the body produce red blood cells and certain hormones.

Vitamin C: Vitamin C has different functions in the body. It boosts the immune system, helps the growth and repair of tissues, and helps form collagen, which is a type of protein that is the main component of connective tissue for the skin, tissues, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels.

Fiber: One cup of corn contains about 20% of the fiber you need daily. Fiber keeps the digestive tract healthy, prevents constipation and other ailments of the intestines, and prevents certain diseases.

Phosphorus: Phosphorous is present in the bones and teeth, and along with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D is absolutely needed for the formation of these two things. It also helps with metabolism to a certain extent.

Manganese: Manganese helps the body utilize other nutrients, particularly the B vitamins. Besides that, it helps the body synthesize fatty acids and cholesterol, maintain normal blood sugar levels, and maintain nerve health, among other things.

Zinc: Zinc is needed by the body in only trace amounts, but nevertheless, it is a very important mineral. It is necessary for the immune system, cell division, wound healing, and in the breakdown of carbohydrates (metabolism of carbohydrates).

Copper: Like zinc, copper is only needed in tiny amounts and it is important in many enzymatic functions in the body.

Selenium: There are miniscule amounts of selenium in corn, but all the same, it still counts. Selenium mainly acts as an antioxidant of sorts, producing certain proteins that prevent cell damage.

Potassium: Potassium is a mineral and electrolyte required by the body; it is critical for healthy functioning of the heart. As an electrolyte it also helps maintain fluid balance in the body; it helps with muscle contractions, as well. Potassium works with other electrolytes—calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium—to perform these functions.

Last updated on Feb 24th, 2011 and filed under Nutritional Information. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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