At the mention of cereals, we tend to
think of wheat and rice. But did you know that maize is also cereal?
Maize is not only delicious but it is nutritious too. It is a good
source of protein, vitamins and essential minerals like calcium and
More than 9 percent of the edible
portion of the maize is protein alone. Protein is vital for body
growth and repair. And like most cereals, the maize is a high energy
giving food. It gives about 355 calories per 100 g portion, which is
slightly more than rice which provides 352 calories.
Maize also contains essential vitamins
and minerals. 100 g of maize gives 43 mcg Vitamin A. This is 43 times
the amount present in the pear and more than 6 times that in an apple.
Vitamin A is important for good eyesight. It also helps keep the skin
from becoming dry and aids in bone development. It is also quite a
good source of Vitamin C. Although the amount present is less than
that in the guava or citrus fruits, it exceeds those in the apple and
pear. It also contains ample amounts of the B-vitamins, giving 0.22 mg
thiamine, 0.12 mg riboflavin and 1.7 mg niacin in a 100 g portion.
Besides vitamins, the maize is also rich
in minerals. A 100 g portion of the edible maize grains gives about 45
mg calcium and 224 mp phosphorus. Both calcium and phosphorus are
necessary for building and strengthening the bones in our bodies. They
are also important for building strong teeth, and in this, the
munching action helps too.
Maize is also a good source of fiber. It
gives 2 g per 100 g portion. Fiber gives bulk to the food and aids the
digestive process, hence preventing constipation.