You might think because of its size that baby corn is grown from miniature corn plants, but it's actually just regular corn that has been picked before its matured. Most of the baby corn found in the United States is in a can and imported from Asia. While corn is considered a starchy vegetable because of its carb content, baby corn has a nutritional makeup closer to a non-starchy vegetable. Plus, it's a good source of essential nutrients that keep you healthy.
Baby corn is a low-calorie vegetable with 25 calories per 1/2-cup serving. By comparison, a 1/2-cup serving of regular corn kernels, which is considered a starchy vegetable, has 80 calories. The baby corn has a similar calorie content to other non-starchy vegetables such as broccoli, cauliflower and green beans. As a low-calorie food, baby corn can fill you up without costing you too many calories, making it a good choice for those trying to lose or maintain a healthy weight.
Low-Carb, High-Fiber Corn
Just like the calories, baby corn also has a lower carb count than regular corn, but is still a good source of fiber. A 1/2-cup serving of baby corn contains just 4 grams of carbs, versus 15 grams in 1/2-cup of regular corn kernels, and 2 grams of fiber. Getting more fiber in your diet offers a number of health benefits, including a lower risk of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes. Fiber in foods such as baby corn also help keep you feeling full and have been associated with lower body weights.
Some Protein and Fat Free
A 1/2-cup serving of baby corn contains 2 grams of protein and 0 grams of fat. Both protein and fat are essential nutrients, but if you eat a variety of foods you should be able to more than adequately meet your needs. It is recommended that you get 10 to 35 percent of your calories from protein and 20 to 35 percent of your calories from fat. Protein is needed to make new cells, and fat acts as a source of energy.
Watch the Sodium
As a canned food, baby corn is a source of sodium. A 1/2-cup serving of baby corn contains 280 milligrams of sodium. If you're concerned about the sodium content, you may be able to find fresh baby corn at your local farmer's market. Too much sodium in the diet raises blood pressure and may cause fluid retention. Ideally, your daily intake of sodium should be less than 2,300 milligrams a day.
Vitamins and Minerals
Baby corn is nutrient-rich, and a 1/2-cup serving meets 4 percent of the daily value for vitamin A and iron, and 2 percent of the daily value for vitamin C (see reference 2). As essential nutrients for your immune system, both vitamins A and C help your body fight off infection (see reference 7). Your body needs iron to transport oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body (see reference 8).
- Washington State University Cooperative Extension: Baby Corn
- Asian Food Grocer: Sweet Baby Corn: Nutrition Information
- The University of Arkansas Divsion of Agriculture: The Exchange List for Diabetic Meal Planning
- Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics: Health Implications of Dietary Fiber
- McKinley Health Center: Macronutrient: The Importance of Carbohydrates, Protein and Fat
- MedlinePlus: Sodium in the Diet
- KidsHealth: Vitamins
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Iron and Iron Deficiency