Cilantro otherwise known as Chinese parsley or coriander is usually used in Chinese dishes as a topper to add colour to the dishes. It is also used in other Asian cuisine to add flavor to the dishes. Before I came to know of the health benefits of eating cilantro, I usually ate the rest of the dish and threw away the cilantro, thinking they are just garnishes. Little do I know that this tiny herb actually has amazing health benefits when consumed.
Cilantro is an annual plant and is in the family Apiaceae. The whole plant can be eaten but the leaves and the seeds are the most widely used parts. The leaves are used as herb while the seeds are used as spice. Cilantro or coriander has been used in traditional medicine to treat problems such as digestive ailments, bladder issues, cough, headache, eliminate bad breath and more. Below we will talk more about its various properties:-
Properties of Cilantro
- Anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties-Due to the above properties, coriander oil when added to lotion and applied to skin has shown to help in alleviating skin conditions. Consuming them will also aid in fighting inflammation in the body. Due to this property, it can prevent and help in recovery of urinary tract infection by combating the bacteria in the tract.
- Digestive property-Cilantro is able to stimulate the production of digestive enzymes and hence helps with digestive problems.
- Antioxidant property-Like all plants, Cilantro is rich is antioxidant and with this property, it will protect cells from free radical and keep the cells young, preventing diseases like cancer and heart diseases.
- Anti-parasites-It inhibits the growth of parasites, hence aid in body detoxification process.
- Hypoglycemic property-Cilantro is know to lower blood sugar, hence it is useful for diabetics and for improving overall health.
- Metal chelation property-Studies have shown that Cilantro can act as an agent, chelating heavy metal, reducing or removing heavy metal in the body.
- Anxiolytic property-Cilantro has shown to have sedative effects as well as relaxing the muscles. Therefore, cilantro helps with insomnia and anxiety problems.
- Hypolipidemic property-Cilantro is able to reduce or lower the lipids (fats) and cholesterol in the blood, hence preventing heart disease or improving cardiac health.
Cilantro leaves are rich in Vitamin C, A, K and minerals while the seeds are rich in magnesium,manganese, selenium, iron,calcium and fibre.There are many recipes that you can find using cilantro, however cilantro leaves are best consumed raw or with little heat applied to retain its properties and effectiveness. They are best added to the dishes just before serving and consuming. The seeds can be grounded and frequently added into dishes like Indian curries and masala to add flavor and aroma. The seeds can also be roasted and eaten as a snack.
After knowing the health benefits of eating cilantro, I now eat them first before eating the main dish. It is also very easy to add in a little cilantro to blend together with your other ingredients in your daily smoothies or juices. Its amazing how this tiny herb can have such powerful properties and we should try to adopt it into our diet rotating with other plants for better health.