Everything You Should Know About Cilantro

Cilantro herb is now one of the most popular Mediterranean herbs, which is commonly recognized as leaf-coriander in Asia. It is widely used in savory dishes in almost all parts of the world.

The herb carries many notable plant-derived chemical compounds that have shown disease-preventing and health-promoting properties. Cilantro or coriander plant is quite similar to the aromatic herb dill in terms of usefulness since both its leaves and seeds can be used in any cuisine.

Nutrient content

The leaves and stem tips are also rich in numerous antioxidant polyphenolic flavonoids such as kaempferol, rhamnetin, quercetin, and apigenin. The herb is a good source of minerals like manganese, iron, potassium, calcium and magnesium. It is also high in many vital vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, beta carotene, vitamin C, which are essential for optimal health. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant. 100 g of cilantro provide about 30% of daily recommended levels of vitamin C.

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How to buy the best cilantro

When buying cilantro, look for the fresh tender, aromatic and very green leaves. Don’t buy those that are wilted and yellowish in color or those without aroma. The leaves will wilt sooner than other leafy vegetables, so it is best to use them as soon as you can. Or store them in the fridge in a jar of water.

Availability

Cilantro leaves are readily available in most vegetable and herb sections in most stores, while its seeds can be found in the spices section. Medicinal cilantro preparations can be found in herb stores and can be bought in fluid or in powdered extract form.

Health benefits of cilantro

Cilantro contains no cholesterol and is very low in calories. Its deep-green leaves contain good amounts of essential oils, vitamins, antioxidants and dietary fiber, which may help lower LDL or “bad cholesterol” levels in the blood. Potassium is an essential element of cell and body fluids that help regulate your blood pressure and heart rate. Iron is important for the production of red blood cells. Manganese is used by the body for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.

Vitamin A has antioxidant properties and is a fat soluble vitamin, needed for maintaining healthy skin and mucosa, and is essential for good vision. Eating natural foods rich in vitamin-A and flavonoids (carotenes) can help protect from lung and oral cavity cancers. Vitamin K has a potential role in bone mass building through the promotion of osteotropic activity in the bones. It also has an essential role in the treatment of people with Alzheimer’s disease because it limits the neuronal damage in their brain.

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. When used as a medicine, cilantro is considered safe when properly used. There are no sufficient studies on the potential side effects of this vegetable to pregnant women and breast feeding. If you are very sensitive, cilantro may cause skin irritation, inflammation, and allergic reaction.