Coriander or cilantro is not just an ordinary herb that we see and use. The cilantro has more amazing qualities and wonders than this. The health benefits of cilantro and some other herbs are sometimes being overlooked; however, what people don’t know is that it is still important to a healthy diet like fruits and vegetables. This is since it has a lot of antioxidant properties and some other essential nutrients.
What is Cilantro or Coriander?
Cilantro or coriander is an herb that is aromatic. It has a wide and delicate filigree leaves and it has a strong smell. It belongs to the apiaceous family popularly known as the carrot family, which includes carrot, of course, parsnip, cumin, parsley, and celery. The origin of cilantro is in the Mediterranean and the regions of Asia Minor.
Moreover, the plant grows about one to two feet tall and it possesses a dark green, soft, and hairless leaves. Its shape varies, it is broad in the base, and is feathery and slender higher on its flowering stems. What’s amazing is that all the parts of the cilantro are edible. However, its fresh leaves and dried up seeds are the most commonly used in cooking.
The shape of the cilantro seeds is oval. It has a yellowish brown color and an aromatic, citrusy and sweet flavor. The cilantro seeds are usually used as a spice.
Moreover, the cilantro forms a part of savory dishes both in the modern and traditional cuisines. Actually, it has been used by the Ancient Greeks as a perfume ingredient. On the other hand, the Romans use this as an ingredient to mask the smell of the meat that has rotten. Aside from they use it in the field of culinary, it is also beneficial in promoting health and preventing various illnesses.
Nutrition Facts of Cilantro or Coriander
In global food preparation, we use cilantro or coriander. What other people don’t know is that the cilantro is rich in many potential health benefits, which many people miss when they put this garnish in the garbage after eating their dish.
Cilantro or coriander has eleven essential oils components, six types of essential acids (including vitamin C or the ascorbic acid), vitamins and minerals. Each of these has numerous beneficial properties.
Health Benefits of Cilantro or Coriander
Here are some of the best health benefits of cilantro:
Antioxidant-rich. The quercetin antioxidant properties of the cilantro are beneficial in protecting the body against harmful free radicals. This will then prevents the appearance of aging and some other diseases like macular degeneration. Including also, Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease, and more.
Treats inflammation. The coriander or cilantro has anti-inflammatory properties, which may help in preventing and treating inflammation like arthritis and minor swellings. Furthermore, it also alleviates conjunctivitis.
Helps to fight diabetes. Because of its ability in lowering the levels of blood sugar and cholesterol levels, it is beneficial for those who are diabetic. Furthermore, since it is also has a high potassium and low sodium content it keeps the blood sugar level stable.
Helps in digestion. The leaves of coriander give relief from indigestion conditions and nausea, moreover, they enable the digestive tract to produce enzymes and digestive juices, hence preventing pretentiousness.
Facilitates sound sleep. Cilantro is beneficial in alleviating the effect of stress, thus it promotes peaceful sleeping.
Help cure anxiety. Since it has muscle relaxing qualities, the herb may act as a mild laxative. Moreover, it also helps in calming the nerves, hence relieving the anxiety and alleviating the effects of stress.
Lowers blood pressure levels. Cilantro is beneficial in reducing the risk of hypertension by means of lowering the blood pressure level. Furthermore, coriander is actually a good source of iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, potassium, and is low in sodium.
Improves cardiovascular health. Since the herb is cholesterol free and is rich in antioxidant properties, dietary fiber, essential oils, and vitamins, it is beneficial in lowering the bad cholesterol levels and increasing the levels of the good cholesterol in the body.
Possible Health Risks of Cilantro or Coriander Consumption
One of the potential health risks when consuming cilantro is salmonella. In a certain study that was conducted by the Food and Drug Authority, they found out that 15 percent of the imports of cilantro is being contaminated with salmonella.
Furthermore, the cilantro may also be an allergen to some. Thus, it is important to check first if you are allergic to the herb or not. If possible, avoid using or incorporating it into your dish to avoid further health risk.
The more important in the prevention of diseases is the total diet pattern. We know that the health benefits of cilantro are numerous. But it is better to eat a diet with a variety than eating a single food that you don’t know if you’re allergic to or not.