Super Food: Corn

Call me corny but…I just love corn! Peak Taber corn season brings me back to my childhood days of painstakingly shucking fresh corn with my cousins in preparation for Sunday dinners. We had to shuck enough ears of corn for 30 people, give or take. The hard work of peeling, cleaning and cracking off that tough stock was all worth it when dinner was ready. The sweetness of the corn, with every roasted kernel bursting with flavor turned out to be a delicious memory that I savor each year.

There is no question that corn is a good source of starch, but one question still remains: Is corn a vegetable or a grain? Fresh corn is commonly considered a vegetable, while dried corn is accepted as a grain. When it comes down to it corn or “maize” is a global staple crop. According to the Whole Grains Council, corn provides about 21 percent of human nutrition. In Alberta, the town of Taber is the known as the corn capital of Canada as it produces the sweetest ears because of its sunshine and optimal growing conditions. Boiled roasted or air-popped, corn is a scrumptious and nutritious addition to any balanced meal or snack.

Why is it healthy?

Have you ever been told to pick colorful produce because of the health benefits? Well it is true! Higher pigment means higher antioxidant value, and corn is a colorful crop. Different types range in vibrant yellow, red and pink all the way to deep purple, blue and black kernels. In yellow corn you can expect high amounts of antioxidant carotenoids important for healthy vision, immune function and reproduction.

Other benefits of corn:

–        High in fibre that supports the growth of healthy gut bacteria

–        Provides B complex vitamins essential to maintain your body’s energy production, metabolic system, and nervous system function.

It’s gluten free therefore safe for Celiacs. When milled to corn meal or flour, corn serves as a gluten-free grain found in vast amounts of gluten-free products. Polenta (made from corn meal) and corn tortillas are some examples of gluten free grain options.

 

Including corn in your diet:

Since corn is a higher starch vegetable, it can take the place of grain in a well-balanced meal when served as a simple side dish on or off the cob.

Theses little kernels of flavor bring an extra zing to salads, guacamole, soup, chili, or as a topping to homemade pita pizza.

 

*In this month’s newsletter, we’re sharing a recipe for Roasted Corn Salsa*

 

Did you know that…

Native American tribes would mix pot ash (ash from the fire) into their food while cooking corn or corn meal! It sounds unappetizing…but they knew what they were doing. This practice turned out to prevent a vitamin B3 deficiency disease called Pellagra. Today, a lime mineral mix is used in corn tortillas to free vitamin B3 for our absorption!

September 13, 2013
Revive Wellness