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Maize or corn, is a grain plant that was first domesticated in Southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. It is a monocot that belongs to the family Poaceae. It's an average 3-meter plant, but could grow up to 13 meters. The seeds or the kernels are the consumed parts of the plant. It is a staple food in many parts of the world, competing with wheat and rice in its production. The colors of maize are derived from the Anthocyanins and Phlobaphenes of the plant.
Baby corn or mini corn is procured from the Maize plant itself. It is just harvested at an early age, when the stalks are still immature and small. Baby corn is generally a pale yellow in color. It does not have the bright yellow of the Mature Corn.
What makes Corn and Baby Corn so important?
Corn comes in six types - Dent Corn, Flint Corn, Pod Corn, Popcorn, Flour Corn, and Sweet Corn. Corn is eaten as a whole and it is also consumed in form of cornmeal, a dried powdered version of it. It is consumed as a staple and is included in all possible Mexican dishes. The Mexicans also have a delicacy, Huitlacoche, which is a fungus that grows on Corn.
Corn kernels comprise of 76% water, are rich in calories and starch. Corn is rich in Vitamins A, B and E, Thiamin, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid and Folate. These Vitamins and Niacin promote growth of cells. The deficiency of these are most common in malnutritioned individuals. The Panthothenic Acid is an essential for lipid, protein and carbohydrate metabolism in the body.
Folate is essential for pregnant women to avoid cases of malnutrition in the infants. It is high in fiber, thus preventing any digestion related ailments, like constipation. It is also a reserve of antioxidants that prevents excess oxidation in the cells of the body. These antioxidants also take up the role of anti-carcinogens sometimes.
Corn Oil is said to have an anti-atherogenic effect on cholesterol levels in the body. This reduces the risk of various cardiovascular diseases.
Baby Corn is a low-calorie vegetable with lesser starch than Mature Corn. It also has a lesser carb content, making it healthier. It is very rich in fiber. This fiber keeps you full and prevents you from overeating. It also regulates the heart to be healthy and avoids any heart-related diseases. It also has gotten a significant amount of protein which when combined with other food, forms a good and balanced meal.
Baby Corn has got 0% fat in it. It is a rich source of Vitamins A and C. These are essential to strengthen your immune system and fight off infection. It also has a good amount of Iron stored in it, which comes handy to transport oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body.
How to eat these two cornies?
Both, Corn and Baby Corn can be consumed raw as well as cooked. In case of Corn, the raw kernels need to be separated from the rock-hard cob before consumption. The Baby Corn can just be consumed without separating the kernels since the cob is still very soft. Boiled and cooked Corn kernels are used is various forms throughout the world. Some eat it for breakfast, some eat it like roti for lunch, and some just boil it and eat it with spices and butter.
Baby corn is mainly used in stir fries. It's cut up in to smaller pieces and mixed with other vegetable to make a healthy snack.
Which one is healthier?
Now, let's just put it simply..
If you're looking to gain weight and stay healthy at the same time, Corn is the food for you. It'll help you store calories and will prevent all those heart diseases from initiating.
But, if you're conscious of that waistline of yours, then baby, Baby Corn is your best friend! Low in carbs, low in starch, 0% fat, what more do you want? The fiber keep your blood sugar levels in check keeping you feeling full and preventing you from getting any unwanted cravings.
Eat corn, but don't be corny! :P