Baby corn: Nutritional value and health benefits

Tanveer Ahmad 

Agro-Climatology Lab, Department of Agronomy, University of Agriculture, Faisalabad

Corn which is obtained from the harvesting of young plant of maize, when its stalk is still small and immature is called as baby corn. It is also called as “candle corn”.

Baby corn: Nutritional value and health benefits

Actually, baby corn is immature ears and harvesting of these ears is done at silk emergence stage (48-72 hours after emergence), but before fertilization. It is very famous as vegetable, especially in Asian countries where it is cooked and eaten due to its sweetness and succulence in taste.

Its value is increasing day by day in all over the world due to its high nutritional quality and short duration (about two months). Its nutritional value is very close to the vegetables like cauliflower, tomato, cucumber and cabbage. Besides using it as vegetable, most of its parts like stalks, silk and tassel is used as animal feed. In many countries, it is used in pickles, soups, curries and salads.

Nutritional value

Baby corn has nutritional value very close to vegetables like cauliflower, cabbage and tomatoes etc. which is given in table 1.

Table 1: Baby corn nutritional value per 100 gram.

Nutrients

Quantity

Energy

26 calories

Carbohydrates

3.1 g

Fiber

1.7 g

Protein

2.5 g

Sodium (Na)

300 mg

Ca

95 mg

Mg

345 mg

P

898.62 mg

Besides these nutrients, it also contains iron, vitamin A, vitamin B and folic acid in little quantity. Studies have showed that its one cup meets about 8% of recommended daily intake o Fe and vitamin A and 4% of recommended daily intake of vitamin C.

Health benefits

  • Reduction in body weight

By using baby corn as vegetable, body weight can be reduced quickly even in days.

  • Maintain blood sugar level

Baby corn is rich in fiber contents. By taking proper quantity of baby corn according to age is very essential for human health because it maintains blood sugar level, improves bowel movement and maintains heartbeat.

  • Improve digestion

                           Being the rich source of soluble and insoluble fibers, it is very important for digestive system. By taking adequate amount of baby corn on daily basis improves the digestion due to which a human feels healthy.

  • Source of nutrients

Besides providing fiber, it is also a rich source of nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium (Mg), sodium (Na), calcium (Ca) and iron (Fe). These all nutrients fulfill the daily body requirement by taking half to one cup of baby corn on daily basis.

  • Improve vision

Baby corn contains small amount of carotenoids which improves the eyesight by minimizing the chances of cataracts.

  • Prevention of neural-tube birth defects

Baby corn is a source of folic acid which prevents the pregnant women from the neural-tube birth defects in foetus. Therefore, it should be added in the daily diet of pregnant women to save them from this problem.

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