Corn seeds are used as a nutritional source for humans, and the stem and leaves are utilized as fodder for cattle throughout the world. Corn silk and corn cob are usually discarded as waste. This chapter highlights the nutritional as well as medicinal importance of various parts of corn plant. All parts of corn plant are good source of a variety of bioactive phytochemical compounds which possess antioxidant potential. The principal phytochemicals present in corn seed and corn silk include polyphenols, phenolic acids, flavonoids, anthocyanins, glycosides, carotenoids, and polysaccharides of biological importance, reducing compounds and some water-soluble vitamins. The presence of these phytochemicals makes corn a medicinal plant which shows various biological activities particularly the antioxidant, antimicrobial, antidiabetic, anti-obesity, antiproliferative, hepatoprotective, cardioprotective, and renal-protective activities. On the account of its high antioxidant potential, all parts of corn plant can be used for the management of oxidative stress and the treatment of various diseases.
Part of the book: Corn