Cornstarch or refined cornflour is a thickening agent often used in soup stock and used in deep frying to create a crunchy mouth-delectable outer layer. You can see from its white color that it is highly refined - and highly refined foods are stripped bare of any nutritional value, thus making your body crave 'normal' foods to fulfill your daily nutritional requirement. In small portions at a time, of course, cornstarch used in food will not affect you drastically. But in large quantities, as with everything, cornflour can pose some hazards.
Those looking to reach their ideal weight should definitely go easy on foods containing cornstarch as mentioned above. Cornflour is full of calories and yet has no fiber, protein or any other nutrient and thus makes it a major weight reduction barrier, just like refined sugar.
Believe it or not, some people have regular irrational cravings for cornflour. It was actually discovered in a recent medical journal that craving peculiar substances like soil, laundry starch, cornflour, talc and clay is most likely due to nutritional deficiencies such as lack of iron or zinc. If you suspect such a case, consult your health worker for blood checks and supplements to balance the deficiency.
Adding to the above, GM corn is actually being developed for fuel instead of food. Why would anyone want to add such a food to their daily diet? It's because cornflour is an absolute wonder when it comes to thickening soups without making them sticky and gluey, and forming a crunchy outer layer for fried foods like chicken manchurian. Yum! However, now knowing that we should greatly reduce the intake of cornflour, here are some healthy alternatives to use in your cooking;
- Substitute 1 tablespoon of cornflour with 2 table spoons of all-purpose flour or
- 1 table spoon of potato flour (Yum!) or
- 1 table spoon rice flour.
So what are you waiting for? Replace cornflour for healthier alternatives and you're one step closer to living a healthier life!
Alternative Uses of Corn Flour
Now you might be wondering what your going to do with that packet of cornflour sitting on your shelf. Before we go any further, here's a fun fact you might want to know about cornflour is that when suspended in air, with the right amount of oxygen, you can actually create an explosion. Of course, you'd need a truckload of cornflour to create an explosion so there's no need to be worried about the little packet of cornstarch sitting in your kitchen. But still, knowing that the stuff is capable of even exploding should raise questions - do you really want to consume such a food? Highly refined cornflour - should it even qualify as a food?
Perhaps you won't get the creamy yet non-sticky texture of cornflour, but sure enough it's healthier! Considering that health is your greatest wealth, doing away with cornstarch is a wise decision.
So what are you going to do with the cornflour sitting in your kitchen? Cornflour actually has a good number of uses outside cooking! Here a few;
- Great for providing relief for itches. Make a thin paste using cornflour and water and apply it generously on the itch/bite spot. Leave it on until it dries.
- It is a great stain remover. Use it on blood stains by creating a fairly thick paste and rubbing it on the stain, and voila, the stain will be greatly reduced if not all gone!
- Dry shampoo for oil hair. To be used as a dry shampoo, take a small amount of cornstarch and massage it onto your scalp, close to the roots of your hair. Do not use too much, or it might look like dandruff. Before you take a shower, you can also run the dry powder through your hair, and brush it through with a comb. If your hair is extremely tangled, spare the pain and sprinkle some cornstarch powder on your tangles; they should come undone with ease and less pain than forcing a comb through them. Then rinse thoroughly to remove any traces.
sharu on December 11, 2017:
Is it good for hair.I am really confused
Hendrika from Pretoria, South Africa on October 30, 2014:
I know cornstarch is not good for us, but hey it is soooo easy to thicken a gravy with it.
Frances on September 02, 2013:
No to dispute your point, I do agree that constrach is probably not that good for you, but wheat flour and many other powdery subtances will also explode in the air given the proper conditions
Shannon on May 20, 2013:
I want to eat the cornstarch 5 boxes a day yyyyyyy
Kayel on October 09, 2012:
Yes, scientifically, it's definitely the finely grounded part of the cornstarch that causes it to explode. It's capability of explosion is not an accurate reflection of its nutritional value. However, it's a great experiment to do. If you put cornstarch in a bottle, put it next to a flame from a lighter, and then spray the cornstarch (or any fine powder) from the bottle, it will create a "flame thrower". The experiment is used frequently in chemistry classes to explain reaction rates. :)
Rehana Stormme (author) on June 29, 2012:
@Mich, thanks for clarifying. That's a helpful addition to this hub.
mich on June 21, 2012:
there is nothing in cornflour that makes it explode. Any fine powder such as flour will do the same thing. its not the ingredient, its the particle/air mixture that makes it combust
Rehana Stormme (author) on September 29, 2011:
@ Lafamillia - Lol, are you serious? Haha, I have to try it out when I get back home tonight. :D
lafamillia from Soutcentral Europe on September 29, 2011:
Yes, I know a trick with that "explosion". All you need is some kind of "plastic ball". For instance, you can use those in "Kinder Surprise" chocolate eggs. Take the plastic out, and everything in it, put some of cornflour put water,and vinegar,put the cap,shake it well - and trow it FAST really FAST.Do all this really fast - if you don't want an white mark on your shirt. Hehehehe ... :D "Useful" , voting up.
Rehana Stormme (author) on September 28, 2011:
@ Vinaya - Thanks for commenting!! ^-^
Vinaya Ghimire from Nepal on September 27, 2011:
I cultivate corn and I know health benefits of corn flour. Thanks for this informative hub.
Rehana Stormme (author) on September 27, 2011:
Hi dipsmi, it's alright, no need to feel bad about your purchase! Cornstarch has some alternative uses outside the culinary field, such as using it to clean silver and using it as a hair detangler.
dipsmi from Plymouth, Minnisota on September 27, 2011:
i am now planning to return the cornstarch which i got last week.Wish i had read your hub a little earlier then i woulnt had even purchased it!
Karen N from United States on September 26, 2011:
I love your articles they are all so interesting. I would also like to see the cornstarch explode but probably wouldn't want to deal with the mess. :)
Voted up and I left you a google+
Rehana Stormme (author) on September 14, 2011:
Thanks SilentReed! Lol, that could be a reason! ;)
SilentReed from Philippines on September 14, 2011:
You have such interesting hubs.Not boring at all.Thanks for sharing.Oh...on the fun side about exploding corn starch...Is that why we get gas after eating a hearty meal containing corn starch?:)
Rehana Stormme (author) on September 12, 2011:
Hi Brandon, thanks for reading this hub! Go ahead and try cornstarch for your hair. It can get messy so make sure you use it from the bathroom, even though it's 'dry' shampoo. :)
Brandonwm80 from Columbus Ohio on September 11, 2011:
im going to try this .
Rehana Stormme (author) on September 11, 2011:
Hi Iviskei, thanks for reading this boring hub ">_>. To answer your question, I've edited the last paragraph to elaborate further. Don't make it pasty, just sprinkle the dry powder lightly on your hair and comb through. Use more if necessary.
Hi Dave, thanks for sharing the bit on pet hair, and thanks for stopping by!
Dave from United States on September 11, 2011:
Cornstarch also works well on tangled or matted pet hair. Just brush in and dust off. Great Hub!
Kyou Capps from In your computer, stealing your internet. on September 11, 2011:
Wow. I had no idea cornstarch could do so much! O.o I really want to see it explode, but that would probably be a really bad thing, huh? lol! Great hub!
Quick question! Do you have to make it pasty to put it in your hair, your leave it dry? Or is there another ninja way that only beauty people know?