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The Nutritional Benefits of Corn Tortillas

author image Sylvie Tremblay, MSc
Sylvie Tremblay holds a Master of Science in molecular and cellular biology and has years of experience as a cancer researcher and neuroscientist. Based in Ontario, Canada, Tremblay is an experienced journalist and blogger specializing in nutrition, fitness, lifestyle, health and biotechnology, as well as real estate, agriculture and clean tech.
The Nutritional Benefits of Corn Tortillas
Stack of corn tortillas on wood plate Photo Credit: olgakr/iStock/Getty Images

The dietary guidelines from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's MyPlate website suggest people to eat several servings of grains each day -- six ounces for women and seven for men to be exact. Adding corn tortillas to your diet helps you reach your daily recommended intake. Even though corn tortillas have an impressive nutritional profile, they do have some drawbacks. For example, they're moderately high in calories at 218 calories per 2-ounce serving, which is the equivalent of two 6-inch tortillas.

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Corn tortillas have a beneficial effect on your digestive tract, thanks to their fiber content. Fiber absorbs water and prevents excessively hard stool that can contribute to constipation. A diet rich in fiber also fights hemorrhoids and helps control diverticular disease. Every 2-ounces of corn tortillas provide 6.3 grams of dietary fiber. This makes up roughly 25 and 17 percent of the daily fiber intake respectively recommended for women and men, according to Colorado State University.


Corn tortillas also offer health benefits because of their phosphorus content. Phosphorus makes up a key structural component of healthy tissue -- it's found in cell membranes as well as DNA. It also contributes to healthy bone tissue, supports red blood cell function and acts as a chemical buffer to control the acidity of your blood. Every 2-ounces of corn tortillas provide you with 314 milligrams of phosphorus, which is 45 percent of the phosphorus you need each day, reports the Linus Pauling Institute.

Copper and Manganese

Corn tortillas are also sources of copper and manganese, which are two minerals essential for enzyme function. Manganese activates enzymes that support bone growth and aid wound healing, while copper activates enzymes essential for nervous system function. Copper and manganese also activate enzymes needed to support your metabolism. Each 2-ounce portion contains 0.33 milligram of manganese, which is respectively 14 and 18 percent of the recommended daily intake for men and women. This portion size also contains 154 micrograms of copper, or 17 percent of the recommended daily intake.

Serving Tips

Pair corn tortillas with veggies and lean sources of protein. Stuff them with spinach, tomatoes, grilled chicken and salsa for a simple but delicious and nutritious meal, or substitute black beans for grilled chicken if you want a vegetarian-friendly option. Cut corn tortillas into wedges, lightly brush them with olive oil and then bake them in the oven for healthful tortilla "chips," and then serve the chips with hummus or use them to garnish leafy green salads.

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