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Corn, on the cob or off, a treat with health benefits

Corn hasn't had much good press lately. Upstarts like broccoli have been stealing the show, but corn is an ancient food that deserves our respect.

The Aztecs served corn, and the Mayans did too. Native Americans saved the Pilgrims from starvation by demonstrating how to grow corn. Now, modern people find it an excellent source of great flavor, vitamin C, and fiber.

Corn bran can protect the heart.

One study at Illinois State University shows that men who ate a low-fat diet plus 20 grams (less than a teaspoon) of corn bran each day for six weeks had a 13 percent drop in triglycerides, the blood fats that contribute to heart disease. Those who ate wheat bran showed no such change.

The soluble fiber in corn binds with cholesterol in bile from the liver. It then passes from the body and takes the cholesterol with it.

There's more to corn than just medical benefits. Corn on the cob is a great seasonal treat. Choose white corn instead of yellow for more fiber. When cutting it off the cob, try to get the whole kernel. Or cut the corn from the cob, then run the back of the knife down the rows to get it all.

Buy mature corn and cook it while it's still fresh. Husk just before cooking. Steaming corn is best, because boiling draws out some of the nutrients.

When adding corn to a salad, use raw corn for a flavorful, crunchy addition to other vegetables.

Spicy Southwestern Cornbread
Cook 1/2-cup diced red bell pepper with 1/2-cup onion and one minced jalapeno in 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat until soft. Prepare an 8-ounce box of cornbread mix, adding 1 cup corn and the pepper mixture to the batter. Pour into a greased 8-inch round cake pan, sprinkle with 1/2-cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, and bake at 400 degrees for about 25 minutes. Serves 8 to 12.

This story was posted on 2023-08-17 14:11:23
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