Like gluten, corn (and its many derivatives) are in everything. No joke – EVERYTHING.
From packaged foods to dairy products and chewing gum. It’s even in so many of your favourite household, health and beauty products. Yep, that includes items such as toothpaste, aspirin, perfume, shampoo and makeup!
Ever get a hint of popcorn when you lick an envelope to seal it? Yep, corn’s in the adhesive strip too. (told you it was in literally EVERYTHING!)
Just take a look at the ingredient list of most packaged or processed foods, and you’ll surely recognize a few sources of it: cornstarch, corn oil, and the often-vilified high-fructose corn syrup, also known as glucose-fructose.
Similar to how gluten is sometimes camouflaged by other names (like ‘malt’ and ‘durum semolina’), corn can also hide by assuming other identities such as dextrose, dextrin, modified starch, ascorbic acid, and cellulose.
As if that wasn’t bad enough, even when corn is not actually in the food, it’s now used in plastic containers that hold our food. Seriously?!
Ok, but what’s really wrong with corn?
C’mon – a plate of nachos at the pub, fresh corn on the cob, hot buttered popcorn at the movies…?!
Although corn is often referred to as a “healthy” food, just like gluten, it can cause a leaky gut. Wait, what…a gut that leaks?
If your intestinal wall is damaged, thinned, or has gaps in it – known as impaired intestinal permeability, the breakdown and absorption of the food you eat is also impaired. This impaired gut affected by healthful and unhealthful foods, which may trigger painful, chronic symptoms such as headaches.
Partially digested compounds, bacteria, and chemicals that shouldn’t be absorbed can quite literally “leak” across the intestinal membrane and into your bloodstream.
This is because the protein in corn – zein, can look like gluten to a person’s body, and those who are already sensitive to gluten can “cross-react” to corn. If you have a known gluten sensitivity, you may consider also removing corn from your diet. Read more about that here.
And then there’s high-fructose corn syrup (HCFS)…75% sweeter than sugar and cheap to make.
But, as I mentioned, corn and its derivatives (much like gluten) have made their way into everything, especially when it comes to processed foods – which are designed by food manufacturers to be tasty, yet cheap.
This includes our unassuming salad dressings, innocent pasta sauces and dip-worthy condiments – that we love to dunk our corn tortilla chips in! Corn can be found in the ingredient list under some obvious names and not-so obvious names. Read more here.
Here’s the thing: even if you’re diligent about avoiding packaged foods and generally stick to a regime of whole fruits, veggies, and some high quality animal products… corn can still sneak into your otherwise healthy daily diet!
Just remember this: what you eat also eats! So, unless an animal food product is certified as “grass fed,” most poultry and livestock are fed corn – which is usually GMO too.
If you’re still experiencing health issues including headaches or symptoms of a poorly functioning digestive system after removing gluten from your diet, consider that corn could be the new ‘gluten.’
Making just a few small changes in your health routine can bring about a big, positive impact. Why not try reducing the amount of corn in your life?
It may sound a little weird, but why not try this easy “corn-free” DIY Calming Body Powder recipe? Every little bit helps and it’s so silky smooth on your skin right after a bath. Talk about self care!
- 2 Tbs white kaolin or bentonite clay
- 2 Tbs arrowroot powder
- 6 drops of your favourite essential oil -- suggested: 3 drops chamomile + 3 drops lavender essential oils for use with babies; up to 15 drops for use with adults.
- In a small bowl, combine dry ingredients and stir carefully, trying to keep dust down
- Drip essential oils on top of dry mixture, then stir gently to combine - again, trying to keep dust down
- Transfer by teaspoonful to a shaker bottle (a clean spice bottle with shaker top works too)
- Always shake a small amount into your hand before applying to baby or body, and not directly (too messy!)
- Other essential oils – If using on adults, experiment with other essential oils that are appropriate for skin/topical use; suggestions: rose, geranium, vanilla, sweet orange, ylang ylang, frankincense, lemongrass, sandalwood, or patchouli.
- This recipe is not intended for babies under 3 months old
- Shaking directly onto baby’s skin could cause inhalation of the powder
- Do not use on broken or irritated skin