While the kernels that we commonly call "corn" are technically the fruit of the plant Zea mays, corn is widely classified as a grain and is typically included in research studies of whole grain foods like wheat, oats, and barley. Throughout much of the world, corn is referred to as "maize." In many ways, "maize" is the best way of describing this plant since it was first domesticated in Mesoamerica over 8,000 years ago and was originally described using the Spanish word "maiz." This remarkable food took on sacred qualities for many Central American and South American cultures, as well as many Native American tribes in what is now the United States. All types of corn come from the same genus and species of plant, Zea mays. However, within this genus and species, there are well over 100 subspecies and varieties. Many different subspecies are most familiar to consumers in terms of color. White, yellow, pink, red, blue, purple, and black corn are all varieties of Zea mays. Each of these varieties contains its own unique health-supportive combination of antioxidant phytonutrients. In the case of yellow corn, there's a greater concentration of carotenoids, especially lutein and zeaxanthin. With blue corn, there's a richer supply of anthocyanins. In purple corn, there's one particular hydroxybenzoic acid—protocatechuic acid—that's been recently linked to this variety's antioxidant capacity.