Benefits Of Cilantro



Coriander is considered bo
th an herb and a spice since both its leaves and its seeds are used as a seasoning condiment. Fresh coriander leaves are more commonly known as cilantro and bear a strong resemblance to Italian flat leaf parsley. This is not surprising owing to the fact that they belong to the same plant family (Umbelliferae).

The fruit of the coriander plant contains two seeds which, when dried, are the parts that are used as the dried spice. When ripe, the seeds are yellowish-brown in color with longitudinal ridges. They have a fragrant flavor that is reminiscent of both citrus peel and sage. Coriander seeds are available in whole or ground powder form.

The name coriander is derived from the Greek word koris, which means bug. It may have earned this name because of the "buggy" offensive smell that it has when unripe. The Latin name for coriander is Coriandrum sativum.

Nutritional Benefits

Cilantro has many health benefits. Here are a few of them
  • Cilantro contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help such diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, crohns disease, and many other immune disorders.
  • The anti-oxidant properties of cilantro help prevent aging and may help prevent cancer.
  • Cilantro has been shown to help control high cholesterol by lowering bad cholesterol and raising the good cholesterol.
  • The leaves are high in Vitamin K. In fact it is a higher source of the vitamin than any other herb. Vitamin K is important for bone health and healthy blood clotting.
  • The herb contains a form of alcohol (borneol) that is believed to help prevent flues and colds by killing bacteria and viruses.
  • Research results also show that it may help kill salmonella bacteria.
Cilantro is being used to help in detoxifying metals from the body. These include aluminum, mercury and lead. Along with the cilantro, chlorella and garlic are used to make a mixture. The mixture works well for these metals and possibly will remove other toxins. It is a good source of fiber. The herb aids in digestion and taking care of flatulence.

It provides many vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium. Iron helps prevents and treats anemia. Calcium is important in keeping healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. Potassium is important in keeping a regular heartbeat and is needed by those taking high blood pressure medications. Magnesium is needed for the use of certain anti-oxidants.

Health Benefits

Coriander seeds have a health-supporting reputation that is high on the list of the healing spices. In parts of Europe, coriander has traditionally been referred to as an "anti-diabetic" plant. In parts of India, it has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory properties. In the United States, coriander has recently been studied for its cholesterol-lowering effects.

Control of Blood Sugar, Cholesterol and Free Radical Production
Recent research studies (though still on animals) have confirmed all three of these healing effects. When coriander was added to the diet of diabetic mice, it helped stimulate their secretion of insulin and lowered their blood sugar. When given to rats, coriander reduced the amount of damaged fats (lipid peroxides) in their cell membranes. And when given to rats fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet, coriander lowered levels of total and LDL (the "bad" cholesterol), while actually increasing levels of HDL (the "good" cholesterol). Research also suggests that the volatile oils found in the leaves of the coriander plant, commonly known as cilantro, may have antimicrobial properties.

A Phytonutrient-Dense Herb
Many of the above healing properties of coriander can be attributed to its exceptional phytonutrient content. Coriander's volatile oil is rich in beneficial phytonutrients, including carvone, geraniol, limonene, borneol, camphor, elemol, and linalool. Coriander's flavonoids include quercitin, kaempferol, rhamnetin, and epigenin. Plus, coridander contains active phenolic acid compounds, including caffeic and chlorogenic acid.

Spice Up Your Life and Subdue the Salmonella
Coriander (also called cilantro) contains an antibacterial compound that may prove to be a safe, natural means of fighting Salmonella, a frequent and sometimes deadly cause of foodborne illness, suggests a study published in the June 2004 issue of the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry.

Working together, U.S. and Mexican researchers isolated the compound, dodecenal, which laboratory tests showed is twice as effective as the commonly used antibiotic drug gentamicin at killing Salmonella. Since most natural antibacterial agents found in food have weak activity, study leader Isao Kubo, a chemist at the University of California, Berkeley, noted, "We were surprised that dodecenal was such a potent antibiotic."

While dodecenal is found in comparable amounts in both the seeds and fresh leaves of coriander, the leaves are usually eaten more frequently since they are one of the main ingredients in salsa, along with tomatoes, onions and green chillies.

In addition to dodecenal, eight other antibiotic compounds were isolated from fresh coriander, inspiring the food scientists to suggest that dodecenal might be developed as a tasteless food additive to prevent foodborne illness. While this may prove to be a useful idea, who wants to settle for "tasteless" food protection? Our suggestion at the World's Healthiest Foods? Enjoy more fresh salsa and other delicious recipes featuring coriander!

Consumption Tips

Cilantro is commonly known as coriander leaves which looks like parsley leaves. Cilantro has got strong flavour and aroma. It has also got many medicinal properties and also used in cooking. Prior to cooking it should be rinsed well. Can be easily grown at home in pot.
  • It is a good source of dietary fiber.
  • It is considered to have cholestrol reducing properties.
  • It helps for easy digestion.
  • It contains antibacterial properties.
  • Coriander seeds has got medicinal properties. Its one of the main ingredient for preparing khasyam[herbal medicine.

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