Cornbread is one of the most ancient meals in Albanian kitchens. It was often perceived as the meal of our predecessors. Our grandfathers are still crazy about cornbread which represents a really healthy delicious meal that reminds them of difficult times but also happy moments around the kitchen table. Cornbread is made with corn flour. This grain is rich in healthy nutrients. Corn meal provides needed fiber for the diet, which not only help regulate bowel movements but also absorb cholesterol and lower blood sugars as they move through the digestive system. A 28 grams serving of cornbread contains 1.8 g of fiber. And because fiber is not digested, but simply passes through the digestive system, it is filling without adding any calories of its own.

Precious Nutrients of Corn Bread

Corn bread is a good source of several nutrients. Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, folic acid, folates and vitamins A, B-6 and B-12 are found in corn bread. Unfortunately, prepared mixes may also contain extra sodium, sugars and animal fats. The way to control how many extra ingredients go into your corn bread is to either make your corn bread from scratch or read package labels carefully. In addition to containing the same major nutrients as other whole grains, corn bread has a good taste that even picky toddlers love.

Scientific studies

More reasons that corn bread is good for you come from newer research. Corn bread contains all 10 of the essential amino acids, building blocks for proteins that control growth, cellular processes and organ function.

A newer field of inquiry concerns antioxidants, chemicals that protect cells against damage by oxidation. Orange and yellow foods score high in beta-carotene, a substance that converts to vitamin A, and may help reduce the risk of cancers, heart disease and stroke, or even slow the aging process. Cartinoids, according to Dr. Mario Ferruzzi of the Department of Food Science at Purdue University, are unusually available in milled corn products. According to him bio accessibility of carotenoids was the same or exceeded the levels of a wide variety of foods previously valued for their antioxidant availability -- including vegetables such as spinach and carrots.

Is corn a grain or a vegetable

A grain is defined as the harvested dry seeds or fruit of a cereal grass, or the term can refer to the cereal grasses collectively. Field corn that is harvested when the seeds are dry would thus be considered a grain. Sweet corn when harvested before maturity is usually considered a vegetable. There are many different types of corn. The best-known version is Sweet Corn that earned its name from its high sugar content and is generally only consumed by humans. Next is Dent Corn (also known as Field Corn), which is usually fed to livestock and used to make industrial products. The third kind is the decorative Indian Corn that comes in a range of colors and is often used to make popcorn.

Origin

Corn was first domesticated over 8,000 years ago. It has been a staple ingredient in South, Central and North America and then it spread worldwide. It has fed the population of developing and poor countries for many years. Corn provides about 21 percent of human nutrition across the globe. Corn can be found in different varieties, including red, pink, black, purple, multicolored and blue. Vitamin A in corn is more than 10 times that of other grains. Organic corn is a vitamin C food, magnesium-rich food, and contains certain B vitamins and potassium. It also supplies a good dose of two antioxidants linked to eye and skin health called zeaxanthin and lutein. Eating fresh corn on the cob also gives you a good amount of the daily dietary fiber you need, along with some complex carbohydrates that are a good energy source. However, recently coin is being used in unnatural processes that include processed food or for high fructose corn syrup that is far from being healthy despite what manufacturers say. In addition, as a gluten-free grain, corn is a key ingredient in many gluten-free foods.

The origins of corn

The origin of corn was something of a mystery for many years, because it does not grow wild anywhere on the planet. Recently though, teamwork by botanists, and archeologists managed to identify a Mexican grass called teosinte as the wild ancestor of maize. By about 600 A.D., a number of North American Indians were extensively growing corn. Christopher Columbus took it back to Spain with him, and by the 17th century, it was a major crop all over Europe./agroWeb.org