What Are The Health Benefits Of Maize Plant Or Corn (Zea mays)?

JEROME MICHAEL EBRUPHIYO Monday, September 20, 2021 Science and Nature

This post will provide information on "What are the health benefits of maize plant or corn (Zea mays)?" as well as provide answers to questions like: What is the history of maize? Who first started growing maize? Where was the origin of maize? When did maize cultivation start? Is maize good for human consumption? What are the benefits of corn plant? Which vitamin is present in maize? What are the benefits of boiled corn? Is maize bad for health? What are the disadvantages of eating corn? What are the side effects of corn silk? What are the symptoms of maize disease?

History of Maize Plant or Corn (Zea mays)

Maize (Zea mays subsp). mays, from Spanish: maíz after Taino: mahiz), also known as corn (North American and Australian English), is a cereal grain first domesticated by indigenous peoples in southern Mexico about 10,000 years ago. The leafy stalk of the plant produces pollen inflorescences and separate ovuliferous inflorescences called ears that yield kernels or seeds, which are fruits. Maize has become a staple food in many parts of the world, with the total production of maize surpassing that of wheat or rice. In addition to being consumed directly by humans (often in the form of masa), maize is also used for corn ethanol, animal feed and other maize products, such as corn starch and corn syrup. The six major types of maize are dent corn, flint corn, pod corn, popcorn, flour corn, and sweet corn. Sugar-rich varieties called sweet corn are usually grown for human consumption as kernels, while field corn varieties are used for animal feed, various corn-based human food uses (including grinding into cornmeal or masa, pressing into corn oil, and fermentation and distillation into alcoholic beverages like bourbon whiskey), and as chemical feedstocks. Maize is also used in making ethanol and other biofuels. Maize is widely cultivated throughout the world, and a greater weight of maize is produced each year than any other grain. In 2014, total world production was 1.04 billion tonnes. Maize is the most widely grown grain crop throughout the Americas, with 361 million metric tons grown in the United States alone in 2014. Genetically modified maize made up 85% of the maize planted in the United States in 2009. Subsidies in the United States help to account for its high level of cultivation of maize and its position as the largest producer in the world. Maize is a cultigen; human intervention is required for it to propagate. Whether or not the kernels fall off the cob on their own is a key piece of evidence used in archaeology to distinguish domesticated maize from its naturally-propagating teosinte ancestor. Genetic evidence can also be used to determine when various lineages split. Most historians believe maize was domesticated in the Tehuacán Valley of Mexico. Recent research in the early 21st century has modified this view somewhat; scholars now indicate the adjacent Balsas River Valley of south-central Mexico as the center of domestication. An influential 2002 study by Matsuoka et al. has demonstrated that, rather than the multiple independent domestications model, all maize arose from a single domestication in southern Mexico about 9,000 years ago. The study also demonstrated that the oldest surviving maize types are those of the Mexican highlands. Later, maize spread from this region over the Americas along two major paths. This is consistent with a model based on the archaeological record suggesting that maize diversified in the highlands of Mexico before spreading to the lowlands.

Description of Maize Plant or Corn (Zea mays)

The maize plant is often 3 m (10 ft) in height, though some natural strains can grow 13 m (43 ft). The stem is commonly composed of 20 internodes[39] of 18 cm (7 in) length. The leaves arise from the nodes, alternately on opposite sides on the stalk. A leaf, which grows from each node, is generally 9 cm (3+1/2 in) in width and 120 cm (3 ft 11 in) in length. Ears develop above a few of the leaves in the midsection of the plant, between the stem and leaf sheath, elongating by around 3 mm (1/8 in) per day, to a length of 18 cm (7 in) with 60 cm (24 in) being the maximum alleged in the subspecies. They are female inflorescences, tightly enveloped by several layers of ear leaves commonly called husks. Certain varieties of maize have been bred to produce many additional developed ears. These are the source of the "baby corn" used as a vegetable in Asian cuisine.

Health Benefits of Maize Plant or Corn (Zea mays)

  • Corn aids in alleviating digestive problems such as constipation and hemorrhoids
  • The calorific content of sweet yellow and white corn is 96 calories per 100 grams which is useful for weight gain
  • Corn may contain several essential minerals that can help in ensuring proper growth and fighting diseases
  • Corn oil, in particular, might be the best way to improve heart health and this is derived from the fact that corn is close to an optimal fatty acid combination
  • Yellow corn might be a rich source of beta-carotene, which forms vitamin A in the body and is essential for the maintenance of good vision and skin
  • Consumption of whole-grain corn is related to a possibility of a decreased risk in the development of type 2 diabetes
  • Cornstarch is used in the manufacturing of many cosmetic products and may also be applied topically to soothe skin rashes and irritation

Side Effects of Maize Plant or Corn (Zea mays)

High intake can cause digestive upset, such as bloating, gas, and diarrhea, in some people. Corn contains phytic acid, which may reduce mineral absorption. Mycotoxin contamination may also be a concern in developing countries. Finally, corn's soluble fiber (FODMAPs) may cause symptoms for some people.

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