Maiz Morado Health Benefits

Photo credit: Bigstockphoto
Photo credit: Bigstockphoto

Purple corn or maize morado is a corn that belongs to the variety of zea mays that originates from South America. Purple corn is soaked in hot water by the Andes locals to achieve its deep purple color. Maize morado is an important food source in Peru. Unlike other types of corn, purple corn is a rich source of antioxidants; it has anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory properties; and it may also help prevent obesity. It’s definitely not your ordinary corn.

The unusually deep violet coloring of purple corn is caused by the cianidin-3-b-glucosa from the phytochemical anthocyanin. Phytochemical anthocyanin belongs to a group of plant chemicals called flavonoids. There are many ways to prepare maiz morado. It could be incorporated in baked goods, as juice, and so much more. Below are some of the many health benefits of maize morado:

Rich in Antioxidant

Purple corn is rich in a type of anthocyanin known as C3G. C3G is instrumental in preserving the potency of the antioxidants in maize morado. Anthocyanins have the ability to protect the body from oxidative stress.This occurs when oxygen-based free radicals start attacking healthy cells. To prevent oxidative damage, the body starts inactivating antioxidants to inactivate free radicals.

Although C3G is found in most foods—including ruby oranges and blackberry—purple corn contains higher level of anthocyanins than other fruits. Maiz morado has five times the anthocyanins of blueberries.

Prevents Inflammation

Apart from protecting the body from oxidative stress, purple corn may also prevent inflammation and infection. The same compound that helps protect the body from free radicals (C3G) also suppresses the body’s response to diseases marked with inflammation. A study published in the Journal of Nutritional Science and Vitaminology in 2002 highlighted the benefits of purple corn anthocyanins in minimizing the inflammatory response in lab rats suffering from chemically-induced inflammation.

Aids in Weight Loss

Although classified as carbohydrates, purple corn is clearly the good kind of carbs you want to add to your diet. Purple corn may also help you lose weight and minimize diseases caused by obesity. Research shows that lab rats fed with purple corn didn’t gain weight nor suffered from elevated insulin after being fed with a high-fat diet for 12 weeks.

Such studies, among other researches, show that purple corn may help prevent diabetes and obesity; it can also help manage insulin level in the body. What’s more, compounds in purple corn have the ability to regulate fat cells in the body. Eating purple corn helps minimize the accumulation of stored fat, lowers bad cholesterol in the body, and detoxifies the system.

Boosts the Immune System

Purple corn is packed with important vitamins and minerals that not only help you achieve better health, it could also strengthen the immune system. These compounds help improve the body’s ability to heal itself.

Maintain Youthful Looking Skin

Eating purple corn regularly may also help reverse the early signs of aging. Certain bioactive in purple corn increases collagen production, resulting in younger-looking, glowing skin. It also helps in regenerating connective tissues for smoother, firmer skin.