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Maize is the traditional name for maize, a modern one. It known by its ancient name to the Native Americans as well as many other cultures throughout the world. The kernels of maize are what hold the majority of it’s nutrients, and is the most commonly consumed part. Though we mostly think of only yellow, it comes in multiple colors, depending on its variety and the where it is grown. Some of the
Maize is a rich source of calories and is a staple diet in many populations. The calorific content of maize is 342 calories per 100 grams, which is among the highest for cereals. And combined with the ease and flexibility of growing maize, it is a great source of energy and nutrients vital for the survival of economically challenged and agricultural-based nations.
Maize is a great option for underweight people, referred to as ‘hard gainers’. One cup of maize provides as much as 130 calories. It is calorie dense and rich in carbohydrates, which helps to them to bulk up the body. Thus, it helps to gain weight speedily in a healthy way in case of underweight people.
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The fiber content of one cup of maize amounts up to 18.4% of the daily-recommended amount required by the body. Fiber helps to regulate bowel movements, which stimulates peristaltic motion and even stimulates the production of gastric juice and bile, thus preventing constipation, acidity, hemorrhoids and other digestion related issues. It is also known to add bulk to overly loose stools, thereby reducing the chances of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), diarrhea and also facilitates the removal of toxic food substance.
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Maize oil has anti-atherogenic effect on cholesterol levels, thus reducing the risk of various cardiovascular diseases and a general scavenger of free radicals throughout the body. This oil in particular is the best way to increase heart health, because it is low in fat contest as well as close to an optimal fatty acid combination for the body. This allows omega-3 fatty acids to strip away the damaging “bad” cholesterol. This will reduce the chances of arteries becoming clogged, will reduce blood pressure, and decrease the chances of heart attack and stroke.
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Whole-grain consumption of fiber, such as maize, according to research, reduces colon risk and prevents cancer, although, on the whole, fibers has been proven to reduce that risk. It is the antioxidants found in maize that fight and eliminate cancer-causing free radicals. Moreover, this grain is a good source of the ferulic acid, anthocyanins and betacryptoxanthin which is effective in fighting various types of cancers in breast, liver, lungs etc.
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Maize is a good source of thymine, which is an integral cofactor in enzymatic reactions for energy production as well as brain cell/cognitive functions. It is also needed for synthesis and stimulation of acetylcholine, a neurotransmitter essential for memory and whose deficiency can cause age-related impairment in mental function (senility) and Alzheimer’s disease.
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Maize also has a significant level of iron, which is one of the essential minerals needed to form new red blood cells and its efficiency is one of the main cause of anemia. Also deficiency of vitamin B12 and folic acid also causes anemia. Thus by incorporating maize in the daily diet one can prevent and protect the body from anemia.
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Connective tissue comprises of bones, ligaments, tendons, muscles and cartilage. Traces of mineral manganese that strengthens the connective tissue is found in maize. Additionally, manganese helps to maintain the blood sugar levels and breaks down carbs and fat to provide energy. A cup of maize provides about 12 % of manganese of the daily-recommended amount required by the body. The other minerals found in maize like magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus are needed for healthy bones and optimum metabolic functions.
Maize starch is used as a component in many cosmetic products and may also be applied topically to soothe skin rashes and irritation. Also it is a good source of several vitamins including vitamin C, thiamin and niacin, vitamin A as well as minerals and antioxidants that play an important role to maintain a smooth and healthy skin.
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Maize helps to improve overall nutrient status and to help provide outstanding nutrient richness in the diet apart from being a great source of energy.
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