Ethnic And International Foods

Health Benefits of Blue Corn



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If you think that blue corn is something new or strange, then you may want to consider these facts.

Blue corn actually goes back to when the American Indians migrated to the Southwest.  Depending on the tribe, blue corn is also known as Hopi maize or Hopi corn. Though corn, or maize, was a large part of their diet, the dense texture of blue corn lent itself to more variety in a number of dishes.

Years later, blue corn flour was used by the Mexican-Americans as a thickener for soups and stews. They would also use it as a base for atole (also known as atol or purple corn drink), which is considered a healing beverage.  It is normally consumed at breakfast or early morning meals and known to give energy to the elderly or to increase milk production for nursing mothers. This simple recipe consists of milk, one cup of blue corn flour, sugar and sweet spices like cinnamon or clove.  The mixture is cooked for a few minutes under medium heat.  There are also Peruvian and Salvadorean versions of this popular, yet slightly thick drink that use fruit and chocolate, respectively.

The pigment that makes the blue corn kernel varying shades of light gray to navy to deep purple are the result of anthocyanins.  These are water-soluble based compounds that give a dark or deep color to plants, flowers and various types of produce, like berries.  These compounds have also been proven to fight certain types of cancer, high cholesterol and can be helpful in weight loss as it has been shown to keep glycemic levels low.  If you ever heard that the best way to lose weight is to eliminate white or beige foods, it most likely was based on this fact.

Overall, blue corn is a much healthier alternative to white or yellow corn as it has about twenty-five percent more protein.  It's also high in vitamins A and B complex as well as Niacin.  Compared to white and yellow corn products, it has less starch and carbohydrates which makes it ideal for those looking to drop the excess pounds.  Diabetics are also choosing blue corn as an alternative to white or yellow corn products as a way to keep their metabolism at a level that will prevent sugar spikes.

So now you know that this is not a new or artificially produced food and it's good for you as well.

More about this author: J.Swindell

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