The Diet Detective: Must-Know Summer Health Tips

Eat Sweet Corn

Nutrients: One medium ear contains about 2.8 grams of fiber and nearly 3.5 grams of protein. Corn is also a good source of vitamin C (10.6 percent of recommended daily values). Additionally, it has thiamin (14.8 percent of recommended daily values), which helps to produce energy for the heart, muscles and nervous system.

Corn is also rich in folic acid, which is associated with a decreased risk of cardiovascular disease and can help women during pregnancy by preventing certain birth defects.

Health Perks: Corn has a moderate glycemic index of 56 (compared with 100 for white bread), which means it does not raise blood sugar excessively.

Nutrition: 1 medium ear, (6 3/4 inches to 7 1/2 inches long, 103 g): 111 calories; 1.32 g total fat; 25.86 g total carbs; 2.8 g total fiber; 3.421 g total protein.

How to Buy: Chef and food expert Aliza Green, author of Field Guide to Produce (Quirk Books, 2004), advises buying corn very soon after it's picked, because the sugars in corn convert so quickly to starch. Look for a market with high volume and quick turnover that buys local corn in season. You should "look for a bright, green and snugly fitting husk with pale to deep gold silks that are dry, and not soggy or dark. Pull back enough of the husk to expose the kernels. You should see full rows of pearly rounded teeth. The rows should be evenly spaced, and the kernels should be plump and milky all the way to the tip of the ear."

How to Store: "Store corn in its husk for up to four days, though it will be at its sweetest closest to when it's been picked. Store husked ears in plastic for one to two days in the refrigerator," says Green.

More: 10 Fitness-Boosting Summer Fruits and Vegetables

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