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11 Benefits of Corn You Didn’t Know

11 Benefits of Corn You Didn’t Know

In recent years there’s been a great deal of debate over whether corn is actually good for you. Today we’re going to take a look at the health benefits of corn and show you why you shouldn’t be eliminating it from your diet.

1. High in Fiber

Corn is so high in fiber that it’s notoriously difficult to digest. This is why you’ve probably seen little yellow chunks in your stool before. Don’t pretend like you haven’t looked, we all have.

Although this may seem like a negative, it’s actually a positive thing because corn is an insoluble fiber, which is highly effective at combating digestive problems such as constipation and hemorrhoids. It does this by absorbing water, which subsequently swells your stool and speeds along its movement.

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2. Folic Acid

The folic acid in corn has been found to prevent neural-tube birth defects. In addition, it can also help to prevent heart disease. Studies have shown that folic acid can prevent a buildup of amino acid homocysteine in the body. Long-term elevation of homocysteine has been linked to higher rates of heart disease; folic acid helps break it down.

3. Antioxidants

All varieties of corn are high in antioxidants, which are important for fighting cancer-causing free radicals in your body. Recent research has shown the antioxidant benefits from different varieties of corn come from different combinations of phytonutrients. In the case of yellow corn, it’s carotenoids leading the way, with especially high concentrations of lutein and zeaxanthin. In the case of blue corn, it’s the anthocyanins. There’s one particular hydroxybenzoic acid in purple corn, protocatechuic acid, that’s also been recently linked to the strong antioxidant activity in this corn variety.

4. Blood Sugar

The protein and fiber found within corn can help to prevent too rapid or too slow an uptake of sugar from the digestive tract into the bloodstream. Once the uptake of sugar is steadied, it is easier to avoid sudden spikes or drops in blood sugar. Consumption of corn in ordinary amounts of 1–2 cups has been shown to be associated with better blood sugar control in both type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Fasting glucose and insulin levels have been used to verify these blood sugar benefits. Interestingly, in elementary school age and teenage youths already diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, whole grain cornbread has emerged in one study as the whole grain food with the highest acceptability among all whole grain foods.

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5. Vitamin B

Corn is rich in vitamin B and its constituents, particularly thiamine and niacin. Thiamine is imperative for maintaining nerve health and cognitive function. Niacin deficiency can lead to pellagra; a disease characterized by diarrhea, dementia and dermatitis that is commonly observed in malnourished individuals.

6. Vitamin E

Corn contains high levels of vitamin E, which is essential for the general well-being and health of your body. It also helps to prevent against a myriad of diseases.

7. Phosphorous

All varieties of corn are rich in phosphorous, which is essential for regulating normal growth, bone health and optimal kidney functioning.

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8. Magnesium

Corn kernels are high in magnesium, which is necessary for maintaining a normal heart rate and for increasing bone strength.

9. Cancer Prevention

As previously mentioned, antioxidants can help to prevent cancer, and now we’re going to look a little more closely as to why. Corn is a rich source of an antioxidant phenolic compound called ferulic acid, an anti-carcinogenic agent that has been shown to be effective in fighting the tumors that lead to breast cancer as well as liver cancer. Anthocyanins, found in purple corn, also act as scavengers and eliminators of cancer-causing free radicals. Antioxidants have been shown to reduce many of the most dangerous forms of cancer because of their ability to induce Programmed Cell Death (PCD), whilst leaving healthy cells unaffected.

10. Prevents Anemia

The vitamin B12 and folic acid present in corn can prevent anemia caused by a deficiency in these vitamins. Corn is also high in iron, which is one of the essential minerals needed to form new red blood cells. Importantly, a deficiency in iron is one of the main causes of anemia.

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11. Skin and Hair Health

Yellow corn is a great source of beta-carotene, which creates vitamin A in the body and is imperative for the maintenance of good vision and skin. Vitamin A will also benefit the health of skin and mucus membranes, as well as boosting the immune system.

Featured photo credit: Corn via acreagelife.com

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Tegan Jones

Tegan is a passionate journalist, writer and editor. She writes about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on September 18, 2020

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

7 Simple Rules to Live by to Get in Shape in Two Weeks

Learning how to get in shape and set goals is important if you’re looking to live a healthier lifestyle and get closer to your goal weight. While this does require changes to your daily routine, you’ll find that you are able to look and feel better in only two weeks.

Over the years, I’ve learned a lot about what it takes to get in shape. Although anyone can cover the basics (eat right and exercise), there are some things that I could only learn through trial and error. Let’s cover some of the most important points for how to get in shape in two weeks.

1. Exercise Daily

It is far easier to make exercise a habit if it is a daily one. If you aren’t exercising at all, I recommend starting by exercising a half hour every day. When you only exercise a couple times per week, it is much easier to turn one day off into three days off, a week off, or a month off.

If you are already used to exercising, switching to three or four times a week to fit your schedule may be preferable, but it is a lot harder to maintain a workout program you don’t do every day.

Be careful to not repeat the same exercise routine each day. If you do an intense ab workout one day, try switching it up to general cardio the next. You can also squeeze in a day of light walking to break up the intensity.

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If you’re a morning person, check out these morning exercises that will start your day off right.

2. Duration Doesn’t Substitute for Intensity

Once you get into the habit of regular exercise, where do you go if you still aren’t reaching your goals? Most people will solve the problem by exercising for longer periods of time, turning forty-minute workouts into two hour stretches. Not only does this drain your time, but it doesn’t work particularly well.

One study shows that “exercising for a whole hour instead of a half does not provide any additional loss in either body weight or fat”[1].

This is great news for both your schedule and your levels of motivation. You’ll likely find it much easier to exercise for 30 minutes a day instead of an hour. In those 30 minutes, do your best to up the intensity to your appropriate edge to get the most out of the time.

3. Acknowledge Your Limits

Many people get frustrated when they plateau in their weight loss or muscle gaining goals as they’re learning how to get in shape. Everyone has an equilibrium and genetic set point where their body wants to remain. This doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve your fitness goals, but don’t be too hard on yourself if you are struggling to lose weight or put on muscle.

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Acknowledging a set point doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean realizing the obstacles you face.

Expect to hit a plateau in your own fitness results[2]. When you expect a plateau, you can manage around it so you can continue your progress at a more realistic rate. When expectations meet reality, you can avoid dietary crashes.

4. Eat Healthy, Not Just Food That Looks Healthy

Know what you eat. Don’t fuss over minutia like whether you’re getting enough Omega 3’s or tryptophan, but be aware of the big things. Look at the foods you eat regularly and figure out whether they are healthy or not. Don’t get fooled by the deceptively healthy snacks just pretending to be good for you.

The basic nutritional advice includes:

  • Eat unprocessed foods
  • Eat more veggies
  • Use meat as a side dish, not a main course
  • Eat whole grains, not refined grains[3]

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Eat whole grains when you want to learn how to get in shape.

    5. Watch Out for Travel

    Don’t let a four-day holiday interfere with your attempts when you’re learning how to get in shape. I don’t mean that you need to follow your diet and exercise plan without any excursion, but when you are in the first few weeks, still forming habits, be careful that a week long break doesn’t terminate your progress.

    This is also true of schedule changes that leave you suddenly busy or make it difficult to exercise. Have a backup plan so you can be consistent, at least for the first month when you are forming habits.

    If travel is on your schedule and can’t be avoided, make an exercise plan before you go[4], and make sure to pack exercise clothes and an exercise mat as motivation to keep you on track.

    6. Start Slow

    Ever start an exercise plan by running ten miles and then puking your guts out? Maybe you aren’t that extreme, but burnout is common early on when learning how to get in shape. You have a lifetime to be healthy, so don’t try to go from couch potato to athletic superstar in a week.

    If you are starting a running regime, for example, run less than you can to start. Starting strength training? Work with less weight than you could theoretically lift. Increasing intensity and pushing yourself can come later when your body becomes comfortable with regular exercise.

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    7. Be Careful When Choosing a Workout Partner

    Should you have a workout partner? That depends. Workout partners can help you stay motivated and make exercising more fun. But they can also stop you from reaching your goals.

    My suggestion would be to have a workout partner, but when you start to plateau (either in physical ability, weight loss/gain, or overall health) and you haven’t reached your goals, consider mixing things up a bit.

    If you plateau, you may need to make changes to continue improving. In this case it’s important to talk to your workout partner about the changes you want to make, and if they don’t seem motivated to continue, offer a thirty day break where you both try different activities.

    I notice that guys working out together tend to match strength after a brief adjustment phase. Even if both are trying to improve, something seems to stall improvement once they reach a certain point. I found that I was able to lift as much as 30-50% more after taking a short break from my regular workout partner.

    Final Thoughts

    Learning how to get in shape in as little as two weeks sounds daunting, but if you’re motivated and have the time and energy to devote to it, it’s certainly possible.

    Find an exercise routine that works for you, eat healthy, drink lots of water, and watch as the transformation begins.

    More Tips on Getting in Shape

    Featured photo credit: Alexander Redl via unsplash.com

    Reference

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