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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

Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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