By David Whitney, Produce Buyer, Co-op Owner
When it comes to delicious, healthy, and versatile ingredients, sweet corn should be near the top of your list. GreenTree will have local/organic sweet corn for the next few weeks, sourced from our Amish friends in Blanchard, don’t miss out on this seasonal treat!
When choosing cobs of corn the silky hairs at the top of the ear should be dry and light brown or yellow in color, not black, moldy, or wet and slimy. This is the most telling sign of the freshness of the corn. The butt of the cob should be dry, too, and there shouldn’t be any red color present. Next, run your hand down the length of the cob and squeeze the cob firmly, it should be perfectly cylindrical and solid. If the cob is misshapen, mushy or flat on one side this means the cob inside is no good. Using this method, there’s no need to ever peel back the ear and check the kernels.
To help you see why you should make room for sweet corn on your plate, here are five reasons it is great for your health:
If you’re watching your carb intake, sweet corn shouldn’t have you worried as it is naturally low in carbohydrates. While the fact that it is high in starch means that it has more carbohydrates than vegetables like broccoli and peas, it is still low-carb, meaning – also low in calories. While it does contain carbohydrates, they are complex, which means sweet corn gives you an energy boost while also controlling your blood sugar. This means you won’t find yourself suffering an energy crash after an initial high.
Full of nutrients
Sweet corn is also full of nutrients that are vital for your overall health. Just as with other yellow and orange vegetables, sweet corn contains high levels of lutein and beta-carotene, which are responsible for its bright color. As well as creating colorful veggies, these nutrients are also important for maintaining eye health and reducing your chances of eye disease. Additionally, sweet corn is full of B vitamins, potassium, vitamin C and magnesium, all of which help you stay healthy. This means that regular portions of sweet corn could be really beneficial.
High in Antioxidants
No matter what type of corn you eat, it is high in antioxidants, which is always a good thing. In fact, corn has almost double the amount of antioxidants that you’ll find in an apple. Antioxidants are important when it comes to protecting your body from disease and cells from damage. You don’t need to worry about cooking killing off some of the antioxidant power in sweet corn either, as cooking it actually increases the activity of the antioxidants. So long as you don’t overcook it, this means that sweet corn is actively fighting to keep you healthy.
If you suffer from celiac disease or are gluten intolerant, corn is a safe vegetable for you to eat. It is naturally gluten-free and so won’t cause any problems or discomfort, making it a great substitute for other ingredients. The fact that it is so versatile means you can also use it in numerous ways – such as in bread – in order to create gluten-free meals that are healthy and delicious.
High in fiber
Most of us don’t eat enough fiber, but sweet corn can soon solve this issue. When it is prepared in foods – such as tortilla wraps – it is classed as a grain due to its high fiber content, which gives you a hint as to how much it contains. A single cup of corn has more than 3.5 grams of fiber, which can help you reach your recommended daily intake. Foods that are high in fiber aid digestive health, keep you feeling fuller, longer and, thereby, help you avoid snacking, and reduce the chances of high cholesterol. All of this makes sweet corn the perfect addition to your diet.
*Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional nutritional advice, diagnosis, or treatment. You should always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a nutrition or medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this, or any other, website.