Corn has been a basic element in the American diet. In fact, Purdue University reports that it has been cultivated for more than 5,000 years. Corn grits are a coarse powder made by grinding whole-grain corn or shelled corn kernels that help increase your grain intake, and each half-cup serving provides 1 oz of grains above the recommended daily 6-oz. for women and 7 for men, according to the US Department of Agriculture. UU... Cooked grains offer health benefits, as they provide essential vitamins and minerals, and if mixed with healthy ingredients, you will have a meal full of nutrients.
Each serving of half a cup of cooked corn gruel in water contains 156 calories and provides 8 percent of the calories you need daily, based on a 2,000 calorie diet. The bulk of your calories - 83 percent - comes from your carbohydrate content. Most carbohydrates in grains provide energy, fuel for the brain, while the 1.7 grams of dietary fiber it offers helps reduce cholesterol and prevent cardiovascular disease. Corn provides a small amount of protein, at 3 grams per serving, and contains less than one gram of fat.
Iron and selenium
Corn will also help you consume more iron and selenium. Each serving has 7 micrograms of selenium - 13 percent of the recommended daily intake - and 1. 2 milligrams of iron. This provides 7 percent of the recommended daily iron intake for women and 15 percent for men, set by the Institute of Medicine. Both iron and selenium activate the essential proteins for good health. The iron-dependent proteins in the bloodstream help your cells to produce energy and allow the synthesis of DNA, while the selenium-dependent proteins support the muscle metabolism and function of the thyroid gland.
Incorporate grains in your diet as a source of vitamin B-9, or folic acid. You need vitamin B-9 to metabolize amino acids and nucleic acids - which are building blocks used to make proteins and DNA, respectively. Vitamin B-9 could also play a role in DNA methylation, a process that cells use to regulate the activity of genes. Each serving of corn grits has 93 micrograms of vitamin B-9 and offers 23 percent of the daily intake recommendation, established by the Institute of Medicine.
Healthy portion tips
Keep healthy grains by combining them with healthy ingredients, such as fresh fruits and nuts.Add a handful of blueberries and an ounce of chopped raw almonds or strawberries and hazelnut cream. As another alternative, mix a banana puree in the cooked grains, and then cover with cinnamon and chopped nuts to make a "banana bread". Avoid dressings high in saturated fats, such as cheese or butter.