A most interesting article, Think More Kindly of Corn; What It Lacks in Nutrition, It Makes Up on Cleanup , was published in Washington Post’s Eat, Drink and Be Healthy column by Jennifer Huget. We know that corn does not digest well for many and these folks are fed up with corn. If you have a intestinal discomfort from eating corn, there are soaking methods (with canning lime and water) to increase nutrient absorption and make it more digestible. This can help.
Janet talks about the nutrients in corn, but I wanted to point out some of the good work of the outer hull does for the gut. Here is the extract:
In any case, providing nutrients isn’t really corn’s strong suit. Though eaten as a vegetable, corn agriculturally is considered a whole grain — and we all know we need more of them, right? When we think about adding more whole grains to our diet, we tend to think about wheat. But corn is a perfectly legit whole grain that does an admirable job of performing the tasks expected of all whole grains.
Corn is composed of both soluble and insoluble fiber. The soluble fiber becomes gellike when wet, and it binds to undesirable matter such as cholesterol and escorts it out of our bodies. It also slows the absorption of dietary fat.
Insoluble fiber, which our bodies can’t digest, scrapes the sludge out of our gastrointestinal tracts. Those big kernels are like snowplows, scooping stuff up as they move through your intestines. When the kernels leave your body, so does a lot of material your body doesn’t need.
The author does make an understandable but serious error:
“Of course, if you use corn mostly as a vehicle for butter and salt, its nutrients may be outweighed by saturated fat and sodium, neither of which does your cardiovascular system any favors.”
The butter may be the very best part for you. Butter is better than margarine; more so than just taste, but for its unusual nutrients that are heart healthy. Margarine has dangerous oxicholesterols and unsaturated fats, the ones that clog vessels. See 20 Reasons Why Butter is Better. And salt is essential to life and our cells. Without some salt, you die. The worn-out mantra to avoid salt is way overblown– although some with circulatory problems and edema should limit its use by avoiding all the high-salt foods. But even for these folks, I think avoiding salt at the table is going overboard.
Then Janet talks about the poop.
Pickin’ ears anyone?
Select your fresh, picked-the-same-day corn from local farmers; the better ones know the best varieties. Find the naturally grown growers, ya know the ones that use manure etc. Buy it by the bushel if you want to cut it off the cob and freeze it for year round eating. For an extra treat, grind some sea salt on it and some fresh-ground pepper.