Last Updated June 13th, 2021
What is Cilantro?
Cilantro is a herb that is widely known for its nutritional properties. It is widely known as coriander leaves in many parts of the world. Cilantro is the name given by the Spanish. The seed of the cilantro plant is used in many culinary dishes. The fresh leaves of the cilantro plant contain around 92% of water and are rich in many antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, and contain little calories.
The seed of the cilantro plant has around 8% of water and is rich in minerals namely iron, calcium, magnesium, etc. Fresh cilantro leaves are used in many culinary dishes as well as used raw in many salads. People even drink the juice made from the leaves to cleanse the stomach. The seed is more often used as a spice and is known to enhance the taste of the dish.
Though leaves and seeds are from the same plant, they tend to taste different when used in cooking. The fresh leaves contain more amount of water and give a fresh taste while the seed contains a lesser amount of water and is generally used as a spice and gives a more intense flavor.
The exact nutritional contents of cilantro
Cilantro leaves are abundant in vitamins. Leaves are rich in vitamins such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K. They also contain several minerals in lower levels such as iron, manganese, calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorous, potassium, etc.
What health benefits do these possess?
Flushes out heavy metals from the body
There are several heavy metals which get accumulated in the body and are known to cause several health problems including cardiovascular problems, neurological problems, as well as changes in hormones. Heavy metals including lead, aluminum, mercury, arsenic, cadmium, etc are some of the toxic heavy metals which are known to get accumulated in the tissues. These accumulate in the body due to water, food, and chemical exposure. Cilantro leaves are beneficial in removing these heavy metals from the body by binding itself with these heavy metals and helps the tissues to excrete these heavy metals from the body. This process is helpful in reducing the toxic effects.
Works as a powerful antioxidant
Cilantro is known for its powerful antioxidant effect because of the presence of flavonoid (naturally occurring polyphenolic compounds) named quercetin. This powerful antioxidant helps in reducing the free radicals from the body and reduces the oxidation process. This is helpful in protecting healthy cells.
Promotes sleep and reduces anxiety
Due to the fast-paced life these days, it is quite difficult to manage work as well as maintain a stress-free life. This may cause an alteration in the metabolism of the body and people may get anxiety attacks. Cilantro is known to provide the calming effect on the brain and helps a person to address situations such as anxiety, as well as have a better sleep pattern. Studies have indicated that Cilantro is as effective as a psychiatric drug that is used to reduce anxiety. Anti-anxiety drugs are known to cause several side effects, so Cilantro seems to be a better option to manage anxiety.
Controls blood sugar levels
Due to several factors, the blood sugar is not able to be managed appropriately. Abnormal levels of blood sugar may be caused because of drug reaction, abnormal diet, as well as insulin resistance. Cilantro is helpful in regulating glucose levels and is also known to improve liver function. Studies have indicated that people who consume Cilantro in their diet are known to have better glucose control as compared to people who do not use them in their diet.
Treats and prevents urinary tract infection
It is defined as the infection that is caused to the urinary tract from pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus, etc. A person affected by urinary tract infection may experience symptoms such as burning with urination, increased frequency of urination, etc. Cilantro is known to have antibacterial and antifungal properties that help to treat urinary tract infection. Cilantro juice can be consumed on an empty stomach to help relieve the symptoms of urinary tract infection. People who are consuming Cilantro in their diet are known to have a lesser occurrence of urinary tract infections.
Cleanses the stomach
People may experience gastrointestinal problems with the consumption of an unhealthy diet. Gastrointestinal problems may cause symptom such as nausea, stomach cramps, burning sensation in the chest, etc. Cilantro is known to contain antibacterial properties as well as produce digestive enzymes. These enzymes help in the digestion of food by breaking them down. Studies have indicated that adding Cilantro to any spicy dish can calm the effects of spicy foods. The antibacterial effects of Cilantro fight against several pathogens that may be contracted with either water or food. It is known to kill these harmful pathogens such as salmonella, listeria, etc.
Helps with menstruation
The natural process of shedding blood and tissue from the uterus every month is called menstruation in women. There may be several factors which may affect the normal menstruation process and cause abnormal cycles of menstruation or cause excess bleeding. Hormonal imbalance is considered to be the main cause affecting the process of menstruation. The seeds are effective in regulating the endocrine gland function. The normal functioning of endocrine gland regulates the menstrual cycles and help in reducing the symptoms of cramps and bloating associated with menstruation.
Prevents colon cancer
Colon cancer or colorectal cancer is associated with cancer in the colon, which is the large intestine. Symptoms include a change in bowel habits, bleeding, as well as loss of appetite. Polyps are formed in the lining of the colon and may advance to become a cancerous polyp. Cilantro is known to reduce the cholesterol levels as well as promote the secretion of bile and sterol compounds. The secretion of sterol compounds decreases the level of toxicity in the colon and is known to prevent colon cancer.
Prevents neurological inflammation
Neurological inflammation is known to cause several neurological disorders such as Alzheimer disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson disease, brain tumor, etc. Cilantro is known to prevent neurological inflammation and prevent the occurrence of several neurological disorders because of the presence of powerful antioxidants. Quercetin antioxidant present in Cilantro helps in the reduction of inflammation in the brain, which, in turn, reduces the possibilities of contracting neurological disorders.
Protects the skin
Skin is affected by several skin problems. Cilantro is known to contain substances called anti-histamines. Anti-histamines are known to calm down the immune system and reduce the symptoms of an allergic reaction. Topical application of Cilantro in combination with coconut oil is effective to treat rashes and skin irritation. Drinking Cilantro juice is also helpful in reducing these symptoms.
The rare case of cilantro allergy
Cilantro is considered to be one of the safest herbs which can be consumed or even applied topically. Cilantro is used in various culinary dishes to enhance the flavor and taste. It is also consumed raw and goes well with any salads. There are reports that Cilantro may cause an allergic reaction to people who are allergic to this type of herb. Generally, the symptoms are mild and do not cause a severe reaction. Caution is advised if people tend to experience symptoms of anaphylaxis.
Hate cilantro? Blame it on your genes
Generally, cilantro is used in various culinary dishes, but some just hate the way it tastes. They claim that it tastes like soap. Scientists have found that the preference for cilantro is influenced by genes. There is strong evidence to suggest that there is a heritable component associated with the reaction that people have towards cilantro.
Studies have indicated that people carrying the gene OR6A2 are the one who tends to hate cilantro as they feel that it tastes like soap. It was then concluded that people carrying this particular type of gene are susceptible to hate cilantro.
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