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Endless Cornfusion: The Real Deal With Corn and its Nutritional Benefits

Corn is probably one of the most versatile food items out there as it’s used in a wide array of dishes. We use it in our cereal, salad, soup, dessert, and many others. However, this might just be the very reason why its real classification is still being debated until today. It is being attached to several categories of food, and it makes a lot of people wonder: is it a grain, a vegetable, or a fruit? Here are some explanations that could help shed some light on this matter.

Aside from eating it directly from the cob, you can make a variety of dishes using corn

Corn Is A Grain

From a technical perspective, grains have three parts: the bran, endosperm, and germ. And since the corn fits this description, it passes as a grain. Corn kernels, like the ones used in making popcorn, are whole grains because it makes use of the entire kernel with all the parts. But the processed products such as flour and cornmeal only use the endosperm, so it doesn’t contain the fiber and other nutrients that come from the germ and bran. 

Corn kernels are considered whole grains

Corn Is A Vegetable

Corn is also a vegetable, as vegetables are defined as a plant or part of a plant that is edible and usually accompanied by meat or fish. It is also actually listed as both a grain and a vegetable in the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Because it contains more calories and carbohydrates than the green leafy vegetables, it is categorized as a starchy vegetable, along with the likes of squash, carrots, beets, yams, green peas, and potatoes. And compared to the other types, starchy vegetables provide more energy to the consumers.

Corn Is A Fruit

Just like the way tomato and cucumber are considered to be a fruit, corn is also one. Fruits are defined as plant growth products and developed from a plant’s seed or flower, and corn fits both definitions. Also, each kernel can be classified as a caryopsis, which is a one-seeded and dry fruit.

It is also considered both a vegetable and a fruit

No matter what category corn may be, the good news is that it is packed with nutrients. It is rich in fiber, carbohydrates, vitamin C, potassium, and folate. There are also so many culinary possibilities with this one simple ingredient. So you can enjoy it on the cob, in your salad, throw it on a grill, or turn it into a gourmet dish. If there’s one thing for sure, it’s that corn will definitely bring out the creative spirit in you. 

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