Over the past several years, we’ve heard a lot about corn, specifically high fructose corn syrup, and how bad it is for you. But, are there some benefits to enjoying a nice yellow ear of corn? Kyle and Jeff look to find out. In addition, we visit with Lil Barron about the significant and scientifically backed benefits of volunteering. Check it out at the Huntsman Word Senior Games Active Life podcast.

 

Kyle Case:
Hello and welcome to the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life. My name is Kyle Case, and I'll be your host on this amazing journey as we attempt to help you get the most out of your life. Joining me in the studio today is my copilot, Jeff Harding. Jeff, how are you doing today?

Jeff Harding:
I would say fair because it is a fair time, but I'm doing very well.

Kyle Case:
Fair time.

Jeff Harding:
The time for the fair.

Kyle Case:
It is indeed the time for the fair in many places around the nation.

Jeff Harding:
Yes, so this is a fair time.

Kyle Case:
Fall time, it's the time when we get together we show off our wares, our crafts, the crops that we've been growing.

Jeff Harding:
Our produce.

Kyle Case:
Right.

Jeff Harding:
Right.

Kyle Case:
Interestingly, you should be fair right now.

Jeff Harding:
Why is that?

Kyle Case:
Well, because I want to talk about one of those produce items as a potential health food maybe, I don't know.

Jeff Harding:
That is amazing because we don't talk about these before we come.

Kyle Case:
No, we don't. I never know what Jeff is going to say and sometimes I wish that I did.

Jeff Harding:
You probably usually do. Yes.

Kyle Case:
So, no, really it's interesting because, well, first of all, let me just back up one step. My wife and I like to set goals. I know that you don't like to set New Year's resolutions.

Jeff Harding:
I do. I set one every year.

Kyle Case:
Yeah, that's true. I take that back. You set the one resolution is to never resolve.

Jeff Harding:
That's right. And I never break it.

Kyle Case:
And you are 100% on that one.

Jeff Harding:
I am.

Kyle Case:
So we like to set goals but we'd like to set realistic goals that we can achieve. And so one of the goals that we set for late summer, early fall is to eat more corn on the cob.

Jeff Harding:
Very good. Very good goal.

Kyle Case:
That was a goal that my wife Mindy and I set for each other. And so far we're doing pretty good.

Jeff Harding:
And that is very achievable.

Kyle Case:
So far we're doing pretty good at it. So we've been eating a lot of corn on the cob lately because we're coming into corn season. And it got me thinking is corn good for you or bad for you? Because there's some sentiment out there that says, hey, this is not good. Of course it's also a vegetable or a grain, however, you want to look at it. And so it seems like, well maybe there are some benefits to it.

Jeff Harding:
Well, Kyle, I think you, I think you'd probably stop after that third word of that question you asked and then that's what the answer is. Is corn good? Yes. So it doesn't matter after that.

Kyle Case:
It is good. We like it. Sounds like you like it.

Jeff Harding:
I like it very much. Yes.

Kyle Case:
So I did a little bit of research on corn on the cob on whether or not it's good for you or bad for you.

Jeff Harding:
Well, I can tell you right now the cob is probably not good for you to eat.

Kyle Case:
Well, I do you know that for sure?

Jeff Harding:
I don't know. I was just guessing.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. I don't know that either.

Jeff Harding:
A lot of roughage.

Kyle Case:
That honestly wasn't part of the research that I did, but here's the thing. No matter how you eat it, whether you eat it on the cob, whether you eat it popped or you just eat it in the little giblets or the kernels. We eat a lot of corn in the United States.

Jeff Harding:
We do.

Kyle Case:
It's everywhere. Everywhere that you go, it's there. According to the U.S. Grains Council in 2016 and 2017 the United States grew more than 14.6 billion bushels of corn.

Jeff Harding:
That's a lot of corn.

Kyle Case:
It is a lot of corn. That's 385 million metric tons of corn, and for those who aren't good at those math units, that translates to a lot of corn.

Jeff Harding:
That's a very, very technical term.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. Technically that's a lot of corn. So I wanted to understand a little bit about what makes corn, corn. What are the nutritional values, the statistics of corn?

Jeff Harding:
Just before you do that, I need to mention that, I forgot to mention that we eat it in cornbread and on corn dogs.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. Like it's everywhere. Corn's everywhere. It's everywhere. It's like MasterCard. It's everywhere you want to be.

Jeff Harding:
That's exactly right.

Kyle Case:
So here's the thing with a medium-sized ear of corn, this is what you're getting nutritionally. It on average has 88 calories.

Jeff Harding:
Okay, low calories.

Kyle Case:
Yeah, four grams of total fat. 15 milligrams of sodium, 275 milligrams of potassium, which is good. It's got 19 grams of carbohydrates, two grams of dietary fiber, four grams of sugar and three grams of protein. Which kind of surprised me. I didn't realize that corn had protein at all in it.

Jeff Harding:
And that's without anything on, that's just the ear itself.

Kyle Case:
Yeah, that's just the ear of corn. Now if you start adding the butter and the salt and all the other things that are going to change some of those numbers.

Jeff Harding:
Or the mayonnaise if you're in Mexico.

Kyle Case:
Or the mayonnaise with the crumbles on the outside or paprika, whatever it is. So yeah, those will change those numbers, but just the ear of corn itself has some nutritional value in it that is worth knowing. I want to talk about the good things, the health benefits of the corn.

Jeff Harding:
I'm glad because if you talked about the bad things that would break my heart.

Kyle Case:
I'm going to talk about some of those as well, but number one, corn is a good source of vitamins and minerals. Specifically vitamin C, B vitamins as well as magnesium. Vitamin C, as we know, is important in cell repair. It helps boost your immunity and has anti-aging properties, so that's good.

Jeff Harding:
That's why you look so young, Kyle, you eat a lot of corn.

Kyle Case:
At least this summer, I'm eating a lot of corn.

Jeff Harding:
Well, you look younger this summer than you did last summer.

Kyle Case:
Than I've ever looked. B vitamins, which corn has a lot of, are also important in energy metabolism and magnesium is important for nerve conduction and muscle contraction, so there are some really good things going on in corn, that we need to give corn credit for. Number two, it could aid in digestion. Corn does have insoluble fiber, which feeds our good bacteria in our gut, which aids in digestion, and that helps keep you regular, which is good. In addition to protecting against gut issues, an increase in dietary fiber has been linked to a lower risk of several diseases including heart disease, some cancers. There was a study at Kansas State University's Department of Human Nutrition that found that out about the cancers. Unlike many other grains, corn is naturally gluten-free, which makes it a good option for people who are avoiding gluten but want to have some grains in their life.

Kyle Case:
So there are some good things there as well. Number three, it could improve eye health. Did you know that?

Jeff Harding:
And it's not even the carrot.

Kyle Case:
Yeah, but it's, but it still is good for your eyes. Corn is high in carotenoids and Zeaxanthin and Lutein, which have been proven to promote macular health. According to a study that was published in Nutrients, Lutein and Zeaxanthin can prevent and reduce cataracts as well as age-related macular degeneration. So that's good for you.

Jeff Harding:
Yes, it is.

Kyle Case:
All good news when it comes to corn. There are some things that we want to be aware of. This is the sad part.

Jeff Harding:
I'm not going to listen. La la la la la la.

Kyle Case:
Corn does tend to spike your blood sugar.

Jeff Harding:
Well, because there's sugar in there.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. Corn is a starchy food. It has a relatively high glycemic load which can produce blood sugar spikes after you've eaten the corn. This could ultimately make you want to consume even more, so you fall into that cyclic pattern.

Jeff Harding:
Worth it though. Worth it.

Kyle Case:
Worth it. Because of the high starch content, people with diabetes should limit their corn intake. That's just something to consider. Number two, it could contribute to weight gain.

Jeff Harding:
Well because of the sugar.

Kyle Case:
Because you just keep eating more and more and more.

Jeff Harding:
Again, worth it.

Kyle Case:
In a 2015 study at Harvard, researchers found that while eating more fruits and vegetables overall can promote weight loss, the study found in the participants who ate more starchy vegetables like corn and potatoes and peas tended to gain weight while those who ate more starchy vegetables and fruits which were higher in fiber and lower in carbohydrates such as string beans, green leafy vegetables, apples or pears, lost weight. So there's a give and take there a little bit, but I mean overall fruits and vegetables are good for you, so we need to chalk that one up for a good one, but it can potentially lead to weight gain.

Jeff Harding:
You know, I question that because if you've ever seen a picture of the Anasazi that looks fat, they're always skinny.

Kyle Case:
All those photographs are the Anasazi that we have from 1500 years ago.

Jeff Harding:
You haven't seen any rock painting where they're fat. They're always skinny.

Kyle Case:
They are stick figures in the that's true. And we know that they did eat corn. We know that. So I want to talk briefly about corn syrup, but that's the one that we hear a lot of negative about.

Jeff Harding:
Yes, we do.

Kyle Case:
The high fructose corn syrup in particular. But they say the corn syrup, high fructose or not should be treated like any other refined sugar. So every once in a while having a little bit is probably not going to kill you, but when we get too much of it, then that's where we have problems.

Jeff Harding:
I like it in Rice Krispie treats.

Kyle Case:
The high fructose corn syrup?

Jeff Harding:
Yeah.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. That's your favorite ingredient in Rice Krispie treats?

Jeff Harding:
Well, it's one of them. The Rice Krispies is pretty good too.

Kyle Case:
Okay. Then the marshmallows, which are full of high fructose corn syrup.

Jeff Harding:
That's right.

Kyle Case:
Okay. So yeah, we need to limit our corn syrup consumption or at least just treat it like sugar.

Jeff Harding:
We have to, moderation is the key.

Kyle Case:
So that's the thing. The bottom line is like many foods corn can be good for you. If we consume too much of it, then, of course, there are some health risks I guess that we ought to be aware of. It is a good source of fiber. It does have antioxidants that can promote eye health. If we consume it in excess though, it can spike the blood sugar, which is not good. It can contribute to potential weight gain, but eaten in reasonable quantities, every once in a while for dinner or lunch or breakfast.

Jeff Harding:
Or a snack in between. Midnight snack.

Kyle Case:
Or a snack in between. It can be just a fine way to fill your tummy.

Jeff Harding:
Well, it is an excellent way to fill your tummy.

Kyle Case:
There you go. That's what I found out about corn on the cob and I think I'm going to stick with my goal of eating more corn this year.

Jeff Harding:
I think you should. Yeah, because you're looking, you glow you.

Kyle Case:
Thank you. Thank you.

Jeff Harding:
A healthy golden glow.

Kyle Case:
I'm feeling good about it and we've been able to be pretty successful in that goal.

Jeff Harding:
Well, you know I've been eating more corn too, but mine's been corn on the cob. I mean popcorn.

Kyle Case:
Oh yeah, popcorn. I like popcorn too. Probably a little more than I should. Today, Jeff.

Jeff Harding:
Yes. Speaking of things that are good for you.

Kyle Case:
Speaking of things that are good for you, we talk about a lot of things that are good for you.

Jeff Harding:
We do.

Kyle Case:
And we've just found out that corn can be good for you, but we talk about exercise, we talk about diet, we talk about nutrition, we talk about sleep. We talk about all kinds of things that are good for you. Today I want to talk about something that isn't necessarily maybe the first thing on your radar when you think about things that are good for you, but it is something that has some incredible health benefits and that is volunteering.

Jeff Harding:
That's right.

Kyle Case:
So we have invited a new staff member to come and join us today on the radio. Lil Barron.

Lil Barron:
Hi.

Kyle Case:
Thank you for joining us today.

Lil Barron:
FYI, I love corn and I'm going to eat more of it because there's eye health.

Kyle Case:
Yes. Pick the thing that you like about what I just said and go with that.

Lil Barron:
That's the only thing I'm picking. I didn't hear the other, I was with Jeff, la, la, la, la.

Jeff Harding:
I watched her. She was.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. So yeah, corn can be good for you and I'm glad that you like it. I like it too. Today we want to talk about volunteering. Let me introduce Lil. Lil has just joined the Huntsman World Senior Games staff as our new director of sponsor relations. She comes to us with a wealth of experience, not the least of which is a lot of volunteering experience.

Jeff Harding:
She was selected as the St. George Area Chambers volunteer of the year a few years ago.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. So, Lil has always been active in the community as a volunteer and I think can express firsthand some of the benefits of volunteering. They've done a lot of research on volunteering, which I found pretty interesting. And they have found that through research and using the scientific method, they have found that volunteering has a lot of health benefits. Not only just the the mental health of feeling good, which I think is real and we need to acknowledge that, but there are actually some physical benefits that come from being a volunteer as well and especially among older Americans, but I think we can all benefit from helping each other and lending a helping hand and doing so out of an altruistic stance and a feeling of wanting to make a difference in people's lives.

Kyle Case:
But there's just a ton of research. I've got to report here in front of me. Let me just maybe share one or two results from a variety of different studies that they found that relate to volunteering and some of the great benefits that come along with it. Before I do that, you're listening to the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life and we're going to dig right into volunteerism and some of the benefits that come from giving of ourselves.

Kyle Case:
Let me just share, like I said, a couple of experts. A study recently that they did of adults age 65 and older found that the positive effects of volunteering on physical and mental health is due to the personal sense of accomplishment that an individual gains from his or her volunteering activities and the study of older adults found that participation in community service was more strongly correlated with life satisfaction for retirees than those individuals who continued to work for pay. Now isn't that interesting?

Jeff Harding:
So that means Lil, you should just volunteer to work for the Games full time.

Lil Barron:
Well, I did that for 23 years.

Jeff Harding:
I meant full time for the Games.

Lil Barron:
Oh, full time. I see.

Kyle Case:
Lil has been a volunteer for a very long time.

Jeff Harding:
She has. A major key volunteer.

Kyle Case:
She's helped out in a wide variety of different ways at the Games. What do you think about that? What do you think about the concept of once people retire, sticking around in the community, at least in volunteering? The benefits that come from that, it seems like that offsets some of the income that you might give up that you could stick around and continue to work.

Lil Barron:
I agree with that. I think that the more you give, the more you get. And I think it also helps, you meet new friends, and that's kind of important to me. I've met some of my-

Jeff Harding:
She is a social butterfly.

Lil Barron:
I am, I am and I have met some of my most amazing friends through service and volunteering at different organizations. So, and we're still lifelong friends because of that.

Kyle Case:
I don't think you can understate the importance of that from an overall health and wellness standpoint. We've shared research multiple times on the importance of social engagement and social interaction and they've done a study, one particular that came out of BYU that showed that people who continued to have social interactions, especially as they aged, but continued to have social interaction, that was the number one indicator of longevity. The number one indicator of longevity was social interaction, which was higher than physical activity, higher than than diet and nutrition, which was very shocking to me, but great to know and to understand that, hey, once you reach a certain point, sometimes it can be a little more difficult to get out there and be socially engaged, but it's worth.

Lil Barron:
It is worth it.

Kyle Case:
It's important.

Jeff Harding:
So Lil, are you ready to live to be 120?

Lil Barron:
I am. I am. Well, I'm only 29 so hey.

Jeff Harding:
Well, I know. With your level of social, but you've been volunteering this for the Games for 21 years and you're 20, you started at eight years old. Okay.

Lil Barron:
I started early.

Jeff Harding:
You did actually.

Lil Barron:
But no, really, I mean you look at, we have a volunteer that helps us with everywhere I go basically and she's 92 years old.

Kyle Case:
And she's still going strong.

Lil Barron:
And she's still going strong and wants to be a part of everything.

Jeff Harding:
She's being inducted into the Huntsman World Senior Games hall of fame this year. Pretty cool.

Lil Barron:
It's so exciting.

Kyle Case:
Yeah, there's something to it. There's something to it. And again it, it's more than just the golden rule kind of anecdotal. They've scientifically found that there are benefits to staying socially engaged in volunteering gives you a unique opportunity to stay socially engaged. And you talked about the friendships that you make. I know that there are many volunteers for the Huntsman World Senior Games and certainly in other areas, but the Games is what we're familiar with. Volunteers within the Games that make friends with the athletes and with other volunteers. And they come back year after year to help out in that volunteering capacity because of those friendships.

Lil Barron:
Right. I'm sure that's why I'm back all the time.

Kyle Case:
All the time. So here's the other thing that I thought was interesting. They found that there is a, I don't want to say a required limit, but there is a point where when you start volunteering above a certain amount of time, you start to get the benefits of volunteering. And they did a study that found that those who volunteered for at least a hundred hours per year were two thirds as likely as non-volunteers to report good health and also one third as likely to still be alive in that study. So if you're volunteering a hundred hours a year, which is roughly two hours a week, which seems pretty doable. You know, again, regardless of where it is that you're spending your volunteer hours or whatever it is that you're doing, it seems like we could give back two hours a week. That seems doable. Right?

Jeff Harding:
I think we have some volunteers doing this World Senior Games that do a hundred hours during the Games or more.

Kyle Case:
Just during the Games, right?

Jeff Harding:
During the two weeks of the Games, yeah.

Kyle Case:
So if you're willing to contribute back to your community, back to your church, back to your school, back to your youth group.

Jeff Harding:
Your neighborhood.

Kyle Case:
Whatever it is. If you're willing to contribute two hours a week, you're two thirds more likely to say that you're in good health than those who don't volunteer. And one third as likely to still be alive based on that research that they did, which that to me is amazing.

Jeff Harding:
Well, that makes it 100%, two thirds, one third, that makes it 100% so you should 100% volunteer.

Lil Barron:
Absolutely.

Jeff Harding:
Check my math. Isn't two thirds and one third.

Kyle Case:
I don't even think that's fuzzy math. I think that's-

Jeff Harding:
That's actual math. Two thirds and one third is 100%.

Kyle Case:
That adds up.

Lil Barron:
And we're still alive. So I think that's ... there's something to it.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. So there must be something to it. There are lots of studies that talk about volunteerism and longevity.

Jeff Harding:
Well, it gets you off the couch.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. So you talk about the results of the study and then they try to dig into the why and there are lots of whys and part of it is just the physical act of getting outside and moving and being engaged that way physically. There's also the emotional bonding and friendships and social interaction. There's also the concept of being introduced to new ideas that maybe you wouldn't have been introduced to in another setting or in other ways which helps keep your mind sharp, which in turn helps in your overall health and wellness. There are lots of reasons as to why the volunteerism comes together and helps promote that longevity and the active life, which is what we talk about on the show.

Jeff Harding:
That's right.

Kyle Case:
A couple of other things that maybe I would share with you. Volunteering can help you in the area of chronic pain. So in another study, they found that those individuals suffering from chronic pain experienced declines in their pain intensity and decreased levels of disability and depression when they began to serve as peer volunteers for others who suffered from chronic pain. So I think we've all heard those anecdotal stories of people who are going through a hard time, whatever it is, maybe they were diagnosed with cancer and you go through that, all those stages of grief, because that's a serious thing and then those who are able to turn that around and help those who are maybe in the same situation as they are in, they're the ones who end up with the added benefit, the added health benefits that they get from volunteering.

Kyle Case:
And I think that's a powerful lesson then.

Lil Barron:
Absolutely.

Kyle Case:
Another study, this was a study that was done at Duke, found that individuals with post coronary artery disease and those individuals who volunteered after their heart attack reported reductions in despair and depression, two factors that have been linked to an increased likelihood of mortality in this type of patient. Also, these individuals reported a greater sense of purpose in their lives. So not only in the cancer area or in the chronic pain area, but those who have heart problems, they found that those people who volunteer bounce back faster and have less chance of getting back in the same situation, the same problem that they were in before. So lots of great, great benefits to volunteering. Lil, you've been doing, you've spent a lot of time volunteering in a wide variety of different places, obviously with the Huntsman World Senior Games, but in other areas as well. What's a favorite memory maybe, or an experience that you've had as a volunteer?

Lil Barron:
You know what, and again, I'm the social butterfly, so that is my, that's part of why I do it. I love helping people. I love being apart. My kids call me the FOMO, fear of missing out on everything. And I think that's true. At the senior Games, helping there, I love meeting new people and I said, that's my forte, hanging out with people and just getting to know them and these people are from all over the world. And so just meeting people. I love that.

Kyle Case:
And you know, as we just said, the power of that is so significant on both sides of the equation. That's the great thing about it is the volunteers who come out and help have a great experience, but in turn, they're able to provide a great experience to the athletes that are here and participating in the Games. And it's a pretty awesome thing.

Jeff Harding:
I think that that probably the greatest benefit of volunteering is that it's not what you get, but you're giving. You're providing a service that is greatly needed at someplace in some whatever, wherever you're volunteering, if it's at the senior center, if it's at for an event, whatever it is, you're providing a service that is so needed and it doesn't cost you anything to do it. Just your time.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. And that's the law of the universe, that what you put out there comes back to you for sure. And I think that our volunteers, as well as volunteers across all walks of lives, feel that. Jeff, you're the one who kind of heads up volunteering at the Games. What are some specific areas where we could use some help at the Huntsman World Senior Games?

Jeff Harding:
Well, it is ironic but we need about 3000 volunteers. We don't get that many, so we do suffer in some areas or some people are having to double up. But we need some help with track and field. Track and field are very volunteer intensive. We need help with the triathlon. Triathlon is very volunteer intensive. We also need help with the refreshments. We provide refreshments for all of our athletes, but the refreshments have to get to the athletes before they can partake of them, so we need help with volunteering, folks helping volunteer with refreshments.

Jeff Harding:
So we have a website on our page, webpage. It's seniorgames.net/volunteer, if you go there you can see a whole list of volunteer opportunities. We stuff welcome bags. But the thing is it's such a social thing that people will come once and then they want to know when they go back again do the next time. So they enjoy it.

Kyle Case:
Yeah. That is something that we see year after year, time after time. For sure. And again, registering as a volunteer as is as simple to do. If you just visit the website, which is seniorgames.net, you can click on the volunteer tab or you can go directly to seniorgames.net/volunteers and you can see a wide variety of opportunities to help out with the Huntsman World Senior Games. And if you're thinking, well, I'm not really into sports, sports aren't my thing, don't worry, there's plenty of ways to help out with sports for sure.

Jeff Harding:
Indoors, outdoors, sitting, standing.

Kyle Case:
There's plenty of other opportunities that are not directly sports-related, that are just these great chances to get beyond yourself and help out at great events and meet some amazing people from all around the world. It's a pretty great thing. So once again, that is seniorgames.net/volunteer or just visit seniorgames.net and click on the volunteer tab and you can register to be a volunteer today. Speaking of registering Jeff, it's time to register as an athlete for the Games as well.

Jeff Harding:
Yes, it is. It's getting close.

Kyle Case:
We're running out of time. The registration timeframe runs up until September 1st but I want to say that we're on track for a participation record this year.

Jeff Harding:
We are. It's been amazing.

Kyle Case:
So don't miss out. Remember that registration, as I said, will close on September 1st which is less than a month away, so put that on your calendar. And then once again as we've been saying, registering for the Games is very easy to do. Visit seniorgames.net. You can click on register. Registering as a volunteer is also very easy to do. Same process. It's simple, it's fast, it's secure and we'd love to have you be a part of the Games in some way.

Jeff Harding:
We would, and you get a cool T-shirt if you volunteer.

Kyle Case:
That's right. Plus all these other great benefits as well. The dates for the 2019 Huntsman World Senior Games are October 7th through the 19th so put that on your calendar and again, just come on out and be a part of it. It's a lot of fun. Remember to tune in live next to and every Thursday at 5:30 PM mountain time on AM 1450 or FM 93.1 for the Huntsman World Senior Games Active Life. You can also subscribe to our podcast anywhere that podcasts are found. Once you've subscribed, give us a rating and write a quick review. It helps make a difference in helping us spread the word. You can also find this as well as previous shows, right on our website. Once again, that website is seniorgames.net so check it out.

Kyle Case:
Jeff, our inspirational thought for the day is from the Greek philosopher Aristotle.

Jeff Harding:
It can't be better than that.

Kyle Case:
And he says the essence of life is to serve others and do good.

Jeff Harding:
What a great thought.

Kyle Case:
Until next Thursday. Stay active. Bye, everyone.

Lil Barron:
Bye.`