Efforts to change the diet have been continuous since ancient times. Maize cultivation began in Mexico about ten thousand years ago and has been used as a staple food in many parts of the world. In Bangladesh, maize is second only to paddy and wheat. Maize is more nutritious than rice and wheat. With the increase in demand for maize, the amount and production of land under maize cultivation is continuously increasing. The total cultivable land and production of maize in the country was 1.84 lakh hectares and 11.36 lakh metric tons in FY 2008-09 respectively which increased to 5.544 lakh hectares and 54.025 lakh metric tons in FY 2019-20 respectively. Maize is used in 75% of animal feed and at least 10% of fish feed. Due to the presence of sufficient amount of nutrients in maize, the acceptance of maize as food for livestock and fish is increasing day by day. However, adding corn to our daily diet can undoubtedly contribute to our food and nutrition security.
Corn is nutritious
Corn kernels are mainly taken as food. Corn contains almost everything from different food ingredients. Note Maize Nutrition Table-1. Maize contains various plant chemical compounds which are beneficial for human health. In different countries of the world, there are more than one hundred foods made from corn, of which about 72 are the main food, 15 types of drinks and more than 12 are the national food for breakfast. In addition, there is no pair of different types of food ingredients.
Benefits of corn in maintaining health
1. Being a good source of vitamin A, corn helps in improving eyesight. Lutein and xanthin protect our eyes from aging eye corrosion. So eating 5-6 grams of corn per day can also prevent cataracts. The vitamin B complex present in corn is essential for beautiful skin, hair and digestion which is also used to cure arthritis. Vitamins A, C, and K together with beta carotene and selenium increase the function of the thyroid gland and help prevent disease.
2. Rich in phytosterols, bioflavonoids and linolenic acid, it increases blood flow and helps keep the heart healthy by controlling cholesterol. Corn antioxidants can fight free radicals that cause cancer and reduce the risk of cancer.
3. Lactin present in maize contains antidote to HIV virus. The carotene present in corn prevents the formation of colon cancer, leukemia and gastric cancer cells. Anthocyanins present in maize have special anti-carcinogenic, anti-diabetic and anti-microbial properties.
4. Babycorn is an excellent source of folic acid which also helps in weight gain of the baby. So it is very important for pregnant women to have baby corn in their diet. It contains a lot of iron which prevents anemia.
5. Young yellow corn husks are rich in magnesium, iron and copper and especially phosphorus which is essential for strong bones.
. Corn-based foods can aid in the development and proper functioning of the brain and nervous system.
. Constipation is relieved by eating corn as it contains high levels of fiber. That is why colon cancer patients are advised to eat corn.