Can You Eat Corn Raw?

by Charlie

Also known as maize, corn is among the most popular cereal grains on the planet, dating as far back as 9,000 years ago. There are two main types of corn: sweet corn and dent corn. Dent corn or yellow field corn is not suitable for eating raw. It contains a lot of starch; hence, it is hard to digest and does not taste sweet.

Can you eat corn raw? Yes, you can eat sweet corn raw because it has a tender feel and is almost milky, and as the name suggests, it has a sugary, pleasant taste. It also contains a considerable reserve of vitamins and nutrients useful to the body.

When selecting corn to eat raw, you will want to get the youngest corn available. The best period to get this corn is from spring to early summer. 

To identify young corn, gently squeeze the cob to check its softness; ensure it is moderately soft. Sweet corn will also have a characteristic fresh smell. Since you may be unsure whether the corn was sprayed or not, you will want to wash it before consumption thoroughly. 

Can Toddlers Eat Raw Corn?

Yes, babies as young as 4-6 months of age can adopt raw corn as part of the diet after weaning. However, you will want to consult a doctor first if your baby has chronic eczema or food allergies. 

The section on Allergy and Immunology in the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) holds that the best time to introduce corn to toddlers is after giving them some traditional foods first. So you will want to start with some cereal, fruit, vegetables, or pureed meat to minimize the chances of an allergic reaction. 

Use a blender or food processor to puree the corn if your child does not have teeth yet. This will make it easier for your baby to take the corn until they can chew the corn independently. 

What are the Benefits of Eating Raw Corn?

Corn contains lutein and zeaxanthin carotenoids, which help protect the eyes against oxidative damage from blue light. A diet providing these antioxidants aids in boosting eye health and reducing the risk of cataracts and macular degeneration. 

Corn is rich in calories, which makes it ideal for people looking to gain weight quickly. Also, it contains vitamin C, which plays a role in enhancing the immune system. This vitamin simultaneously combats fatigue, supports the absorption of iron, and stimulates collagen. 

One cup of corn contains about 18% of the recommended daily intake of fiber. As such, it helps to alleviate digestive issues like constipation and hemorrhoids. Dietary fiber adds bulk to and softens stool, reducing the risks of irritable bowel syndrome and diarrhea. 

What are the benefits of eating raw corn? Raw corn has properties that boost eye health, prevent constipation, improve the immune system, and help with weight gain. It also has vitamins that aid in iron absorption and collagen stimulation.

Can You Eat Raw Corn During Pregnancy?

Since corn has adequate amounts of folate, it is suitable for intake during pregnancy. High folate amounts can reduce the risk of neural malformations such as Spina bifida in the unborn baby. The high fiber content in corn helps in resolving digestive problems like constipation during pregnancy. 

Also, corn has thiamine, which plays a part in energy metabolism. It is also crucial for the normal functioning of the muscle and nervous system. The beta-carotene in corn is a vitamin A source necessary for immune system functions and the proper development of the fetus. 

So, can you eat raw corn during pregnancy? Yes, you can eat raw corn while pregnant but in moderation. Taking enough amounts of raw sweet corn can help improve digestion and boost immunity in pregnant women. However, overeating raw corn can lead to uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms like indigestion.

What is the Nutrition Value of Raw Corn?

Corn is a good nutrient source containing varying amounts of carbohydrates, fats, protein, fiber, copper, zinc, vitamin C, vitamin B6, folate, potassium, niacin, and magnesium. Sweet corn provides higher amounts of antioxidants and other plant compounds than many other cereal grains.

A cup of raw sweet corn weighs about 164 grams. This serving contains:

  • 177 calories
  • 41 grams of carbohydrates
  • 5.4 grams of protein
  • 2.1 grams of fat
  • 4.6 grams of fiber
  • 17% of the RDI for Vitamin C
  • 24% of the RDI for Thiamine (Vitamin B1)
  • 19% of the RDI for folate (Vitamin B9)
  • 11% of the RDI for magnesium
  • 10% of the RDI for potassium

Like other cereal grains, corn has high amounts of carbohydrates. Starch, the main carbohydrate, takes 80% of sweet corn’s dry weight while providing smaller amounts of sugar (about 18%). It also packs a significant amount of low-quality proteins since it lacks some essential amino acids. 

Final Thoughts 

  • Corn sometimes referred to as maize, has two main types; sweet corn and field corn. Sweet corn is edible, while field corn/yellow corn/ dent corn is not.
  • Sweet corn is soft, sugary, and milky, which makes it suitable for eating raw. It is essential to wash it before eating since you may not know whether it was sprayed with chemicals. 
  • Babies as young as six months old can take raw corn in their diet. However, it is crucial to add corn to their meals after weaning to lower the risks of allergic reactions. So, corn can be an excellent addition to the diet of toddlers. 
  • Eating raw corn can boost your eye health and immunity, reduce constipation risks, and assist in weight gain. 
  • It is okay for pregnant women to eat raw corn since it has vitamins and minerals useful for the baby’s healthy growth and development. However, excessive amounts of raw corn can cause gastrointestinal discomfort. 
  • Raw corn has many nutrients like carbohydrates, proteins, fats, fiber, folate, potassium, and magnesium. This makes corn among the best cereals that supply a decent nutritional punch.

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