Corn is a popular side dish that often accompanies a protein and another vegetable. While corn should not be your only source of vegetables, it does offer a wealth of nutritional benefits. Whole kernel corn uses the entire corn kernel cut off the cob. A 1 cup serving contains 185 calories and a number of beneficial vitamins and minerals.
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You have probably heard a number of times how important it is to watch your intake of fat. Increasing your intake of fruits, vegetables and whole grains is one way to improve your diet and decrease how much fat you consume, nutrition expert Roberta Larson Duyff reports in the "American Dietetic Association Complete Food and Nutrition Guide." A diet high in fat, particularly saturated and trans fat, can elevate your risk of heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes and cancer. A 1-cup serving of whole kernel corn contains 2 g total fat, with less than 1 g saturated fat.
Whole kernel corn is a starchy vegetable, but it also counts as a whole grain because it contains the entire grain kernel. Whole grains contribute a healthy dose of fiber to your diet. MyPlate.gov recommends that half of your total grain intake should be in the form of whole grains. Adding whole kernel corn to your diet is one way to reach this goal. The dietary fiber in whole grains such as whole kernel corn may help lower your cholesterol, stabilize your blood sugar and maintain a healthy weight, Duyff reports. A cup of whole kernel corn contains 3.7 g fiber.
A cup of whole kernel corn supplies a healthy dose of key nutrients that help promote your good health. This serving size provides some B vitamins, most notably niacin with 2.919 mg per serving. You will also get 54 mcg of folate, which may help prevent birth defects. Eating 1 cup of whole kernel corn will also supply 330 IU of vitamin A, supporting healthy eyes, and a small amount of vitamin B6. Vitamin B6 may decrease your heart disease risk, the Harvard School of Public Health reports.
A 1-cup serving of whole kernel corn is a good way to increase your intake of several essential minerals. You will get 0.55 mg of iron and 0.75 mg of zinc. Your serving of whole kernel corn also supplies 389 mg of potassium and 35 mg of magnesium. Whole kernel corn is naturally low in sodium, with just 6 mg per serving, but read food labels because some brands contain added salt.