What is Maize?
Maize is a type of grain or crop usually used for cereals and other food products. It is called corn in other countries, and is extensively cultivated in many countries. After rice and wheat, maize is said to be the most important cereal crop.
The word “maize” is a derivative of the Arawak-Carib word called “mahiz”. The maize people know today possibly evolved from “Zea mays ssp. Mexicana” which was grown in the highlands of Mexico. Today, maize is widely grown and distributed in many parts of the world due its many uses in food production and in many other industries.
In many parts of the world, maize is a great food source. Many cereals are derived from maize. And much of today’s chips and junk food items are made from maize. Maize is also used as feeds for livestock and as ingredient for bio-fuel.
As ingredient for a variety of food items, maize is considered a health food because of its nutrients like fiber and carbohydrates. It is also said to be rich in Vitamins A, B, and C. Maize is also packed with minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and phosphorus.
Because of its high fiber content, many diet plans include maize as part of the daily regimen. People who want to lose or maintain their weight eat maize products for they are considered as very healthy options. Fiber also helps in the prevention of constipation and helps in proper food digestion.
Other varieties of maize, like purple corn, are also reported to help regulate the blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. Purple corn extract (chicha morada) also helps in cholesterol control, tissue regeneration, prevention of heart diseases and degenerative conditions.
With maize’s various health benefits, many consider it a wonder crop. Many food products of today use maize as part of the ingredients, not only because of its availability but also because of its benefits to the body.