Corn is a very common cereal that is grown all over the world. It has numerous properties that have a beneficial effect on our body and is suitable for creating a variety of dishes in the kitchen.
There are several varieties of corn on the market, such as grains, and flour, in the form of oil and as a simple ingredient for cosmetic use. In combination with other products that are equally beneficial to our body, without excessive consumption, it can turn out to be a powerful panacea. Let’s find out what it is, what are its properties and beneficial effects on our body, as well as what side effects can be caused by excessive use of this ingredient.
What is corn and how is it used?
Corn belongs to the family of cereals, the seeds of which contain starch. The cultivated plant reaches two and a half meters in height, and some wild varieties can reach up to twelve meters. Sowing takes place in the spring, and fruits can be harvested from August to September.
After harvesting, before going on sale, it is processed for canning, steaming, or vacuum packaging. Corn is mainly used in the kitchen as an ingredient to accompany various dishes, in diets, or in cosmetics to create cosmetic products.
The history of corn
The first corn crops date back to ancient Mesoamerica. It was thanks to the Mayan population that its nutritional properties were studied so much that it was used to fight pellagra, a disease caused by a lack of vitamin B3, which corn is very rich in. In 1500, the corn trade also spread to Asia and Africa.
Properties and beneficial effects
Corn, as we have already said, has numerous properties and after consumption can have a beneficial effect on our body. For this reason, it is often used as an ingredient in natural formulations, since it is a good adjuvant when used together with medications for the treatment of certain diseases. In particular:
- can help relieve inflammation;
- has a diuretic effect: in fact, the use is recommended for those who suffer from bladder-related problems;
- promotes wound healing;
- can help counteract the function performed by free radicals;
- helps fight gastrointestinal disorders;
- improves skin condition;
- it can be consumed by those who suffer from gluten disease since it does not contain gluten, but as a result of processing, starch, white flour, which acts as a complex sugar, is obtained;
- helps fight anemia;
- can help replenish B vitamins, folic acid, and iron during pregnancy;
- it can help replenish energy because it contains carbohydrates and zero cholesterol;
- helps fight diabetes and hypertension;
- it can be considered a very digestible food;
- can help counteract bloating.
Corn and its beneficial effect on the heart
Today, most corn is genetically modified, rich in fiber and mineral salts, vitamins A and B. It contains selenium, which:
- can help protect the heart and has an antioxidant effect, helping to fight free radicals;
- has an anti-aging effect, helping to maintain a low level of homocysteine in the blood;
- can help lower cholesterol, which is important to prevent the occurrence of heart disease, and atherosclerosis, especially if you use corn oil.
Corn and its beneficial effects on the brain
- Corn is rich in phosphorus and iron, which makes it a food that helps maintain mental health and therefore concentration.
How to apply
Corn is a very versatile cereal, as it is used in cooking, cosmetics, and medicine. Let’s take a look at the main applications:
- in the kitchen: it can be eaten fried and boiled. Its grains are ideal for vegetable salads, pasta, or cereal soups. For breakfast, you can eat them in the form of “cornflakes” in combination with yogurt and milk or make cereal bars. Corn flour is used to make crackers, cookies, and various sweets;
- in cosmetics: the presence of beta-carotene, vitamin A, on the contrary, allows the corn to protect the eyes and skin. For this reason, corn starch is used in various cosmetics to treat skin irritations, redness, and inflammation;
- in medicine: corn is used as a remedy for colic, cramps, and bladder problems.
Corn in cosmetics
Corn is used in cosmetics, especially in the form of starch for the preparation of creams, and soaps, as well as as an ingredient in medicines. You can create various cosmetic products with your own hands, designed for skin and hair, and also use them instead of talc or face powder because of their absorbent properties.
Just mix a spoonful of cornstarch with a little vinegar to get a mask that cleanses the skin, removing excess sebum that causes the appearance of black dots. Ideally, let the mixture stand for about ten minutes and rinse with warm water. Corn oil has good elasticity and is, therefore, suitable for skin massage.
Contraindications and possible side effects
Corn is a food suitable for those who do not tolerate gluten, so it can be consumed with celiac disease, but in reasonable quantities to avoid the development of side effects such as diarrhea and colic. One of the proteins contained in it has characteristics that can cause serious allergies in the most sensitive people.
Beware of canned corn, as it contains a lot of calories and salt.
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