Corn. Yeah, it really is that good.

Poor corn.  So faithful.  So forgotten.

For generations, corn has been a staple for whole civilizations of people.  Today, however, not many people toot its horn.  Let me change that for just a minute.

One of the most well-known benefits of corn is its huge fiber content.  It has so much fiber that it is really difficult to digest.  A single ear of corn (medium size, about 7″ long) has 3g of dietary fiber.  One cup of corn has 14.3% of the daily needs of fiber.  The insoluble fiber found in corn is great for working on (and preventing) digestive issues like constipation and hemorrhoids.

Anyone who has eaten corn knows how hard it is to digest and has experienced its benefits but did you know that corn also has the following benefits?

  • Corn is a good source of Vitamin C and manganese.  These are both well-know antioxidants that help protect many of the body’s systems and its cells.
  • More recently, corn’s phytonutrients have been documented to be good antioxidants and also to help reduce the risk of heart disease and other cardiovascular problems.
  • Some of the phytonutrients found in corn include beta-carotene and lutein, both of which help keep our eyes healthy.
  • Corn is a low-calorie food that still has enough fiber to actually makes you feel full.  One ear of corn has only 77 calories.
  • Corn is also a good source of folic acid.  The importance of folic acid (especially for pregnant women) was discussed in more detail in a previous post.
  • Surprisingly, there is a decent amount of protein found in corn, with a single ear having 3g.  The best part of the protein found in corn is that it is high quality with a great amino acid score of 83.
    • Let’s see if I can explain the amino acid score without putting anyone to sleep.
    • Protein is made up of amino acids.  The body breaks protein down into its amino acids in order to use them.  There are 9 essential amino acids, or amino acids that the body can’t produce on its own so we have to get them from our diet.
    • Amino acids can only be used by our bodies in specific proportions.  If you have 100% of 8 amino acids but only have 50% of the 9th, the body will only use 50% of each of the amino acids.  This is a simplification, I’m sure, but you get the point.
    • The amino acid score is a number (from 0 – 100) that tells you how proportionately balanced the amino acid in that food is.  By comparison, a sirloin, which is considered a great protein source, has an amino acid score of 94.
    • In other words, corn is a good source of good protein.
  • The high fiber and good protein quality in corn help regulate how quickly it passes through the digestive system.  This benefits blood sugar by regulating the uptake of sugar from the digestive tract into the blood stream.  This makes corn great for diabetics and anyone trying to control blood sugar.
  • Corn just tastes good.

There are many reasons corn is a great staple for our dinner tables.  If you haven’t had the pleasure of eating some delicious corn lately, look up your favorite recipe and have some tonight.

And, of course, with so many amazing health benefits, you know you can find corn in Dee’s Cereal.  You can read a little more about corn and the rest of the ingredients found in Dee’s Cereal on our nutrition page at http://deescereal.com/nutrition/.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live

Sources that weren’t knowledge gained from classes, past reading, and life experience: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=90http://home.howstuffworks.com/corn3.htmhttp://nutritiondata.self.com/

 

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What’s the big deal with whole grains?

Everybody is talking about it!  Whole grains are splattered all over our favorite food’s packaging, they’re on the news, they’re even in my blog!  I’m just waiting for someone to create a California Raisins version of the whole grain…please let me know if someone has and I somehow missed out.

Last year the USDA made changes to dietary guidelines asking Americans to include more whole grains in their diet.  As of July 2012, school lunches in the USA will have to include more whole grains.  Bloggers, news agencies, marketing companies; everyone seems to be touting the benefits of whole grains.  They’ve even created a Whole Grains Council!  (It’s a fantastic resource, by the way.)

Dee’s Cereal has been promoting whole grains since day one.  We’ve made it easy to add solid whole grains to your diet by not including a single refined grain in Dee’s Cereal.

So what’s the big deal?

Let’s start off with what a whole grain is.  We have to thank the fantastic Whole Grains Council and USDA for some of the information we’re using.

There are 3 main parts to a grain: bran, endosperm and germ.

Bran: This is the outer layer which helps protect the grain.  It has antioxidants, B vitamins and more fiber than the other two parts.

Endosperm: This supplies food to the plant so it can grow.  It’s the biggest part of the grain.  It also contains the biggest portion of starchy carbohydrates, some protein, some fiber and a few minerals and vitamins.

Germ: This is the part of the plant that, if fertilized, will grow into a new plant.  It has some fiber as well as B vitamins, protein, and other vitamins and minerals.

A whole grain has all 3 parts.  Refined grains typically only have the endosperm left.

Removing the bran and the germ removes lots of protein, fiber and important nutrients.  We’ve said for years that too many grains we eat nowadays are first killed (refined) and then resurrected (enriched). Keeping the grain in its natural, whole state is the best way to go.

The Whole Grains Council has compiled many studies that show health benefits from eating whole grains.  Little things, such as:

  • Risk of stroke reduced 30 – 36%
  • Risk of type 2 diabetes reduced 21 – 30%
  • Risk of heart disease reduced 25 – 28%
  • Better weight control

Right, like I said, little things (hopefully my sarcasm is obvious).  Its amazing that a simple thing like eating grains in their natural state can cause such a huge impact on our health.

The biggest benefits came to those eating 3 servings or more per day (16 g per serving) but some benefits have been shown with only 1 serving per day.

Every 54g serving of Dee’s Cereal contains an astounding 34g of whole grains!  That means that by simply eating one serving of Dee’s Cereal each day you already have 2/3 of the whole grain that showed such amazing benefits in these research studies.  Not to mention the benefits I’ll be discussing later such as omega fats, high-caliber plant-based proteins, no sodium, and great vitamins and minerals.

There may not be a magic pill for health, but nature has provided a pretty good option in whole grains. Dee’s Cereal is an easy, fast, healthy way to incorporate whole grains into your diet.

Remember, the choices you make determine the life you live