An A-Maize-ing Superfood to Try This Summer


Fresh sweet corn may be an all-American favorite, but there’s a lot of confusion surrounding this summer staple.

Some believe sweet corn is high in sugar because of its name. However, there’s not a kernel of truth to that myth! Corn only has about 3g of sugar in every 100g and it packs plenty of health benefits. 

We’re not even sure how to classify it: Is it a grain? Is it a vegetable? Actually, it’s both! 

Corn is one of the most diverse crops found in nature with more than 200 varieties. Sweet corn is picked and eaten while the ears are in the immature milk stage. This makes sweet corn kernels tender and juicy; perfect for corn on the cob. 

Flint corn, on the other hand, contains less starch and is ideal for popcorn. This variety is picked when the kernels are dry and mature. When heated, a small amount of natural moisture inside the kernel turns to steam and builds up enough pressure to eventually explode into popcorn.

When it’s fresh and you can eat it off the cob, sweetcorn is considered a vegetable. When the kernels are dry, it’s considered a grain.

Now that we have that cleared up, let’s take a look at some of the a-maize-ing benefits of sweet corn.

Corn Promotes Healthy Digestion

Corn is high in dietary fiber, which is necessary for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Fiber is the bulk in plant-based foods that your body doesn’t digest. Although it’s indigestible, the fiber in corn offers many other advantages, like regulating bowel movements, managing blood sugar levels, and more. 

Corn’s insoluble fiber also makes it a low-glycemic index food. This means that corn is digested slowly and doesn’t cause an unhealthy spike in blood sugar.

Corn Helps Maintain Healthy Vision.

According to the USDA, sweet corn is loaded with lutein and zeaxanthin — two phytochemicals that promote healthy vision, according to a 2018 review in Nutrients. In particular, lutein is known to improve or even prevent age-related macular disease which is the leading cause of blindness and vision impairment.

Corn is a Source of Essential Nutrients

Corn is an excellent source of potassium, an essential nutrient that many Americans don’t get enough of. Potassium helps regulate the circulatory system, maintaining adequate blood flow and a strong heartbeat. If left unchecked, low potassium levels may lead to a potentially serious condition called hypokalemia

It also contains many B vitamins, as well as essential minerals, including zinc, magnesium, copper, iron and manganese. 

Corn Contains Beneficial Antioxidants

Corn contains an antioxidant called quercetin. Researchers have found strong evidence that quercetin plays an important role in treating prostatitis, an inflammation of the prostate that affects many men. 

Quercetin may also have a protective effect against Alzheimer’s and dementia. Scientists have found that quercetin protects neuron cells and reduces neuroinflammation, potentially reducing the incidence of dementia.

Veer from Your Usual Ear

So, what’s the best way to enjoy sweet corn? Corn is super simple to prepare and incredibly versatile, but it’s hard to beat corn on the cob.

Whether you choose to grill, boil or steam it, there are endless options went it comes to seasonings:

  • Lemon juice and cayenne pepper
  • Steak seasoning and a pat of butter
  • Parmesan cheese
  • A pinch of brown sugar, chipotle chili powder and a sprinkle of cayenne 
  • Chives
  • Lemon pepper 
  • Chipotle aioli 
  • Soaked in a pickle juice brine
  • Cinnamon sugar butter 
  • Dried herbs and olive oil 
  • Cajun butter 
  • Garlic soy glaze
  • Old Bay and lemon mayonnaise
  • Classic street corn style 

If you have leftovers, Corn is also a great addition to salsa, guacamole as well as all kinds of salads and stir-fries.

Senior Star + Superfoods

Your local Senior Star community has all kinds of creative ways to learn more about this month’s superfood: sweet corn. 

Perhaps you’d like to check out a cooking demonstration or unwind at one of our Mixology Experiences.

Contact your local Senior Star Community to find out what’s available near you and how to participate. You can also reach out for monthly recipes and other fun ideas.

Download our Guide to Aging Well: Secrets to Successful Aging from “Blue Zones” Around The  World. Questions about senior living? Contact us to learn more.