Cilantro( Coriander) Offers Multiple Health Benefits.
At first sight you might get confused between cilantro and parsley. Bring them close to your nose and you will know cilantro from its distinct smell.
The green leaves of the plant coriandrum sativum are generally called cilantro and the seeds are called coriander seeds. However, even the leaves are referred to as coriander interchangeably with cilantro.
Whatever you call it but you can't ignore the health benefits of cilantro.
You can make cilantro tea with the leaves, add leaves to your food as dressing or use seeds or powdered seeds in cooking. Cilantro, like most herbs, has both culinary and therapeutic values.
Before we discuss the health benefits let us look at the nutrition values of cilantro.
Cilantro is a low calorie high fiber herb loaded with high vitamin contents and minerals. It possesses high antioxidant properties.
According to USDA data 100 grams of cilantro has only 23 calories and gives you fiber 11% DV (Daily Value).
Vitamin K 387% DV, Vitamin A 134% DV, Vitamin C 45% DV and Vitamin B6 5% DV.
It will give you Potassium 11%, Iron 9% and Magnesium 6% DV.
Health Benefits of Cilantro
Almost all plant based food items offer one or more health benefits and cilantro is no exception. In fact it offers following multiple health benefits.
1. Prevents Food Poisoning
The cilantro leaves as well as coriander seats both contain rich antioxidants.
It also possesses very high anti-bacterial properties. A compound called dodecanal found in both leaves and seeds is twice as powerful to kill salmonella as compared to the antibiotic gentamicin used for treatment of salmonella infection.
Cilantro therefore helps to protect against both food and waterborne food poisoning such as dysentery, listeria and cholera.
2. Prevents Heavy Metal Toxicity
Cilantro has been found to suppress and prevent accumulation of heavy metal such as lead, arsenic, cadmium, aluminum and Mercury in the body.
It binds these heavy metals from the tissues, loosen them and eliminates them from the body.
As a result the bones and tissue become stronger, the accumulation of heavy metals in the body prevents calcium to strengthen bones.
3. Calms the Nerves
Cilantro calms your nerves, reduces anxiety and promotes better sleep.
Cilantro extract has better sedative capabilities than the drug diazepam of which Valium is a popular brand. Therefore cilantro can give you anxiety free better sleep without the dangerous side effects of Valium such as confusion, memory problems and muscle weakness.
4. Protects from Heart Diseases
Cilantro lowers total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. This reduces plaque formation and thickening of arteries.
Also high potassium content of cilantro helps to lower blood pressure.
The phenolic compounds in cilantro protects the body and cardiovascular system from the oxidative stresses.
As a result of all these benefits you are protected from development of heart diseases.
5. Prevents Diabetes
Many researchers have found that cilantro leaves help to control blood sugar levels.
You can add cilantro leaves as dressing of food items or add it to your daily smoothies to get the benefits.
6. Protects against Colon Cancer
Since antibacterial capacity of cilantro keeps the colon clean from all kinds of bacteria and cholesterol control keeps the liver healthy, cilantro can protect you from colon cancer.
Phenolic compounds found in cilantro also reduces oxidative stresses. All these factors are your protection against Colon cancer and other types of cancers.
7. Prevents and Treats UTI
The antibacterial capabilities of cilantro helps to protect you from urinary tract infection.
You can drink cilantro tea to treat your UTI.
Side Effects of Cilantro
There are no known ill effects of cilantro except that regular use of high quantities of coriander seeds can cause impotency in men in the long term.