Is Corn a Fruit or Vegetable? (Benefits and Side Effects)

Want to know if corn is a fruit or a vegetable? Well, anyone can have this question in mind whenever they are cooking it.

Knowing about it makes no difference in taste, but curiosity makes people search whether you should call corn a fruit or a vegetable. Don’t worry. I’ve got the answer.

Corn is a starchy vegetable and not a fruit. Everyone classifies it as a vegetable and treats it as such in different cooking recipes.

Want complete info? In this article, I am discussing corn’s nature along with its proven health benefits.

But wait. I’m also exploring its side effects which you should know before you eat corn the next time.

Key Takeaways:

  • Corn is a vegetable, and its whole cob is classified as such. However, its kernels (the ones that are heated to make popcorn) are called grains.
  • It is rich in Carbohydrates and starch, which is why it is also called a starchy vegetable.
  • You can get protein, fiber, carbs, minerals, and vital vitamins from eating a cup of corn every day.
  • Corn has numerous health benefits like prevention from cancer, reduction in cholesterol, strengthening immunity, and low chances of stomach issues.
  • If you eat more corn, you will face problems like high glucose levels, obesity, and irregular bowel movement.

It’s time for details.

Corn- A Perfect Starchy Vegetable

Corn is considered a vegetable by everyone. Since the kernels (that are used to make popcorn) are grains, people also call the cob “A Whole Grain.”

However, the widely accepted thing about corn is that they are vegetable. As carbs are high in quantities, food scientists also refer to corn as a “Starchy vegetable.”

No matter what, it is one of the most famous foods to eat. Corn is a staple food of the USA and lots of other countries. People love the sweet taste that makes it perfect for every breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Also, their diverse taste has allowed chefs to use corn in dozens of recipes. You can add them to Pizza, sandwiches, salads, soups, and many more.

Furthermore, you can also cook them in diverse ways. Corn grains can be boiled, steamed, grilled, fried, and cooked with almost every other vegetable.

The best part? Corn is super rich in nutrients.

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Nutritional Value of Corn

The sweet taste of any food does not matter if it is poor when it comes to nutrition. Well, if corn is your favorite part of the meal, then I have some good news for you. It has the excellent nutritional content that provides lots of health advantages.

One cup (170 g) of Corn contains:


These are all the major nutrients in corn.

That’s not it.

Corn has many other valuable nutrients, like Thiamine, folate, Vitamin A, B, & C, Niacin, Pantothenic acid, Phosphorous, Manganese, Magnesium, Potassium, Zinc, Calcium, Iron, Copper, and much more.

All of these nutrients lead to a bundle of health benefits, which lets people live healthy lives.

Wondering what they are?

Let’s find out.

Health Benefits of Corn

When you start eating corn every day, your body goes through a series of good things. You start feeling better and more energetic than ever because of all the essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and carbs in them.

These nutrients nourish the body and help the organs carry out important functions. Plus, they also benefit us by protecting us from different health problems.

The top health benefits of corn are:

Prevents Cancer

The biggest health benefit of eating corn is that it kills cancer-causing radicals and reduces the chances of its occurring.

Cancer is, without any doubt, one of the worst diseases. In 2022, around 2 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the USA, and the numbers are expected to increase even more in 2023. It would be no surprise that the number of cancer-affected people will surpass 2.5 million in the next year.

So, you must add those foods to your diet that do not let the cancer spread.

Corn is an excellent choice for this because it is a rich source of antioxidants. These agents relieve oxidative stress and get rid of free radicals. Due to this, no uncontrolled cell mutation will happen (which is the main reason behind cancer).

Controls Cholesterol

The fiber and potassium content in the corn helps reduce the bad cholesterol level in the blood.

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We all know that high LDL cholesterol is really bad for the heart. The more it is, the higher the chances of heart attack or heart stroke. So, the critical cholesterol level stays low.

Fortunately, eating corn can do this.

But make sure you don’t eat deep-fried corn every day. Such corn can increase fat accumulation and bad cholesterol levels in the blood, which causes heart diseases.

In addition to this, corns also maintain blood pressure levels, which also benefits the heart.

Improves Stomach Health

Another great health benefit of corn is that it improves stomach health. How? Well, a considerable amount of Fiber is present in the kernels (corn grains) that helps with digestion. Furthermore, the fiber also provides relief from constipation and other stomach issues.

Fiber has many other advantages, too, besides being stomach friendly. According to research, fiber can prevent chronic illnesses like heart disease, colon cancer, respiratory disorders, and other health complications.

Good for Eyes

Corn contains lutein and zeaxanthin, which are clinically proven to improve the eye’s health. Lutein is specifically known as the “Eye Vitamin” because of the protection it provides.

That is why you won’t have sight issues if you regularly consume corn.

Strengthens Immunity

Vitamins and minerals in corn boost immunity to fight the virus, bacteria, and germs. Generally, vitamin C plays a key role in strengthening the immune system. A cup of corn provides 12% of the daily value of this vitamin.

Other nutrients are equally important as well. They will all help you stay healthy and disease-free.

Great for Muscles

Protein, Potassium, and phosphorus in corn are really great for muscle recovery and build-up. The reason is that these three nutrients support electrolyte movement, which relieves the muscle from any injury. In addition, gym freaks take a lot of protein, and one way to do this is to eat more corn.


In the USA, every 1 in 133 people have gluten allergies. So, they can’t eat grains, or else they will face side effects. Luckily, such people can eat corn as there is no gluten present in it.

However, be careful about how you eat your corn. The health benefits can quickly vanish if you cook them the wrong way.

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Healthiest Way to Eat Corn

It is super important to cook corn healthily. You should never deep fry the grains. You can go for shallow frying (but not too often).

The best and healthiest way to eat corn is by boiling, steaming, and grilling. Add the corn grains in the following things to enjoy health advantages:

  • Soup
  • Other vegetables/Salad
  • Meat

Note: Never eat corn with/in processed foods as they are bad for health.

Some people also advise not eating GMO corn. Well, both the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Medical Association have declared that genetically modified corn is safe to eat.

Still, if you are hesitant to eat non-GMO corn, go for the other ones.

What Are the Side Effects of Corn?

Corn is all good if you eat them in the right quantities. If you start eating them more, then prepare to feel some side effects.

High Sugar levels

As mentioned above, corn has high levels of starch and carbohydrates. If you eat more, then more carbs will be added to your system, which will increase your blood sugar levels. That is why health experts suggest diabetic patients avoid eating corn.


Carbs and starch also cause obesity if you are not careful with your corn intake. The glucose or fat cells will start to build up around the belly and in the arteries too.

Bowel Problems

Fiber is good, but too much of it is not. High levels of fiber can cause diarrhea-like conditions.

So, don’t eat more than a medium cup of corn daily.

Final Words

All-inclusive, corn is a starchy vegetable and not a fruit. People call its kernel a grain, but overall, it is classified as a vegetable.

So, add corn to any recipe as a vegetable.

You should make a habit of eating it because it has numerous health benefits. Eating them in recommended quantities prevents cancer, reduces cholesterol, improves stomach health, strengthens immunity, and makes eyes stronger.

But if you eat them more, you will face side effects like high glucose levels, obesity, and irregular bowels.

So, eat one medium-sized cup of corn daily and only enjoy the health benefits!