A Nutritional Biochemist, Dr Ochuko Erukainure, said on Sunday that consumption of maize was good for the management of diabetes and obesity in both children and adult.
Erukainure, a Senior Research Officer at the Federal Institute of Industrial Research (FIIRO), Oshodi, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that maize was one of the seasonal foods good for healthy living.
He said maize was rich in micro-nutrients like manganese, zinc, iron, copper and selenium, adding that its consumption could address the micro-nutrient deficiencies.
“Maize is part of the food items being enjoyed by people in various forms such as whole corn, corn flour, cornstarch, corn gluten, corn syrup, cornmeal, corn oil, popcorn, cornflakes, among others.
“Apart from satisfying the taste buds of its users, maize is also a good source of vitamins, minerals and dietary fibre.
“Maize is rich in ferulic acid, a phenolic compound with anti-cancer activity, and anthocyanins found in purple corn is also a good antioxidant phytochemicals with reported anti-cancer activity.
“Owing to these phytochemicals and minerals, maize has been found to be effective in the management of many diseases such diabetes, cancer, and hypertension,” Erukainure said.
The expert also said that maize was very rich in thiamine or vitamin B1 necessary for brain to absorb glucose and transform that food into energy.
“Biotin or Vitamin B7 give nutritional benefits to maize, since the deficiency of this vitamin in the body affects the state of the skin and hair.
“The nutritional benefits of maize are also determined by its vitamin A, which functions as an antioxidant in preventing diseases such as cancer.
“The high fibre content is another characteristic linked to the nutritional benefits of maize and makes it suitable for diets to lose weight and lower cholesterol levels in the body,” he said.
Erukainure said that maize was nourishing snacks with no cholesterol, but contained high fibre which was ideal for body building and weight-watch when eaten in moderation.
He, however, advised that maize should be eaten moderately to enhance its effectiveness in strengthening the immune system for healthy life.