Health Benefits Of Cilantro
Cilantro is ubiquitous in Indian, Mexican, Middle Eastern and South American cooking. In addition to the delightful flavor the health benefits of Cilantro are worth considering. It is called coriander (Coriandrum sativum) in that part of the world. It is chopped up and used as garnish in almost all dishes. The aroma and the flavor that exudes from cilantro are to be tasted to know the special flavors. The Cilantro health benefits have propelled me to use it as garnishing for almost all the dishes. The leaves look like parsley but have a strong smell when squeezed between the fingers. Both cilantro seeds and the leaves are used for cooking.
Cilantro is commonly used in Mexican salsa. The herb must have hailed from East or Southern Europe although archeologists have found remnants of cilantro cultivation in the tombs of ancient Egyptians. Cilantro was also cultivated in Greece and the Romans introduced it to England. The British were thought to have brought it to North America.
There are chemical compounds in Cilantro that are responsible for the health benefits. Cinnole and Linoleic acid are present which have anti-rheumatic and anti-arthritic properties in addition to several other useful properties of the chemicals.
Health Benefits of Cilantro:
- Cilantro is said to rid the body of heavy metals like mercury, lead and aluminium from the body. If cilantro can do this then we don’t need to take any medication for it, in the form of chelation treatments.
- The extracted chemicals in Cilantro offer protection against Salmonella bacteria by acting as non-ionic surfactants.
- Coriander traditionally has properties that enable relief of anxiety and insomnia.
- Helps in digestion and helps to settle the stomach and prevent flatulence.
- Anti-inflammatory alleviating arthritic symptoms
- Protection against urinary tract infections.
- Prevents nausea and intestinal gas and it is a diuretic. Coriander seeds with cumin seeds boiled together give relief to the stomach.
- Lowers blood sugar and is a good source of fiber hence excellent for diabetics. A study in mice has shown the insulin acting and insulin decreasing properties of coriander extract.
- Lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and raises good cholesterol (HDL) a hypolipidemic effect with reduction in cholesterol and triglycerides.
- A good source of iron and magnesium is obtained from cilantro.
- Contains photochemical and flavonoids in addition to active phenolic compounds.
- Antioxidant cleaning up free radicals in the body. The same properties also delay or prevent spoilage of food.
- Cilantro oil is supposedly a digestion stimulant. Traditionally used as a carminative and digestive aid.
- Coriander powder mixed with turmeric or mint is used for acne treatment.
All these medicinal properties make cilantro a very attractive cooking ingredient not just for its flavor and aroma but also for the health benefits that the plant has. So make it a point to garnish your salads, soups, rice, couscous or any other dish with freshly chopped cilantro.
Image Credit: Fragrantfields.com and wikimedia commons.