Updated: Sep 22
Pros and Cons of Corn
We all need our beauty sleep. This post discusses ways we can improve our sleep, or avoid a bad one. Corn is a staple food in many countries. It is in various forms in processed foods. Large consumption can lead to multiple health issues, including deficiency of essential vitamins, especially niacin in the body, and amino acids (lysine and tryptophan). Corn consumption is associated with a marked reduction in brain serotonin. Add tryptophan or foods with tryptophan to the diet to correct it.
Often, corn gets contaminated by fungi that put off toxins called mycotoxins. If you eat much corn with these toxins, you're at a higher risk for certain cancers, liver problems, lung issues, and slowing of your immune system. Taking too much corn can lead to weight gain. Diabetics or people on a diet should avoid consumption of too much corn.
Early Native Americans cultivated corn, a staple crop that sustained tribes like the Creek, Cherokee and Iroquois. Their bodies adapted to corn from centuries of need and use. Corn is very complex to digest. Cellulose densely wraps each kernel. Chew corn well before swallowing; this helps with digestion, as the cellulose in the corn can be challenging to digest.
Types of corn:
Sweet corn has more sugar and less starch than other varieties of maize. It is eaten fresh, either on the cob or off, or preserved by canning or freezing. There are many varieties. In Canada, we are familiar with Peaches and Cream Corn.
Dent corn (field corn) White dent corn is a starchier variety, and the yellow type is best known for making masa dough and hominy. It is also widely used as livestock feed and in processed foods, plastics, and fuels.
Flint corn, also known as blue, red, or Indian corn, is cultivated mainly in Central and South America. It has a rugged exterior. Its kernel explodes when heated. Popcorn is sometimes considered a sub-set of flint corn.
Flour corn, a white soft corn used for making corn flour
Not all corn is bad. This sleep aid is made from corn.
Maizinol: a product made from an extract of Zea Mays corn leaf, a Mexican Corn variety. It has a substance 6-Methoxybenzoxazolinone (6-MBOA), structurally like Melatonin. Maizinol improves anxiety and depression with no serious adverse events. Ironically, Maizinol is hormone-free, binds to melatonin receptors, and produces melatonin-like effects for better sleep quality. *
While corn may be a good option for people on gluten-free diets, it is essential to be mindful of the potential health risks and to consume it in moderation. It's hard to avoid corn since so many foods add corn by-products. i.e., corn starch, corn syrup, corn flour, corn oil, maltodextrin (an artificial sweetener made from corn, rice, potato starch or wheat).
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