Cilantro, also known as Coriander is a beautifully fragrant herb usually used for garnishing. It is widely used across continents and is native to certain regions in Europe, North Africa and extending to Southwestern Asia.
Both the seeds and leaves of Cilantro are used as an ingredient in savory dishes. The word Cilantro is Spanish in its origin and it finds uses in lots of Salads, chutneys, and the seeds are usually used in the form of spice.
Compared to the leaves, the stems and roots of Coriander have a lot stronger flavor which is why they are extensively used in the preparation of curries, sauces, and chutneys.
The fresh, crisp and strong essence of Cilantro comes mainly from Aldehyde. The taste of this herb borders between bitter and “salt-lessness”.
Cilantro is a powerhouse of essential vitamins and minerals. The 100 grams of Cilantro can provide you with the major proportion of your daily requirement of these nutrients.
The following nutrition chart gives a detailed account of the nutritional value of this wonder herb.
Cilantro is composed of 92% water in raw form and is an extremely rich source of Dietary fiber, Vitamins and Minerals.
You can derive 42% of Vitamin A, 33% of Vitamin C, 14% of Vitamin B2, 14% of Iron and 20% of Manganese of your daily requirement from just hundred grams of raw Cilantro.
Apart from these significant vitamins, other nutrients are also densely found in this herb.
Cilantro is a must especially in the diet of young children owing to a rich and complete composition of Vitamins in it.
It is an excellent antioxidant, has anti-inflammatory properties, is refreshing and can slow down the symptoms of aging considerably.
Cilantro is easy to incorporate as a garnish and its flavor goes really well with most of the food preparations whether it is a full-fledged main course or snack and accompaniments.
1. Goodness of Vitamin K
Vitamin K in Coriander is required to make proteins that in turn give strong and healthy bones. It increases the density of bones and safeguards against ailments like Osteoporosis.
It is instrumental in preventing loss of bone during menstrual periods and postmenopausal women. It is also an important nutrient which supports blood clotting.
This process is also known as Thrombosis. People who suffer from an inability to form clots are even medically prescribed Vitamin K supplements.
2. Controls Cholesterol & Protects Heart
Cilantro has no fats or cholesterol and is also a low-calorie herb. All these factors added with the fact that is is an excellent anti-oxidant makes Cilantro a favorable herb for lowering down LDL (Low-density Lipoproteins) better known as “bad” Cholesterol in the body.
The high fiber content of Cilantro also aids cholesterol deposition. The LDL tends to leave remnants of fats along the inner side of the arteries which gradually hardens to form plaque making arteries inflexible. This condition is known as Atherosclerosis.
Atherosclerosis can lead to fluctuation in blood pressure and obstruction in blood flow affecting the overall health of your heart.
A regular intake of Cilantro can not only protect from these conditions but also bring about a significant improvement in those who are suffering from the consequences of high cholesterol in the body.
3. Works for Diabetics
The Glycemic index of a food ingredient determines its effects on the blood sugar level post consumption.
Cilantro has an incredibly low glycemic index which scales 1 on a scale of 100 where 100 is the target and 250 are the maximum limit which your body can take.
This is a good news for diabetics as adding this herb can bring down the overall glycemic index of the food items.
Cilantro also boosts the absorption of Glucose in the body preventing the spikes in the sugar level after consuming food.
4. Detoxifies and Purifies Water
The role of Cilantro is being widely studied for metal detoxifying properties. Scientists have discovered that Cilantro is a natural bio-absorbent whose leaves have tiny cells that can capture metal traces.
Currently, most of the filters use charcoal which could be replaced by dried coriander leaves in future.
It would be healthier, cheaper and as effective as charcoal for purification of water, especially harmful metals.
The easy availability of this herb also adds to its practical use as a purifier. It has been found to be particularly effective in eliminating lead and Nickel from the water.
This very same property makes Cilantro very effective in our body’s detoxification as well.
Many of our harvested food items contain metallic and other remnants from fertilizers. This issue can be effectively tackled by increasing your intake of this wonder herb which will combat and control the metal toxicity in your body.
5. Powerful Antioxidant
Cilantro has more than one ingredient that makes it a very strong and effective anti-oxidant. Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Quercetin are the main contents that lend the antioxidant properties to this herb.
Anti-oxidants combat and neutralize the oxidative stress in the body. Oxidative stress takes place when certain molecules on exposure to oxygen tend to produce free radicals.
These free radicals can damage the DNA of the cells and alter their properties.
Production of free radicals is a natural process, but there is a need to control their action against healthier cells which is done by antioxidants.
Antioxidants scavenge these free radicals before they begin their attack on healthy cells. This is why antioxidants are indispensable and play an important role in keeping you healthy.
6. Allays anxiety and Depression
Anxiety and high-stress levels are very common nowadays and there is a renewed emphasis on finding natural ways to alleviate these conditions.
The reason is simple- the allopathic drugs being administered presently are quite strong, have side effects and can lead to an addiction also.
The side effects range from sedation, introducing Ethanol to the body to temporary Amnesia as well!
The studies on Coriander and its oil have conclusively shown positive effects on anxiety and depression.
The Cilantro seed oil contains Linalool which has hypnotic and anticonvulsant properties coupled with sedative effects.
These are the same properties that the harmful allopathic drugs have, but they also come with a lot of side effects.
In fact, the way the flavonoids in Cilantro work in alleviating these two conditions is similar to the way existing drugs work on them.
These studies may also open the door for using Cilantro and its oil in other areas of psychiatric disorders and conditions.
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7. Aids Digestion
Cilantro has a significant concentration of dietary fiber which promotes healthy digestion. It adds bulk to stools and pushes them through the intestines and out.
They are single-handedly responsible for preventing constipation and reducing the stress around colon and anal area. This is how fibrous diet can help in overcoming
They are single-handedly responsible for preventing constipation and reducing the stress around colon and anal area. This is how fibrous diet can help in overcoming the condition of piles also.
The strong antioxidant properties prevent heavy oxidation during digestion thereby reducing the damage to tissue line of our stomach and intestines.
It has been used as a natural agent for relieving from acid reflux, flatulence, and heartburn.
Women can find it especially effective in preventing and reducing the incidence of stomach cramps and bloating around the menstrual periods. In pregnant women, it has been found to allay sickness and nausea.
8. Good for Oral health
Cilantro is an antibacterial and anti-fungal herb which can help in maintaining the oral health and keeping your dental problems at bay.
Chewing on raw Cilantro leaves increases saliva production in our mouths which are a natural cleanser. It kills the bacteria and fights most of the tooth and gum infections quite effectively.
You may add Cilantro oil to some water for gargling for eliminating bacterial and fungal infections. Cilantro also refreshes your breath and wards off the bad breath which makes it a natural mouth freshener.
If you have had any dental amalgam fillings that use metal, then consumption of Cilantro can reduce the risk of metal toxicity from them.
Usually, the fillings are not enough to cause a serious toxicity but in some sensitive people, it may show the symptoms.
Even the smallest of metal dissolution in the blood is undesirable and unhealthy and can be combated by including Cilantro in your diet.
9. Anti-inflammatory Agent
Anti-inflammatory food ingredients like Cilantro help in faster healing, reduction in swelling and act as natural painkillers.
People suffering from arthritis can find a lot of relief from herbs like Cilantro and its oil. Gently massaging the Cilantro oil on affected area lends warmth in the tissues and muscles while making the skin feel a tinge of cold.
It is deeply therapeutic and provides a lot of relief from pain.
Cilantro has proven benefits against age-related debilitating diseases that include bone conditions like arthritis and macular degeneration.
This is mainly because it detoxifies the body and slows down the onset of aging that worsens these conditions further.
10. Gives you a Great Skin
Being an antioxidant Cilantro does help in keeping the skin youthful and reduces fine lines. It also boosts cell production which in turn expedites the replacement and removal of dead skin cells.
However, apart from these Cilantro has proved to be very effective against skin disorders like skin eczema, dryness and similar conditions.
Coriander has Citronellol which lends antiseptic properties to Cilantro and is the main reason behind its effectiveness against the skin disorders.
The water content of Cilantro keeps your skin hydrated and adds to the suppleness. It also alleviates the dryness which is the common reason behind the lack of elasticity in tissues and consequent wrinkling.
Cilantro juice can help in controlling and absorbing the oiliness of the skin giving it a very balanced texture.
11. Controls Hair Loss
Cilantro arrests hair fall and gives you a voluminous and fuller mane. Vitamin A, C and K promote healthy hair and give you nutrients that strengthen the root of hair thereby preventing hair loss.
You can use Cilantro oil mixed with your regular hair oil or its powder from dried leaves in the hair oil and apply before washing them.
A hair wash with Cilantro water is also considered great for the hair and is a natural conditioner.
Just boil a bunch in water and strain it. Use this water to rinse your hair in the end. The oil absorbing Cilantro rinse can help you in getting rid of sticky oily scalp whereas for those who have frizzy dry hair,
Cilantro can put a stop to hair loss.
A Word of Caution- Side-Effects
Vitamin K in hundred grams Cilantro is more than double of what you need on a daily basis. It is a fat soluble vitamin which means that it gets stored in the fat tissue in the body.
Though there have been hardly any incidents where Cilantro caused Vitamin K toxicity but that is because Cilantro is never eaten as is but as a garnish.
People who are taking anticoagulants i.e. blood thinners should avoid consuming Vitamin K rich food items like Cilantro because they tend to interfere with the functioning of the medicines.
High intake of Vitamin K also tends to damage kidneys in the long run by eroding their lining.
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