The cilantro herb is not only good for health, but its rich zest and citrusy flavor can be employed to inject a savory and tangy flavor to different foods. The cilantro benefits for health include preservation of cardiac health, maintenance of the digestive system, cure of stress and anxiety and many more.
What is cilantro?
Cilantro is a citrus herb whose origin belongs to the tropical region of the West Indies and the Mediterranean region. It is known for its versatility of use in the culinary department. The cilantro plant produces a leafy green herb in the initial stage that is used to suffuse food with a citrusy zest. During the flowering stage, the plant produces citrus leaves and coriander seeds more intensely that are used as spices in the culinary scene(1).
Cilantro Nutrition Profile
Calories in cilantro: 1 calorie in 4 grams of cilantro leaves.
Cilantro possesses a host of polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids, and phytonutrients. It contains saturated fatty acid, good cholesterol, vitamins K, E, C, A, minerals like magnesium, potassium, iron, and calcium, dietary fiber and a huge load of antioxidants.
Top 8 Impressive Cilantro Benefits for Health and Well-Being
1. Helps in Detoxification of the Body
Cilantro benefits in the detoxification of the body. The human body gets continuously bombarded with heavy metals and toxins such as mercury, lead, aluminum, cadmium, arsenic, etc. These toxic metals wreak massive damage on the tissues and organs and cause cardiac diseases, hormonal problems, neurological disorders, reproductive issues like infertility and miscarriage and many more.
Cilantro can bind the toxic heavy metals, removing them from the tissues and helping in the elimination of the minerals from the body. It has been revealed by medical research that cilantro can fight against oxidative stress inflicted by lead and mercury and other such toxins. The cilantro herb forms an integral part of the detoxification regimen and can even keep infections at bay.
2. Protection Against Oxidative Damage
Oxidative damage is associated with a wide variety of degenerative disorders such as cancers, cardiac problems, arthritis, degeneration of the eyes, Alzheimer’s disease and several more. The polyphenolic compounds, flavonoids, and phytonutrients present in dried cilantro are potent antioxidants that can destroy free radicals and protect the physiology against oxidative damage, and the full range of diseases associated with it.
3. Cure for Insomnia
Cilantro benefits the sleep cycle of humans. It has been published in several important medical journals that the administration of cilantro leaves helps in the natural treatment of insomnia. The extract obtained from cilantro leaves is remarkably remedial and can aid in the establishment of a healthy sleep cycle.
Regular and prescribed consumption of cilantro leaf extract keeps away restlessness and anxiety and generates a feeling of calmness which is highly advantageous for drifting into a deep slumber.
[Also Read: Natural Ways to Treat Insomnia]
4. Cures Diabetes
Cilantro benefits the health of people with diabetes. The regular consumption of cilantro leaves and cilantro stems through food can help in lowering the level of glucose in the blood. It supports healthy hepatic functioning and aids in balancing the blood sugar level.
Experts recommend having cilantro with salads and soups as an excellent home remedy for diabetes. It can control sudden spikes and fluctuations in blood sugar levels and can help in the natural treatment of diabetes.
5. Helps to Preserve Cardiac Health
Cilantro benefits the health of the heart by controlling the levels of blood pressure, triglycerides and cholesterol, and keeping cardiac attacks and strokes at bay. It can prevent the inflammation of the cardiac muscles, protect the heart against ischemic heart disease, myocardial infarction, atherosclerosis, and arterial constriction.
The rich content of potassium of cilantro is highly beneficial for the healthy functioning of the heart. The potassium serves as a vasodilating agent and keeps the arteries duly dilated for the healthy flow of blood. The dietary fibrous content of cilantro helps in the removal of cholesterol deposits on the arterial walls thereby preventing atherosclerosis and limited circulation of blood.
6. Beats Urinary Tract Infection
Cilantro benefits the health of the urinary tract. For the natural treatment of the urinary tract, an infection caused by excessive sexual activity and bacterial action, soak two teaspoons of cilantro seeds in a glass of water and keep it aside for the night.
Strain out the liquid in the next morning and add a teaspoon of honey to it. Drink this decoction every morning for the cure of urinary tract infection. Consumption of cilantro seeds water on a daily basis helps in the alleviation of pain and disease in the urinary canal.
7. A Bliss for Menstrual Problems
Cilantro benefits the menstrual cycle of women. The cilantro oil extract obtained from cilantro leaves helps in the regulation of menstrual flow and menstrual cycle and can cure the symptoms of pre-menstrual phase like bloating, abdominal cramps, nausea, and body ache.
8. Aids Healthy Digestion
Adding a few drops of cilantro oil to the food can help in preventing indigestion and food poisoning. Cilantro benefits for the digestive system include the prevention and natural cure of stomach cramps, constipation, irritable bowel movement, stomach flu, acid reflux, nausea, and other gastrointestinal disorders.
Cilantro Lime Rice
- 1 cup of white rice of the long-grained variety
- One teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 a cup of chopped cilantro herb
- Three tablespoons of lime juice
- Two tablespoons of virgin olive oil
- One clove of garlic
- 2 cups of water
- Boil the water in a pot
- Add the white rice and a pinch of salt to the water and reduce the flame to a low simmer
- Keep boiling for about 15-20 minutes until the rice becomes soft and tender
- Do not overcook the rice. Keep the cooked rice aside
- Use a food blender to blend the garlic, oil, lime juice, and cilantro along with some water until the mixture attains a smooth consistency
- Stir the blended paste into the boiled rice and fluff the rice with a spoon
- Garnish the cilantro lime rice with lemon wedges and cilantro shreds and serve hot
Cilantro and Lime Chicken
- 2 lbs. of chicken breast and thigh meat
- Wedges of limes and shreds of cilantro for garnishing
- 3-4 tablespoons of virgin olive oil
- 4-5 cloves of garlic finely minced
- 4-5 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
- Three tablespoons of lime juice
- Two teaspoons of chili flakes
- One teaspoon of salt
- One teaspoon of pepper
- Preheat the microwave oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit
- Whisk the oil, minced garlic, chopped cilantro, lime juice, chili flakes, and salt together in a large bowl to form the marinade mixture
- Add the chicken to the marinade mixture with gentle stirring so that the pieces get evenly smeared with the paste
- Let the chicken get marinated for a couple of hours
- After the marination is over, pan-fry the meat until the pieces acquire a beautiful golden brown color
- Transfer the browned chicken pieces to the microwave oven and bake for about 15-20 minutes
- Garnish the roasted chicken with lime wedges and cilantro shreds and serve hot
Side Effects of Cilantro
A few side effects of the consumption of cilantro herb are mentioned below:
Cilantro has a tangy flavor that might trigger acidity and can cause heartburn when it is taken in large quantity. Limit the addition of cilantro in the food in a healthy amount to avoid acid reflux.
You might get a stomachache or cramp from excessive consumption of cilantro.
Allergic response to cilantro involves sudden fits of sneezing and runny nose. If you are allergic to sour flavors, then it is recommended to avoid the usage of cilantro herb.
Interference with medications and drugs: If you are on certain medicines, then it is advised to consult the physician before adding cilantro to your food.
Coriander vs. Cilantro
Cilantro is the herb whereas coriander refers to the seeds that the cilantro herb produces during the flowering stage.
Parsley vs. Cilantro
Parsley and cilantro are two different herbs that resemble each other in their appearance. The difference between the two herbs lies in the flavor. While cilantro is deliciously tangy, parsley lacks in flavor.
If you are seeking to enhance the taste of what you cook healthily, then try a dash of the cilantro herb. The addition of chopped cilantro can even make bland white rice taste exotic and delicious. Embrace the cilantro benefits for health and beauty by the incorporation of the herb into your daily diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What does cilantro taste like?
The cilantro herb has a unique tangy flavor.
2. Can you freeze cilantro?
Cilantro can be frozen before adding to salads.
3. Are cilantro stems edible?
Cilantro stems are edible and can be chopped and added to rice, soups, salads and other foods.