Bio pop corn kernels Antonopoulos 500gr

Corn (Zea mays, its Latin name) is an annual crop and belongs to the family of Poaceae. Corn is a staple food in many parts of the world and is the third most consumed cereal after wheat and rice. It originated in South America and was the food of the indigenous peoples. Today it is one of the most important crops for the development of the world economy.
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7 REASONS to include corn in your diet

In recent years, scientific research around the world has highlighted the significant benefits of this fruit for health and its significant contribution to our daily diet. based on the food pyramid as it is rich source of nutrients, phytochemicals and fiber. In addition, corn does not contain gluten which makes it safe for people suffering from celiac disease and gluten intolerance.

But what should be given special attention by consumers is the consumption of corn, which is not a hybrid, ie a seed that has been artificially created in the laboratory. It is very sad that of the more than 300 Greek native varieties of corn that were once grown in the Greek countryside (each place cultivated its own corn) almost none is grown and most have completely disappeared.. Hybrid seeds have taken their place because these seeds produce enormous production and have an easier cultivation process. To understand this, it is worth noting that while the usual corn hybrids (which have flooded the market in recent decades) have 1,5-2 tons of production / acre, the local variety Diakoniara reaches only 400 kg of production / acre! The difference is huge and the financial benefits are even more gigantic!

Therefore, the conscious consumption of pure and natural food not only contributes to the maintenance of our health but also to the balance of the whole ecosystem!

At the Antonopoulos Farm, 2 traditional local varieties of corn are preserved and cultivated. One is called Diakoniara and is used to produce corn flour (Figure 1). While another one is cultivated, from which the poplar corn of Dilofos is produced.

Figure 1. Cultivation of a local variety of corn Diakoniaras at Antonopoulos Farm

But let's see below 7 reasons for whom it is worthwhile to include corn in our diet and to benefit our health.

1) Rich source of carotenoids

Carotenoids are a group of natural pigments and are responsible for the red, orange and yellow color of the plants. Especially in yellow corn there are large amounts of carotenoids with the most important being carotene, zeaxanthin and lutein. The role of carotenoids is not only limited to the performance of a particular color in food, but also important antioxidants and anti-cancer substances and help prevent eye diseases (cataracts and macular degeneration), cardiovascular disease, diabetes and various forms of cancer.

Carotenoids are also a precursor to the synthesis of vitamin A. Without adequate carotenoids, vitamin A cannot be synthesized in those who follow a vegetarian diet. Vitamin A is essential for good eye, skin, bone and immune health. Vitamin A deficiency is associated with vision problems, skin conditions and delayed development in children.

2) Rich source of vitamins E, C, K and B complex

Corn is rich in B vitamins. Vitamin B is essential for the proper functioning of the nervous system and the proper functioning of the metabolism. They also contribute to the good health of the skin, hair, heart and brain and prevent the symptoms of rheumatism as they seem to improve joint mobility.

In addition, the presence of vitamins A, C and K in combination with β-carotene and selenium help to optimize the function of the thyroid gland and the immune system.

Vitamin E has antioxidant and anti-aging effects, protecting the body from oxidative stress and preventing the formation of inflammation in the body.

3) Rich source of phytosterols

Phytosterols, as their name suggests, are found only in foods of plant origin, while cholesterol is only found in animal foods. While increased cholesterol consumption increases the risk of cardiovascular disease, eating phytosterols has beneficial effects on human health.

In recent decades it has been widely accepted by the medical community that phytosterols can lower LDL (bad) -blood cholesterol levels in the blood, while maintaining normal HDL (good) -cholesterolemic levels. This is achieved due to the competition of phytosterols with cholesterol, as a result of which they take its place and prevent its absorption in the intestine, eventually leading to its reduction. Consumption of phytosterols within a balanced diet and a healthy lifestyle therefore seems to contribute to good heart health, reduce atherosclerosis levels and the risk of coronary heart disease.

4) Rich source of potassium

Potassium along with sodium are the main electrolytes and are responsible for maintaining fluid balance in our body. Potassium helps lower blood pressure and keep it at normal levels, thereby reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. It is also essential for proper muscle function, good brain function and improves memory. Lack of it leads to fatigue, muscle weakness and cramps .

5) Rich source of "good" fats

In recent decades, man has linked fats to something harmful and harmful to his health. It's not exactly like that! A balanced diet should and should include fats as they are essential for energy production, absorption of fat-soluble vitamins (vitamins D, E, A and K), hormone production and proper functioning of the body.

But what should be emphasized is the type of fat you consume, ie whether it is "good" (unsaturated) or "bad" (saturated and trans). The latest scientific evidence suggests that unsaturated fats should not only be avoided but are essential for our health.

Corn is a good source of "good" fats, with linoleic acid being the most important representative (ω6). Linoleic acid helps lower blood pressure, lowers "bad" cholesterol, lowers triglycerides and promotes heart health .

6) Rich source of phytochemicals and antioxidants

Phytochemicals are substances produced by plants to protect themselves from viruses, bacteria and fungi. So consuming them is like adopting this protective antimicrobial action! Their contribution to human health is invaluable as they have significant antioxidant and anti-cancer effects, ie they protect the body's cells from oxidative stress and strengthen its defenses. They are found in abundance in fruits, vegetables and whole grains .

7) Rich source of fiber and resistant starch

Corn (when whole grain!) Is rich in fiber. In addition, it consists of a type of starch known as "durable starch" which is very different from other types of starch. Both are very good for health.

Fiber and durable starch are very similar in their functions as they are not digested by the body but instead are used as food for the microflora of the large intestine. In other words, they work like prebiotics contributing to its proper functioning, reduce constipation and the risk of colon cancer.

In addition, they reduce the feeling of hunger and keep us full for a longer period of time, helping to maintain a normal weight.

Increased fiber consumption lowers cholesterol levels, stabilizes blood sugar levels and helps to more effectively manage diabetes.

How can I consume it?

You can consume corn in various forms, either boiled or as flour, as a wafer, as a popcorn and much more.

Some ideas:

  • You can use corn flour in various pastries and pastries (bonbons, breadsticks, bread, cakes, cookies, tortilla cookies, pizza dough).
  • You can consume it as a popcorn, prefer to steam them and at the end add spices of your choice.
  • Tip: Packaged ready-made microwave popcorn contains palm oil and saturated fats which are very harmful to health. Buy corn seeds and make your own homemade popcorn. It's very easy and won't take you more than 5 minutes!