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Corn on the Cob
Wednesday, April 19, 2006
Zea mays is the scientific name of corn. Although we can buy the locally grown variety in the market any time of the year, it is in summer months that they taste the sweetest. Here in Pangasinan province, you can see lots of vendors selling corn along highways. They are very affordable yet very sweet. They can be bought raw, boiled, or grilled. You can buy them raw and then roast or microwave them at home depending on your preference.

Boiling is the traditional way of cooking corn. They are shucked, washed, and then dropped in a pot of boiling water. Cooking time usually depends on the age and size of the corn. It is important not to put salt on the boiling water as this may cause the kernels to toughen. They usually cook for 5 minutes under boiling water. Remove them from the water once they are done and they are ready to serve. Some prefer spreading salt and butter, others squeeze fresh lemon juice or kalamansi. If you want to be more exotic, you can brush olive oil and then sprinkle your favorite dried herbs. It all depends on your mood.

Corn is a very good source of a number of nutrients including proteins, carbohydrates, folate, dietary fiber, vitamins A, B1, B5 among others. We all know that fiber-rich foods help a lot in keeping our digestive system run smoothly. Studies also show that fiber helps lower high cholesterol levels and decreases the risk of colon cancer. Folate which help prevent neural-tube defects (birth defects), is also found to reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke by lowering the levels of homocysteine, an amino acid which can directly damage blood vessels. Thiamine (Vitamin B1), an important vitamin for the normal cognitive functioning of the brain, is also present in corn. This vitamin is needed for the synthesis of the brain neurotransmitter acetylcholine whose deficiency may contribute to senility and Alzheimer's disease.

The nutrients mentioned are only some of the many valuable nutients found in corn. Corn has lots of beneficial effects on the heart and digestive system so make it a healthful part of your regular menu.
posted by Amelyn R. Rafael,MD @ 3:09 PM  
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Name: Amelyn R. Rafael,MD
Home: San Fabian, Pangasinan, Philippines
About Me: Family Physician, and Associate Professor (Clinical Anatomy and Medical Physiology)
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