Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Corn, The Vegetable World's Rodney Dangerfield

Corn, also known as maize, is a cereal grain that is a food staple in many areas of the world. Grown and harvested from stalks, corn is eaten by the whole kernel as a vegetable, or it is dried and turned into corn meal. Corn meal is used like flour and is the main ingredient in many foods. The oil from corn (corn contains a small amount of vegetable fat) is used for cooking. The sugars from corn are turned into syrup and used as sweeteners. Unfortunately, corn syrup is chemically processed into high fructose corn syrup, which has negative health consequences, including those associated with weight gain, obesity and diabetes. Interestingly enough, corn is a principle ingredient in bourbon whiskey, as well as an adjunct in some beers. In the United States and Canada, corn is widely grown to feed livestock. It is also used in pet food and fish bait. Lately, corn has taken on a larger role as an alternative source for energy called biofuel. While the benefits of corn based biofuel are debatable, corn biofuel, also called ethanol, does reduce pollutants in the air and helps lower fuel costs. As a healthy food source, corn certainly has its benefits. Corn is high in fiber. One cup of corn adds over 18% of the body's daily recommended fiber. Corn is high in B vitamins and has a decent amount of vitamin C. Corn is a good energy source. It is starchy and sweet, which makes it high in carbohydrates that fuel the body for its daily activities. Corn contains beta-cryptoxanthin (say that three times fast!), a phytonutrient that may help to lower lung cancer risk. Corn is an icon of North American, South American and Mexican culture, used in so many ways, representing history, tradition and celebration. Corn is a vital food source world wide and should be a regular part of a health conscious diet. Did I mention popcorn?

Thought for the Week: "In the age of acorns, before the times of Ceres, a single corn kernel had been of more value to mankind than all the diamonds of the mines of India." ~Henry Brooke

Chiropractic Thought for the Week: "Chiropractic's health benefits are so much greater than the relief of back or neck pain. Chiropractic is whole-body health care with the vision to see the body as much more than the sum of its parts. The science of chiropractic emphasizes the relationship between the spine and the nervous system, and how that relationship affects function and health. The chiropractic approach to health care is holistic, stressing the patient's overall well-being. It recognizes that many factors affect health, including exercise, diet, rest, environment and heredity. Chiropractic focuses on maintaining optimal health naturally so that the body is better able to resist disease, rather than simply treating the symptoms of disease." --- Quad Cities News, Channel 8, Davenport, Iowa