Is Corn a Vegetable, Fruit, or Grain

by John Staughton (BASc, BFA) last updated -

 Likes  Comments

A common question is often heard around the dinner table – is corn a vegetable? The answer is a bit more complicated than you might expect.

Is Corn a Vegetable?

When debating whether corn is technically a vegetable, or whether it belongs to the cereal family, there are a few important things to consider.

  • A vegetable is any edible part of a plant, so when you eat corn on the cob, you are eating a vegetable.
  • However, each of the individual kernels of corn is considered a whole grain, so using a strict definition of corn as a vegetable isn’t totally true. By definition, a whole grain is a small, hard, dry seed of a grass plant. The endosperm (the internal white part) of the corn kernel is used to prepare cornstarch. So, when you use cornstarch, you are using the corn kernel as a whole grain.
  • That being said, since the corn kernels contain seeds, when they are popped into popcorn, the definition changes again, technically making popcorn a fruit. A fruit is an edible part of the plant that contains a seed or matured over of the flowers.

Generally speaking, since all grains and cereals could technically be classified as vegetables, most experts further separate grains and cereals, like corn. Similar to many other fruits and vegetables, such as cucumbers, tomatoes, and avocados, the classification of corn can change depending on how they are served.

So it may be simply said that corn can be either of the three, among a fruit, vegetable, or grain. This may be decided on the basis of how it is used, whether on the cob, or as popcorn, or cornstarch.

Sliced and fresh corn ears with leaves on a wooden table

Health Benefits of Eating Corn

There are a number of impressive health benefits of eating corn, such as:

  • It can improve digestive function, boost immune health, and lower risk of chronic diseases.
  • The dietary fiber found in corn stimulates digestion and prevents constipation
  • The vitamin C content can boost the immune system.
  • Certain antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, also help to eliminate free radicals in the body and prevent chronic diseases.
  • It aids in boosting bone mineral density.
  • It helps protect heart health by lowering blood pressure and reducing your risk of atherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes.

While it is good to know that corn is a vegetable, fruit and a grain; it is even more important to consume this healthy food in its different forms.

DMCA.com Protection Status
About the Author

John Staughton is a traveling writer, editor, and publisher who earned his English and Integrative Biology degrees from the University of Illinois in Champaign, Urbana (USA). He is the co-founder of a literary journal, Sheriff Nottingham, and calls the most beautiful places in the world his office. On a perpetual journey towards the idea of home, he uses words to educate, inspire, uplift and evolve.

Rate this article
Average rating 3.8 out of 5.0 based on 91 user(s).

Latest Health News:

firefighter jacket and helmet laid on the front of a firefighters truck

PTSD, Distress Tolerance Amongst Firefighters Linked To Alcohol Use

Repeated exposure to stressful and traumatic situations is bound to have long-term effects, especially if it comes with the job. In the case of firefighters,…

READ MORE
Close up of a hand holding an E cigarette

E-Cig Use Linked To Rare Lung Scarring Disease

Amidst growing concerns regarding the usage of e-cigarettes, the European Respiratory Society (ERS) issued a fresh warning in line with WHO guidelines, even as…

READ MORE
Side view of african american mother talking with her daughter indoors

Study Discovers Core Interactions Of Language Development

Ever wondered how over 6000 languages of the world have developed? If so, a team of scientists has some inklings as to how could languages have developed. The…

READ MORE