- Feb 03, 2018 -
Rui Hai Lu, Cornell assistant professor of food science, reports that corn is rich in antioxidants and beneficial phytonutrients, and asserts that canned corn might offer more benefits than the fresh variety. When cooked, corn releases a compound called ferulic acid, which might help prevent cancer. In addition to ferulic acid, canned corn contains healthy amounts of minerals and vitamins. One cup contains 420 mg of potassium, significantly more than the amount found in a small banana. This essential mineral is necessary for maintaining stable blood pressure. Canned sweet corn also provides 2.404 mg of niacin -- or vitamin B-3 -- per cup. Vitamin B-3 helps release energy from food, reduce high blood pressure and maintain a healthy digestive tract. Finally, lutein and zeaxanthin -- a pair of antioxidant carotenoids that might help prevent macular degeneration, an age-related eye disease -- are present, with 82 mg per cup.
Canned sweet corn can be high in salt, with some brands containing as much as 545 mg of sodium per cup -- close to a quarter of the recommended dietary allowance. MedlinePlus reports that excessive dietary salt can lead to fluid retention and increased blood pressure in sodium-sensitive individuals; the website recommends getting no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day. If you are over 51, are African American or have high blood pressure, diabetes or chronic kidney disease, the recommended amount is no more than 1,500 mg per day. Look for canned corn with no added salt; the sodium level drops to a modest 31 mg per cup.
Virtually no side effects are tied to canned sweet corn, unless you are allergic to corn. In that case, you should avoid not only canned sweet corn, but also cornstarch, corn syrup, corn oil, corn sweeteners and popcorn. Doctors used to advise people with diverticulitis -- an inflammation of the tiny pouches in the small intestine -- to avoid nuts, seeds and corn; that caveat is less common today. According to MedPage Today, research has shown that corn is harmless in those with diverticulitis. However, if you have diverticulitis and experience worsening of symptoms after eating corn, you should avoid it.
Corn has a long list of healthy components, including fiber, vitamin C and magnesium; a recent study even found that popcorn is packed with antioxidants, making the food a valuable part of any diet. When looking at purchase price alone, fresh corn is cheaper than its canned and frozen counterparts, but when the researchers factored in the cost of waste — mainly from the cob — and prep time, they found that canned corn can save families 25% in cost and is just as fibrous as the fresh variety.