Is Corn Good for You? Nutrition Facts and More
Learn about the nutritional content, health benefits, and downsides of corn

Corn, also called maize, is one of the most widely consumed grains in the world. 

Rich in fiber, vitamins, and minerals, corn has some nutritional benefits and can be incorporated into a balanced diet. However, there are also potential drawbacks to eating too much corn.

Learn about the nutritional content, health benefits, and downsides of corn.

How nutritious is corn?

Corn contains a variety of nutrients, including:

Table. Nutrients in 145 grams of corn
Nutrient Amount
Water 110
Calories 125 kcal
Protein 4.74 grams
Total fat 1.96 grams
Ash 0.899 grams
Carbohydrates 27.1 grams
Fiber 2.9 grams
Sugars 9.08 grams
Sucrose 1.29 grams
Glucose 4.97 grams
Fructose 2.81 grams
Starch 8.26 grams
Calcium 2.9 mg
Iron 0.754 mg
Magnesium 53.6 mg
Phosphorus 129 mg
Potassium 392 mg
Sodium 21.8 mg
Zinc 0.667 mg
Copper 0.078 mg
Manganese 0.236 mg
Selenium 0.87 µg
Vitamin C 9.86 mg
Thiamin 0.225 mg
Riboflavin 0.08 mg
Niacin 2.57 mg
Pantothenic acid 1.04 mg
Vitamin B6 0.135 mg
Folate 60.9 µg
Choline 33.4 mg
Vitamin A 13 µg
Carotene, beta 68.2 µg
Carotene, alpha 23.2 µg
Cryptoxanthin, beta 167 µg
Lutein + zeaxanthin 934 µg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol) 0.102 mg
Tocopherol, gamma 0.217 mg
Vitamin K (phylloquinone) 0.435 µg
Fatty acids, total saturated 0.471 grams
Fatty acids, total monounsaturated 0.626 grams
Fatty acids, total polyunsaturated 0.706 grams
Tryptophan 0.033 grams
Threonine 0.187 grams
Isoleucine 0.187 grams
Leucine 0.505 grams
Lysine 0.199 grams
Methionine 0.097 grams
Cystine 0.038 grams
Phenylalanine 0.217 grams
Tyrosine 0.178 grams
Valine 0.268 grams
Arginine 0.19 grams
Histidine 0.129 grams
Alanine 0.428 grams
Aspartic acid 0.354 grams
Glutamic acid 0.922 grams
Glycine 0.184 grams
Proline 0.423 grams
Serine 0.222 grams

8 potential health benefits of corn

1. Lowers the risk of chronic diseases

Corn contains potent antioxidants, including lutein, zeaxanthin, quercetin, and vitamins C and E, which can help lower the risk of many chronic diseases.

Antioxidants combat free radicals, which can damage cells and contribute to the development of diseases such as heart disease and type II diabetes.

2. Prevents digestive issues

Corn is high in insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to stools. This helps promote digestive health and regular bowel movements, preventing or treating constipation.

Corn also contains some soluble fiber, which dissolves in water and produces a gel that helps firm up stools and relieve diarrhea.

3. Promotes heart health

Corn is rich in a variety of minerals essential for cardiovascular health, including potassium and magnesium, both of which promote healthy blood pressure levels. 

The soluble fiber content in corn also encourages the liver to utilize cholesterol to produce bile or acids that aid in fat absorption, thereby lowering blood cholesterol levels.

4. Provides sustained energy

Corn is a source of complex carbs that break down more slowly than simple carbs and provide the body with a sustained amount of energy. A 100-gram serving of corn contains about 21 grams of carbs.

5. Aids weight loss

Although in carbs, corn is also low in calories and high in fiber, which keeps you feeling full for longer. In addition, several controlled trials have reported that a diet rich in whole grains such as corn positively affects weight loss

6. Prevents anemia

Corn is high in vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, which help reduce the risk of anemia by providing the nutrients needed to form new red blood cells.

7. Good for pregnancy

According to studies, folic acid or vitamin B9 found in corn is vital for pregnant women, promoting the health of the fetus and lowering the risk of intrauterine growth retardation and gestational anemia.

8. Gluten-free

Corn is naturally gluten-free, making it an excellent alternative to wheat if you have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.

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What are the potential downsides of corn?

While including corn in your diet can be beneficial, it is important to eat it in moderation due to its potential risks:

Corn is also a genetically modified crop, which may have an impact on health and environmental safety. More research, however, is needed regarding the effect of GMOs on human health.

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Medically Reviewed on 8/30/2022
References
Image Source: iStock image

Corn, sweet, yellow, raw. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169998/nutrients

Corn. https://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/corn-health-benefits

Corn: Nutrition And Health Benefits. https://www.organicfacts.net/health-benefits/cereal/health-benefits-of-corn.html