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Corn tortillas can be part of a healthy diet. 100% nixtamalized corn dough tortillas have good nutritional value. Corn is a whole grain, and corn tortillas are generally very low in sodium.
Unlike traditional 100% corn tortillas, bulk produced versions can be made from dehydrated corn flour or corn flour mixed with wheat flour.
A medium corn tortilla of around 30 grams provides approximately 65 calories. It provides 1.5 grams of protein, 12 g of carbohydrates, 1.3 g of fiber and .65 g of fat.
High carbohydrate foods are an important part of a healthy diet. The Harvard Nutrition Source explains that carbohydrates provide the body with glucose, which is converted into energy that is used for bodily functions and physical activity.
Corn is one of the healthiest sources of carbohydrates. Unprocessed or minimally processed whole grains, vegetables, fruits, and beans promote good health by providing vitamins, minerals, fiber, and a host of important phytonutrients.
Less healthy carbohydrates include white bread, cakes, sodas, and other highly processed or refined foods (such as refined flour)
100% corn tortillas provide less sodium, carbohydrates, fat and calories than flour tortillas. Refined flours are less healthy than those made from whole grain. Highly processed grains have virtually all fiber removed and their nutrients reduced. Some nutrients can be added back, but phytochemicals cannot be replaced.
Energy and nutrition
Corn tortillas are also considered a whole grain. They are a source of fiber and magnesium. Harvard notes that fiber helps lower cholesterol and move waste through the digestive tract. Magnesium regulates the function of muscles and the nervous system, blood sugar levels and blood pressure.
The corn tortilla also contains magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, niacin, and vitamins A, C, D, E, B1, and B2. The National Autonomous University of Mexico shares that tortilla helps to form healthy teeth, since the combination of vitamins C and D with calcium helps to fix calcium in the bones.
Corn tortillas are a staple in Mexican cuisine that has been consumed since pre-Hispanic times, flour tortillas were first made after the Spanish introduced wheat to Mexico.
The nixtamalization process with an alkaline solution such as lime water helps to improve the nutritional profile of the tortilla. It allows a better absorption of tryptophan, which is a precursor of niacin (vitamin B3) that is generated in the body. It also favors the production of resistant starch, favoring the intestinal microbiota.
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