The Star of the Month: Corn

As we hit the middle of August, the end of summer and going back to school are likely on everyone’s minds. But there is one good thing about this time of year and that is corn is in season! Although a lot of people may think that corn is off limits due to its high starch content, corn can be enjoyed in moderation by mostly everyone.

Did you know that corn not one fits into one food category but two? The kernels you eat off the cob are a vegetable but if you dry and pop those kernels into popcorn, it is considered a whole grain. Corn is high in the antioxidant carotenoids, vitamin C, and vitamin E. It is also high in lutein and zeaxanthin which are great to promote eye health. Corn can also help with constipation as 1 cup of yellow corn has 3.9 grams of fiber and the same serving of white corn has 4.2 grams of fiber. This fiber is insoluble which means it adds bulk to stool and can help prevent constipation.

A few cautions on corn. First it is considered a starchy vegetable which means those with diabetes should limit their portion size. A ½ cup serving of corn typically has around 15 grams of carbohydrates. The other caution is when you have corn, not to load it with butter and salt which can take a healthy food and make it unhealthy. If you still need to add some flavor try using a low-fat tub margarine instead of butter and other seasonings such as Mrs. Dash instead of salt to flavor it.

To add some more corn to your diet try this easy recipe below from allrecipes.com or for a different way to eat some corn, try the bean and corn salsa recipe from health.com

Delicious and Easy Corn on the Cob
Ingredients:
1/4 tsp white sugar
4 ears of corn, husked and cleaned
Directions:
1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Stir sugar into water to dissolve; add corn, cover pot, and turn heat off, leaving pot on hot burner.
2. Steep corn in hot water until tender, about 25 minutes. Makes 4 servings.
Nutrition Information: 78 calories, 17.4 g carbohydrates, 1.1 g fat, 2.4 g fiber, 2.9 g protein, 14 mg sodium
Bean and Corn Salsa
Ingredients:

3 cups chopped seeded tomato (about 3 medium)
¾ cup chopped Vidalia or other sweet onion
½ cup chopped tomatillos (about 2 medium)
¼ cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
¼ cup fresh corn kernels
2 Tbsp finely chopped fresh parsley
2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
½ tsp salt
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
½ tsp hot sauce

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl; cover and chill at least 2 hours. Makes 16-¼ cup servings.
Nutritional Information: 15 calories, 0.2 g fat, 0.6 g protein, 3.3 g carbohydrates, 0.8 g fiber, 83 mg sodium

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