ORGANIC BLUE CORN - A WONDERFUL FOOD FOR THIS CENTURY
(blue corn tortillas, tortilla chips, flour, taco shells, etc.)
by Lawrence Wilson, MD
© December 2013, The Center For Development
Organically grown blue corn is one of the special foods in nutritional balancing science. Blue corn is an older, less hybridized form of corn that was grown mainly in South America. However, it has found its way to North America, and from there it is slowly spreading around the earth.
It is not easy to hybridize or genetically modify, so far, so that is one of its advantages over the standard white or yellow corn. It is also gluten-free or very low in gluten, so it can be tolerated by many people.
WHAT DOES BLUE CORN CONTAIN?
It contains a wide variety of nutrients. The blue color is due to certain anti-oxidant substances such as xanthenes like zeozanthene. These are the same nutrients found in other bluish foods such as blueberries, blackberries, grapes and raisins. I much prefer the xanthenes in the blue corn instead of in the berries because the fruit is too yin, whereas blue corn is much more yang, which I find to be much healthier today.
The most amazing nutrient it contains is a special form of selenium that is most useful at this time for most people. This form of selenium is very easily assimilated and well-utilized by the body. Most selenium is not as well utilized, such as that found in meats, Brazil nuts, yeast and other foods.
Blue corn also contains a wide variety of nutrient minerals and other nutrients found in corn. It is definitely more nutritious than either white or yellow corn.
FOOD PRODUCTS MADE OF BLUE CORN
Organic blue corn is generally sold in the form of organic blue corn tortilla chips. However, in more and more places, it is also available as blue corn flour, blue corn tortillas, and blue corn organic taco shells. In nations such as Mexico, it is also used in other dishes.
I have bought whole blue corn kernals via the internet. I grind it in a flour mill and then make blue corn cereal with it by just adding water and cooking it for about 1.5 hours.
It could also be made available in other products made with flour, such as blue corn bread, muffins, pastries, pie crusts and more. However, I have not seen these anywhere, so far. I hope these will become available soon, as this is a wonderful food, far better than regular corn and also better than wheat and most other grains.
STORING BLUE CORN
Blue corn is a rather delicate food. This is one reason it has not been used more. If not refrigerated, the flour and the tortillas spoil quickly. For this reason, if you buy blue corn flour, make sure it was refrigerated or frozen in the health food store. As soon as you get it home, keep it preferably in the freezer, not the refrigerator as it will still spoil here.
Blue corn tortillas are quite delicious. However, they must also be refrigerated, and even then they don’t last more than a few days in the refrigerator before turning moldy. I keep them in the freezer for this reason if I want to store them for longer than a few days, and this works well, so far.
In contrast, blue corn tortilla chips do not need to be refrigerated. This is a great advantage. Like any chips, they will become soggy or stale if they are not eaten in a few days, once the bag is opened.
PROBLEMS WITH BLUE CORN CHIPS
Some object to eating corn chips due to their content of refined vegetable oil, fat, calories and salt. Here are my comments on this problem:
1. Refined vegetable oils. Consuming refined vegetable oil is not ideal. Someday, I hope a company will make blue corn chips using unrefined sesame or some other type of oil, such as olive oil. However, making them with refined vegetable oils, even canola oil, does not seem to take away from the excellent properties of the organic blue corn.
2. Be sure to take a supplement of omega-3 fatty acids to counteract the omega-6 fatty acids found in the oil used to make most blue or yellow corn chips. The best are either fish oil or flaxseed oil. All others, such as krill, primrose, borage, black current or other omega-3 fatty acid supplements are not as good.
Another excellent way to obtain enough omega-3 fatty acids is to eat about 3 to 4 cans of sardines each week. Avoid tunafish, salmon, and shellfish even if they contain some omega-3 fatty acids. Eating some raw dairy products and some grass-fed meats and eggs can also supply a little omega-3 fatty acids, but not enough by themselves.
3. Baked blue corn chips. You may be able to buy baked blue corn chips that have much less or no oil in them. However, the oil actually serves a function. It appears to seal in certain nutrients and other forces in the food. So I don’t recommend the baked blue corn chips as much, although they are still good.
4. Salt. Make sure your blue corn chips are organic, and make sure they are made with unrefined sea salt, not table salt. This is important.
Ideally, find a brand of blue corn chips that are not too salty. I find the salt content varies greatly from brand to brand, and sometimes from batch to batch. Trader Joe’s in the USA has some good ones, and even Safeway Supermarkets and other retailers sell quite excellent organic blue corn chips. You do not have to pay the highest prices to obtain an excellent product.
5. The calorie content of all corn. It is true that corn is a high-calorie carbohydrate food. One can overdo on any high-calorie food. However, this does not detract from the fact that blue corn is a highly nutritious and very special food that I recommend that everyone eat. It is fine for people with gluten intolerance, for example, and often blue corn can be eaten by those allergic to some other forms of corn.
6. Allergies to corn. Some people cannot eat corn due to food allergies. However, blue corn is often much better tolerated than white or yellow corn. As one’s health improves, most often one can tolerate the blue corn chips. Taking a digestive enzyme and eating it small quantities may also help if food allergies are a problem.
7. Candida (yeast) and eating blue corn. Several clients have told me that eating blue corn chips flares up their candida albicans infection. Reasons for this are that corn is high in starch that converts to sugar in the intestines. Also, corn chips and all flour products have a high glycemic index. This means they tend to convert to sugar quickly, more so than grains that are not as starchy and not ground up into flour.
This problem stops some people from eating blue corn chips. I suggest in these cases to just eat a few at a time, perhaps at a meal with other foods, as this will slow down their conversion to sugar. As health returns with a nutritional balancing program, the yeast problem automatically goes away in almost all cases without the need for any special remedies. Then one can tolerate more of the blue corn chips or blue corn tortillas.
8. Sugar and infections. Another problem with the conversion of blue corn to sugars in the intestines is that sugars upset the body in other ways. Sugars can upset the calcium/phosphorus balance, and they can feed other types of bacteria, viruses and parasites in the intestines and elsewhere. In these cases, once again start with not too many corn chips and over time, most people can work up to one to three smaller sized bags per week.
9. Leaky gut syndrome and blue corn chips. A prominent cause for “allergies”, sensitivity or intolerance to corn and other foods is a “leaky gut”. This simply means that the small intestine, is somewhat irritated and raw. As a result, the lining of the intestine is not intact and this allows some undigested or partially digested food components and perhaps toxic chemicals to be absorbed into the blood stream, causing adverse reactions.
The solution to this problem is that the small intestine must be slowly rebuilt and strengthened. This will occur always on a nutritional balancing program with its high cooked vegetable diets. As it occurs, most people then tolerate blue corn extremely well. The key, by the way, to rebuilding the intestines is a very strict diet with no sugars, no fruit, no fruit juices, and no wheat or chemical foods. Also one must learn good eating habits and drink enough of the right kind of water all day.
10. Mucus overload after eating blue corn chips or other blue corn products. This occurs in some cases. It is generally due to an overload of carbohydrate in the meal. The answer is to reduce other carbohydrates such as beans, rice, breads of any kind, and even starchy vegetables. Perhaps eat the corn chips by themselves. Then this problem will tend to go away.
HOW IMPORTANT IS A TRACE OF LIME IN BLUE CORN CHIPS?
I have noticed that some brands of organic blue corn products state on the label that the corn is prepared using a trace of lime. This is an ancient way of balancing and enhancing corn products. One adds just a small amount of lime, which is calcium hydroxide. It changes the pH to more alkaline, which shifts the availability of certain nutrients in the product. For example, it may enhance the availability of lysine, which can be low in corn.
While not essential, adding lime is a benefit, I believe. So, if possible, eat blue corn products that state on the label that the corn flour or masa is prepared with a trace of lime.