Eating a healthy diet during pregnancy is very important for the health of the mother and for the development of fetus. Corn is rich in vitamins and minerals and is beneficial for health, pregnant or not. Corn is not only rich in nutrition but also delicious. Many pregnant women like the juicy, crunchy taste of sweet corn. However, is it good to have corn during pregnancy? You will find the answer here.
Nutritional Profile Of Corn
According to a source one cup (166 grams) of corn consists of:
- 123 grams of carbohydrates
- 15.6 grams of protein
- 4.5 mg of Iron
- 211 mg grams of Magnesium
- 349 mg of Phosphorus
- 476 mg of Potassium
It is rich in the following vitamins
- Thiamine 0.6 mg (43% dv)
- Riboflavin 0.3 mg (20% dv)
- Niacin 6.0 mg (30% dv)
- Vitamin B6 1.0 mg (52% dv)
Corn, like all cereal grains, is largely made of carbohydrates and that’s why corn is one of the pregnancy superfoods to be included in your pregnancy diet when it comes to grains and millets. It also contains trace quantities of sugar. Corn is available in a variety of forms, including sweet corn, canned corn, corn starch, corn syrups, and so on. The corn you found on the cob is sweet corn.
The nutritional content of maize varies depending on the variety.
- Corn is a rich source of carbohydrates. Most of the carbohydrates in corn are in the form of starch
- Low sodium content
- Unlike ordinary corn, sweet corn contains more sugar. However, the Glycaemic Index (GI) of sweet corn remains low or medium
- Corn is high in fiber
- Corn is a good source of protein. The protein content varies depending on the corn variety
- Corn contains a lot of various vitamins and minerals. Again, the content of vitamins and minerals fluctuates with the variety of corn
- It contains a decent amount of Selenium manganese copper and zinc
- Popcorn and sweet corn contain a lot of phosphorus
Is Corn Safe During Pregnancy ?
Corn is available in different forms. The safety of the corn during pregnancy depends on the derivative of corn chosen. Fresh corn is very healthy during pregnancy. And like any other healthy food during pregnancy, moderation is the key while consuming corn during pregnancy as well.
Corn that one should eat/avoid during pregnancy
- Frozen sweet corn in pregnancy is safe to eat. It carries fewer calories and sugar than its fresh counterparts
- You can safely eat boiled sweet corn during pregnancy
- Organic corn is highly recommended during pregnancy
- Baby corn during pregnancy is also safe
- A pregnant woman can safely consume cornflakes once in a while in a limited quantity
- If the salt and butter are used less and if it is 100% caramel-free, popcorn is also generally safe to consume during pregnancy
- Microwavable popcorn should be avoided during pregnancy as it may contain toxic elements
- Canned corn during pregnancy is not generally safe as it carries a risk of BPA
- Corn syrup is a big NO during pregnancy as it is loaded with high fructose sugars
- Corn oil and corn starch should be avoided during pregnancy
Related Reading: 12 Tips To Maintain Weight During Pregnancy
10 Amazing Benefits Of Eating Corn During Pregnancy
Being rich in vitamins and minerals, corn holds many benefits for a pregnant woman. Corns are naturally gluten-free food so it is a safe snack for pregnant women to combat morning sickness and also for the ones who are experiencing gluten allergy or intolerance.
Following are the 10 amazing benefits of eating corn during pregnancy:
1. Brings down the risk of anemia
Corn is an admirable source of vitamin B12, folic acid, and iron, which help the body produce red blood cells. Pregnancy is a period when women are prone to anemia. Eating corn during pregnancy helps reduce the risk of anemia.
2. Helps prevent constipation
Corn is an excellent source of dietary fiber. This helps to increase the stool bulk and facilitate bowel movement. Constipation during pregnancy is not anything new, eat corn during pregnancy and constipation may not bother you much. Eating corn during pregnancy helps to reduce the risk of hemorrhoid’s as well.
3. Helps to boost energy
During pregnancy, expectant mothers often feel insufficient energy. They tend to feel tired all the time, and this fatigue is more pronounced during the initial stages. Corn contains complex carbohydrates, which are digested more slowly, thereby providing longer energy. Therefore, eating corn during pregnancy can help increase energy levels.
4. Admirable source of high-quality protein
Corn is an incredible source of key amino acids, which makes it a unique source of high-quality protein. Protein rich foods during pregnancy are very important for the healthy development of the fetus.
5. Reduce the risk of neonatal defects
Corn contains folic acid, a vital element that helps to reduce the risk of neural abnormalities in the unborn baby (like Spina Bifida). Besides, corn is full of antioxidants like lutein which can potentially improve the eyesight of your unborn baby.
6. Enhances fetus brain development
Eating corn during pregnancy may also help to improve fetal brain development. Corn is rich in thiamine Vitamin B1 which can promote the brain development of the fetus. Whole grain cereals also help to increase fetal weight during pregnancy.
7. Helps to improve bone density
During pregnancy, if the calcium intake is compromised, the fetus tends to take enough calcium from the bone of the mother. This will adversely affect the bone density of the mother.
Corn contains natural calcium and other vital minerals like phosphorous that contributes to bone density. Therefore, eating corn during pregnancy may help to strengthen the bones of the expecting mother. This in turn might reduce the risk of developing osteoporosis in the future.
8. Enhances eye health of the mother
Many pregnant women experience vision problems during pregnancy. Corn contains carotenoids lutein and zeaxanthin, which are good for eyesight. These carotenoids are the macular pigments present in the retina. It prevents cell damage caused by free radicals.
8. Lowers the risk of tumors
Corn is composed of phenolic compounds such as ferulic acid. Studies have shown that ferulic acid has the potential to reduce the risk of cancer. The antioxidants found in corn can prevent certain types of cancer, including breast cancer.
9. Helps regulate blood pressure
It is important to maintain optimal blood pressure during pregnancy. Many expecting women tend to develop gestational hypertension. Corn contains a decent amount of potassium and magnesium. These two elements help to regulate blood pressure.
10. Boosts immunity
Corn is rich in vitamin A. Vitamin A is an antioxidant that helps protect the body against harmful free radicals. Eating corn during pregnancy is one of the simplest ways to boost immunity during pregnancy and trust us in today’s world, immunity is of utmost importance.
Risks And Precautions Of Eating Corn During Pregnancy
Despite all the benefits, corn also has some risks. And, some precautions should be taken when consuming corn during pregnancy.
Risks of eating corn during pregnancy
Like any other food, corn should also be consumed in moderation. Craving sweet corn during pregnancy is quite common. Even then, refrain from excessive consumption. Listed below are some of the risks associated with excessive consumption of corn.
- Too much corn can also cause digestive issues
- Eating processed corn products is not the right move. Processed corn products lose useful fiber and other nutrients during the production process
- In addition, many processed foods are high in salt, sugar, or fat which is dangerous for the healthy progression of pregnancy
- Excessive consumption of corn may increase the risk of heart disease because it is rich in fatty acids
- Like all types of grains, whole grain corn contains phytic acid (phytate). Phytic acid hinders the absorption of dietary minerals, such as iron and zinc
- Although this is usually not a problem for people who eat well, it may become a major problem among mothers who rely mainly on grains and legumes
Related Reading: 7 Home Remedies For Abdominal Pain During Pregnancy
Precautions to take while eating corn during pregnancy
If you take certain precautions when buying, storing, and using corn, you can benefit from eating corn during pregnancy.
- Be sure to buy fresh corn with husk. Check the freshness by piercing the kernel
- Compared with frozen or canned varieties, pregnant women should prefer fresh corn
- When purchasing, please make sure the husk of the corn is green
- Store the corn with an intact husk. this helps to retain its freshness
- It is best to use fresh corn for cooking
- Consume the corn without delay after buying it to reap its maximum benefits
- Corn kernels should be stored in airtight containers in the freezer to maintain their nutritional value
Why Is Microwave Popcorn Not Safe During Pregnancy?
For the following reasons, you should not consume microwave popcorn, especially during pregnancy.
- They contain a chemical called diacetyl, which is used to mimic the taste of butter. Studies have shown that workers in popcorn factories suffer from a lung disease called bronchiolitis obliterans (workers’ popcorn lungs) when they inhale these volatile flavors in oil
- Microwavable popcorn bags contain a toxic chemical called perfluorooctanoic acid, which decomposes when heated. It is a carcinogen and can cause many kinds of cancer
How To Consume Corn During Pregnancy?
Here are the different ways to eat corn during pregnancy:
- Eating boiled corn is a healthy way to eat corn during pregnancy because it can reap all the nutrients benefits. It only takes 3 to 4 minutes to cook fresh corn. Don’t cook the corn for too long, as the kernels turn hard when overcooked
- Pasta tastes yummy and more nutritious if you add some sweet corn to it
- Prepare sweet corn soup
- You can eat grilled corn during pregnancy
- Sweet corn is a delicious complement to salads, soups, toasts, and sandwiches
- Last but not least choose the right type of corn to enjoy the flavor of dishes. For example, making a baby corn recipe with sweet corn will not taste good
Corn is safe and because of its health benefits, it must be consumed in your diet during pregnancy. Add corn to your daily diet to help your child grow up healthy and strong. However, you should avoid unhealthy corn products so as to not be overweight during pregnancy.
If you plan to add corn to your diet, please discuss its benefits and possible risks with your doctor. In case you feel unwell after eating corn, see a doctor. If you eat corn in moderation, you can enjoy a variety of delicacies to satisfy your pregnancy cravings.
Consuming cornflakes excessively can be problematic during pregnancy. Eating too many cornflakes during pregnancy can result in the intestinal gas formation, flatulence, bloating, and abdominal pain.
Also overeating of cornflakes might hinder the body’s ability to assimilate iron, zinc, and other minerals.
Even if you have gestational diabetes, you can still eat corn. Corn is a low glycemic index food. Low-GI foods may release glucose slowly and evenly, which helps control blood sugar levels.
The carbohydrates in corn are in the form of starch, which can cause blood sugar levels to rise rapidly. This however, depends on how much you eat. Still, it is also high in fiber, that can potentially balance blood sugar levels.