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Eating Well With Whole Foods: Corn

by Suzann Pileggi Pawelski


Referred to as "zea mays" by scientists and "maize" by Native Americans, corn has been a diet staple in many cultures for thousands of years. The civilizations of the Incas, Mayas, and Aztecs were essentially built on corn. They used it for nourishment, as well as for shelter, fuel, and decoration. Corn continues to play a vital role in Native American cultures. Today, in the U.S., corn-on-the-cob is synonymous with summer. While available year round, corn is at its peak in summer. So, take advantage of the remaining month of the season to sink your teeth in its succulent sweetness.

Corn not only tastes good, but is good for you as well. Delicious and nutritious, corn is a terrific source of soluble fiber, vitamin B1(thiamin), B5 (pantothenic acid), C, folate, phosphorous, and manganese. A corn-rich diet may help promote a healthy heart and lungs, prevent birth defects, maintain memory, and support energy production even under stress. Research has shown that whole grains like corn have equal to or greater disease preventing activity than that of fruits and vegetables due to their high level of phytochemicals whose antioxidant power has been associated with a lowered risk of colon cancer.

When shopping for corn, visit your local farm market early in the morning for the freshest choices. Carefully pull out ears from the bottom of the pile where it’s cooler. Opt for ears with tightly wrapped, moist, bright green husks, rather than loosely wrapped, yellowing ones, which indicate corn is old and dry. The tassel should be light colored, not brown, and should smell fresh. Store corn unhusked in the refrigerator until you’re ready to eat it. For the sweetest and most tender corn, prepare it the day of purchase. Since corn gets tougher, not softer, if overcooked, only boil corn-on-the-cob for three minutes in unsalted water. Remove ears immediately from the water when they are done. And, sink your teeth (and tastebuds!) right in.

Savor corn’s natural and simple sweetness as is or with a dab of organic butter, a pinch of sea salt and fresh pepper, or any of your favorite seasonings. Corn is delicious cold in a salad tossed with tomatoes, peppers, and beans, added to fresh guacamole, or hot sautéed with green chilis and onions. Experiment with this sweet summer treat to find your preferred way to enjoy it!

 

Sautéed Corn and

Pepper Medley

Makes about 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

Dab of organic butter

2 cups fresh corn, shaved off from the cob

1 cup fresh green and red peppers, diced

Pinch of sea salt

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

Melt butter in a small pan. Sauté the peppers for 2 minutes. Add corn and sauté for an additional 2-3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Taste and add more butter if desired. Salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

Suzann Pileggi is a certified holistic health counselor. She works with clients on nourishing their body and soul by helping them make better food and lifestyle choices. She uses food to naturally increase energy, control cravings and create a balanced lifestyle. She conducts special sugar seminars at Radu’s Physical Culture gym in NYC. Visit her website at www.suzannpileggi.com  , email her at suzannpileggi@aol.com , or call her at (212) 799-4169 for a FREE initial holistic health consultation. Phone consultations and group seminars available.


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