Thursday, January 17, 2013

Article # 211. Makka (Maize/Corn) Health Benefits




Makka (Maize/Corn) Health Benefits
Maize, commonly known as corn, provides you with proteins, carbohydrates, lipids, fiber, plenty of vitamins and minerals.
Nutritional benefits of maize-
Maize is highly rich in protein, thiamine or vitamin-B1 which is very necessary for the brain to absorb glucose and to transform that food into energy.
Vitamin-A in maize functions as an antioxidant in preventing diseases.
The high fiber content makes it suitable for diets that are made to lose weight and those made with the aim of lowering cholesterol levels. This high fiber content helps in digestion and reduces cholesterol.It facilitates the removal of toxic food substance and accelerates the passage of feces through the intestine.
·         Maize promotes the function of gall bladder and reduces stomach acidity.
·         It helps to reduce the development of cancer.
·         It is low in fat and cholesterol content.
·         The fiber in the whole grain helps to prevent the risk of heart diseases and diabetes.
·         All the nutrients in the grain boost your immune system.
·         Maize being rich in folate, helps in the generation of new cells, especially important during pregnancy.
·         It showed positive effects in the people suffering from anemia.
·         The presence of thiamine in maize helps in the metabolism of carbohydrates.
·         It is helpful in rectifying kidney problems like renal dysfunction.
 Popcorn made by heating the grains is a wholesome cereal food. It has everything the same as the original grain of corn. But it is not fattening as in the process of popping, its starch is converted into dextrins and intermediates which are easily assimilable. It is laxative and provides bulk to feces. It also promotes peristalsis. Therefore it is a valuable food for constipation. 


Benefits in detail:-
o    Rich Source of Calories: Corn is a rich source of calories and forms a part of the staple diet among many populations. The calorific content of corn is 342 calories per 100grams, among the highest in cereals.
o    Prevention of Haemorrhoids and Colorectal Cancer: The fibre content of one cup of corn amounts 18.4% of the daily recommended amount. This aids in alleviating digestive problems such as constipation and haemorrhoids, as well as lowering the risk of colon cancer.
o    Rich Source of Vitamins: Corn is rich in vitamin B constituents, especially Thiamin and Niacin. Thiamin is essential for maintaining nerve health and cognitive function. Niacin deficiency leads to Pellagra; a disease characterised by diarrhoea, dementia and dermatitis and is commonly observed in malnourished individuals. Corn is also a good source of Pantothenic acid which is a vitamin necessary for carbohydrate as well as protein and lipid metabolism in the body. Deficiency of folic acid in pregnant women leads to birth of underweight infants and may also result in neural tube defects at birth. Corn provides a large chunk of the daily folate requirement. Yellow corn is a rich source of beta-carotene which forms vitamin A in the body, essential for maintenance of good vision and skin. The kernels of corn are rich in vitamin E, a natural antioxidant essential for growth.

o    Provides Necessary Minerals: Corn contains abundant phosphorus apart from magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron and copper. It also contains trace minerals like selenium. Phosphorus is essential for maintenance of normal growth, bone health and normal kidney functioning. Magnesium is necessary for maintaining normal heart rate and for bone strength.
o    Antioxidant Properties of Corn: According to studies carried out at Cornell University, corn is a rich source of antioxidants which fight the cancer causing free radicals. In fact, cooking increases the antioxidants in sweet corn. Corn is a rich source of a phenolic compound ferulic acid, an anti-cancer agent which has been shown to be effective in fighting tumours in breast cancer and liver cancer. Anthocyanins, found in purple corn also act as scavengers of cancer-causing free radicals.
o    Cardio-Protective Attributes: According to researchers, corn oil has been shown to anti-atherogenic effect on the cholesterol levels, thus preventing the risk of cardiovascular diseases.
o    Prevents Anaemia: The vitamin B12 and folic acid present in corn prevent anaemia caused by the deficiency of these vitamins.
o    Lowering LDL Cholesterol: According to Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, consumption of corn husk oil lowers plasma LDL cholesterol by reducing cholesterol absorption by the body.
o    Protection against Diabetes and Hypertension: Consumption of corn kernels assists the management of non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus (NIDDM) and is effective against hypertension due to the presence of phenolic phytochemicals in whole corn.
o    Cosmetic Benefits: Corn starch is used in the manufacture of many cosmetics and may also be applied topically to soothe skin rashes and irritations. Corn products can be used to replace carcinogenic petroleum products which form major components of cosmetic preparations.

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