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You'll be a-maized by how good corn is for your diet

Not only does sweetcorn add crunch and colour to meals, those tasty kernels are packed with health-boosting nutrients, as Kate Whiting reveals

There was a time when sweetcorn regularly featured on dinner plates up and down the country. It's fallen out of favour somewhat in more recent years, however, not as trendy as the likes of kale and, according to some corn critics, too high in carbohydrates.

Well, we'd like to set the record straight.

Nothing beats the first crunchy bite of a corn on the cob on a warm summer's evening, and whether heaped next to a piece of fish or mixed into salads for added flavour and texture, those sweet yellow kernels are bursting with goodness.

Here are six sweet reasons to get corn-y.

One of your five-a-day

Nutritionist and co-author of The Detox Kitchen Bible (Bloomsbury, £25), Rob Hobson says: "I hate all these things where people tell you not to eat certain starchy vegetables. As a vegetable, sweetcorn is one of your five-a-day to start with, and it has plenty of nutritional value."

Nutrient rich

Hobson says corn, along with other yellow and orange veggies, is rich in nutrients, including the antioxidants beta-carotene and lutein, the carotenoids which give the vegetables their distinctive colour.

These are essential for preventing eye diseases, which is why we say carrots help you see in the dark.

Corn also contains certain B vitamins and vitamin C, as well as magnesium and also potassium.

Less sugar than an apple

The clue's sort of in the name - sweetcorn tastes sweet, so you'd think it was full of sugar. But apparently, an ear of corn has about the same number of calories as an apple and less than a quarter of the sugar.

Fibre boosting

The Scientific Advisory Committee on Nutrition (SACN) recently reported that we're not eating enough fibre, with most of us managing to consume around 20g each day, far lower than the recommended daily intake of 30g. Hobson says: "Most of us don't get anywhere near enough fibre in our diet. Like all vegetables, sweetcorn is a source of fibre, which is good for digestive health."

Good gut bacteria

Sweetcorn does have high amounts of insoluble fibre - which is why the husks of the corn kernels don't get broken down - but apparently that's good for your gut, as it feeds the good bacteria in your tummy.


Many people are gluten-intolerant - or prefer to avoid eating gluten as it simply doesn't agree with them - and sweetcorn is naturally gluten-free. In its flour form, maize is used to make gluten-free pasta, which is a healthy alternative to the wheat version.

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