Sweetcorn might be one of the most confusing foods out there, because of the many myths surrounding it. Some believe it’s high in sugar because of its name when in fact, it only has approximately 3g of sugar in 100g of corn.
We’re not even sure how to classify it: is it a vegetable, is it a grain? Actually, it’s both! When it’s fresh and you can eat it off the cob, sweetcorn is considered a vegetable. When the kernels are dry, it’s a grain.
Sweetcorn is also very versatile; it’s been a staple food for centuries and it’s a nice addition in soups, salads or as a pizza toping. We can take it straight off the cob to make popcorn, chips, tortillas, cornmeal, polenta, oil or syrup. The corn syrup is used as a sweetener and it’s also known as glucose syrup, high fructose syrup.
Benefits of eating corn
One of the main nutritional benefits of sweetcorn is its high fibre content. And as we know, dietary fibre is important for our health: it aids digestion, it can decrease the risk of heart disease, strokes, type 2 diabetes and bowel cancer. On top of that, fibre helps you stay fuller for longer. So, if you add 100g of sweetcorn to a meal, you get 2.4g of fibre. Add it to hearty meals containing pulses or wholegrains and you’re all set for your daily intake.
Sweetcorn is rich in folate as well, also known as vitamin B9. This nutrient is essential for the wellbeing of our body, especially during pregnancy. Folate contributes to the creation of healthy red blood cells, and to the baby’s development in the womb. The recommended daily intake of vitamin B9 is 200 micrograms, and you can get 35micrograms with just a 100g of sweetcorn.
Also found in sweetcorn is another B vitamin: thiamine (vitamin B1). Thiamine is responsible for breaking down our food turning it into energy as well as keeping the nervous system healthy.
Corn is also a good source of vitamin C, a powerhouse vitamin that supports the wellbeing of our immune system as it combats fatigue, stimulates collagen and supports iron absorption. As vitamin C is sensitive to heat and can lose some of its properties during cooking, one of the best ways of cooking sweetcorn is by steaming it.
Other nutrients found in sweetcorn are magnesium and potassium. Magnesium plays a part in the wellbeing of our muscles and bones, metabolises food into energy and helps reduce tiredness. Potassium’s role is to balance the fluids in our body as well as helping our muscles to relax and contract. This is why sweetcorn makes such a good post-workout snack.
Why you should cook with frozen sweetcorn
You know what nutrients sweetcorn holds, but do you know how to make sure you’re getting the best quality out of it? Frozen sweetcorn is a great way of getting all those nutrients, because during the freezing process the vitamins and minerals are “locked in” and naturally preserved. It is also a convenient way to have access to these nutrients all year round.