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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 November 20, 2020

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Kickstart Your Morning Workout With These 10 Simple Habits

Benjamin Franklin said it like this: “Early to bed, early to rise, will make a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” He knew from his own experiences and watching others that the ones who got up early were healthier and more successful. That’s why a morning workout can be so important.

One 2017 study found that:[1]

“after controlling for such factors as age, sex, smoking habits, and others…night owls, were found to have a 10 percent greater risk of dying from any cause compared to morning types.”

This is a great reason to tap into some morning motivation and get your morning workout done.

Circadian Rhythm for morning workout

    As you can see in the above graph, your blood pressure begins to rise between 6 and 7 in the morning[2]. That means this is a great time to get your body moving and your heart pumping, even if it’s just for 20 minutes of exercise in the morning. 

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    Here are some tips on how to find the motivation for a morning workout.

    1. Remember Your Why

    It starts with remembering why you want to get up for a morning workout. If you don’t set a goal and establish your reasons for accomplishing a health and fitness goal, then you definitely won’t get up early.

    Getting up early isn’t easy. If it were, everyone would do it, right? Your goal for your health and fitness must be so strong, and the WHY behind it must be so powerful, that nothing will stop you from accomplishing that goal.

    2. Go to Bed Early

    If you want to get up early for a morning workout, it’s going to be important to get to bed earlier. Falling asleep at midnight and trying to get up at six just won’t work in your favor.

    This will likely be very difficult for a few days while you adjust your sleeping habits. However, as you get into an exercise routine in the morning, this will naturally make it easier to fall asleep earlier and faster at night.

    3. Make a Commitment

    I sometimes tell my Facebook community of my plans to work out, and we all keep each other motivated by posting our runs, our workouts, etc. This is a way to develop accountability. By publicly announcing your intentions, you increase your chances of actually carrying out your plans.

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    Another way to do this is to find an accountability partner who has similar goals for morning workouts. You can check in with each other to make sure you’re sticking to your plans. If that doesn’t work, hire a personal trainer for a few weeks to get you started.  

    You can learn how to find a good accountability partner here.

    4. Find a Friend

    If you can find a friend that is motivated like you are, and you can hold each other accountable daily to working out, then you will accomplish your fitness goals. Many people prefer working out with friends to working out alone. Whether it’s a chat while hitting the treadmill at the gym, or having someone to spot you while weightlifting, working out with friends is sometimes just more enjoyable.

    Texting each other the night before with a simple statement is best. Don’t ask: “Are we still working out in the morning?” With this kind of question, if they were thinking about not working out, you just gave them an opt out.

    Make a statement instead: “Can’t wait to see you in the morning!” This implies that they will be there, and they will feel more obligated to show up.

    5. Treat Yourself

    We all have to treat ourselves every now and then. After a morning workout, plan to treat yourself with a colorful, healthy breakfast or a delicious morning smoothie. This will help you look forward to something and push through to the end of your workout.

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    You can learn more on rewards and punishments here.

    6. Change your Mindset

    Many people throw away the idea of a morning workout by simply saying, “I’m not a morning person.”  Instead of using this excuse, decide to try to become a morning person by shifting your mindset.

    When you look into the benefits of waking up early and getting some exercise in before your day starts, you’ll feel more positive about your life overall.

    7. Plan Your Day

    You know you’re going to be busy. Try time blocking to plan all the things you need to do on a given day, and make sure you add in your morning workout[3]. If you have a plan laid out, you’ll be more likely to follow it and get done everything on your list done.

    Time blocking

      8. Reflect on How You’ll Feel After

      Starting a morning workout is hard, but visualizing how you’ll feel after can help you find motivation. Think about the extra energy you’ll have and how proud you’ll feel knowing that you were already so productive. No matter what you do the rest of the day, at least you squeezed in your exercise!

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      For me, I live in an area where there are a lot of runners. When I am heading home in the evening or sitting out on the patio at one of my favorite restaurants, and I see the runners go by, it makes me feel so accomplished that I got mine in that morning and I can enjoy the evening.

      9. Lay out Your Workout Clothes

      Setting out your workout clothes the night before makes it impossible for you to start to run late because you couldn’t find something to wear. Tap into the determination you have before bed in order to convince your less-than-motivated morning self that you need to get up and get your morning workout in. When you wake up and see your outfit laid out next to you, it’ll push you to get up and get moving.

      10.  Set Multiple Alarms

      Many people miss their morning workout simply because they hit the snooze button so many times. In order to make this more difficult for yourself, set a series of alarms. That way, if you keep hitting snooze, you’ll have three or four alarms going off every ten minutes, which will be annoying enough to get you out of bed.

      Also, put one alarm at least a few feet from your bed so that you’re forced to get up to turn it off.

      Final Thoughts

      About three years ago I went from being the person that says I will never be an early riser to a person that loves to get the day started as soon as possible. Without the distractions that begin to come around 8 or 9 in the morning, you’ll find that you’re more productive and more likely to squeeze in that morning workout.

      Take some of the actions above and find the best morning workout routine to start your day and feel good.

      More Tips on Morning Exercises

      Featured photo credit: Tomasz Woźniak via unsplash.com

      Reference

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