Corn has a way of remaining intact from the plate to the poop. Bright yellow kernels – found in our favorite summer dishes – start appearing in the bathroom in later hours. How does corn escape the digestive system? And perhaps more importantly, should you also eat food that is difficult to digest?
It turns out that your digestive system is working more than you think, so don’t leave the corn yet. According to Andrea Watson, a leading nutritionist at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, the yellow kernels in your poo are really just the outer coating of corn kernels.
Corn kernels are seeds carrying precious genetic material. The key to seed survival is the waxy, yellow outer coating that protects genetic material from weather, pests and transport. The fact that it is hard to break is actually ideal for the plant. Exterior coating gives its flexibility to a tough Fiber Humans do not have the proper enzymes or gut bacteria to digest what is called cellulose.
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Even ruminant animals, such as cattle, which are much better for digesting cellulose, may not always fully digest corn, Watson Live Science. While cattle do not eat the same sweet and soft corn that we do (they are a harder, more mature corn that can be stored for a longer period of time), they, too, show the whole kernels in their dung. Researchers have done the dirty work of taking out expelled kernels and analyzing their nutritional content. “it turns out [the kernels] “A lot has been digested,” Watson said.
The good news is that cellulose only makes up 10% of corn, Watson said. So, the other 90% is useful nutrition. Corn is also a good source of dietary fiber, known as starch and antioxidants Carotenoid, Which give vegetables such as corn and give carrots their stunning colors. However, corn has fewer carotenoids than a typical serving of leafy greens, according to a 2019 tufts university report.
There is a way to make corn more digestible and disappear completely from your poop: processing. “The more you process it, the easier it is to digest,” Watson said. It is the same for humans and animals. She said, grinding, wet milling, cooking – every processing step is broken down to digest fiber molecules.
In fact, most of the corn you eat is processed. The Tufts University report estimated that every American consumes 160 pounds. (70 kg) of corn per year. The vast bulk of that corn is not hard to digest from the cob-kernels, but the corn has been transformed into soft tortillas, chips, popcorn and – a large – high fructose corn syrup.
Easy to digest, however, is not to be confused with healthy. A look at nutrition facts shows common processed corn products, such as corn oil And high fructose corn syrup, Lose most of the beneficial fiber and nutrients during processing. Corn kernels in your poo can be awkward, but they are not bad for your health. In fact, it is a sign that you are eating corn in its healthiest forms. Watson’s best advice to avoid seeing a full kernel in the bathroom: Chew carefully.
Originally published on Live Science.