Cilantro: Health Benefits, and Nutrition

Cilantro is a vibrant green herb that is frequently used in cuisines all over the world. It is sometimes referred to as coriander leaves. It is a common ingredient in many Middle Eastern, Asian, and Latino dishes.

In addition to its peppery, somewhat citrus flavor (to most people, at least), cilantro is added to food for its conceivable health benefits.

The Middle Eastern, Asian, and Central American cuisines all frequently use the fragrant herb cilantro. The Coriandrum sativum plant’s leaves and stems are referred to as cilantro in the US, whilst the seeds are referred to as coriander. Every portion of the plant can be referred to as coriander in numerous cultures.

What Is Cilantro?

The herb cilantro (Coriandrum sativum), which belongs to the Apiaceae or Umbelliferae family, is most commonly recognized by its Spanish name. This wonderful ingredient is known by various names throughout the world, including coriander, Chinese parsley, dhaniya, coriandolo, kusthumbari, and others. It confirms that it is a worldwide culinary phenomenon.


Since ancient times, cilantro has been utilized medicinally, just like many other culinary herbs. Several of the health benefits claimed to this herb are being verified by contemporary scientific techniques.

Lowers Blood Sugar Levels

In trials on animals, cilantro’s leaves and stems were found to help reduce blood sugar levels. According to a study in the Journal of Food Sciences, the plant supports good liver function and maintains blood sugar balance when diabetes has been identified.

The findings, according to researchers, support Coriandrum sativum’s use as a diabetes treatment. To reduce blood sugar and enhance general health, chop the leaves and stems and add them to salads, salsas, and smoothies.

Reduces Anxiety

Due to its inherent sedative qualities, this plant can aid in calming the nerves and enhancing the quality of sleep. According to a recent animal study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology, large concentrations of cilantro extract had the same calming effects as the well-known prescription medication valium (diazepam).

Confusion, hallucinations, risk-taking behavior, anger, violence, memory issues, and muscle weakness are some of the most typical valium adverse effects. This herb’s extract may help you sleep better and reduce anxiety without any of these potentially harmful side effects.

Protects Against Oxidative Stress

Many degenerative disorders, including some forms of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and many others are associated with oxidative stress.

Due in part to the flavonoid quercetin, this herb has potent antioxidant qualities that can help the body fend off free radical damage. Due to its strong antioxidant content, a recent in vitro study discovered that Coriandrum sativum actually defends against oxidative stress.

Rids the Body of Heavy Metals

Our tissues may accumulate arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, lead, and mercury over time. Heart problems, hormonal abnormalities, neurological issues, infertility, and a host of other disorders can result from this. It has been demonstrated that cilantro, also known scientifically as “Coriandrum sativum,” binds these harmful metals together, releasing them from tissue and promoting their removal from the body.

Coriandrum sativum greatly reduced lead-induced oxidative stress in an animal model, and it actually sped up the body’s clearance of heavy metals, according to another study. The herb was employed in this trial to assist in removing tenacious heavy metal deposits that persisted in patients long after the initial illness symptoms had subsided.

Supports Healthy Menstrual Function

By ensuring proper endocrine gland function and the hormones that control menstrual cycles, cilantro’s coriander seed promotes healthy menstrual function. Moreover, coriander is thought to aid in easing cramping, bloating, and pain related to the menstrual cycle.

Protects Against Food Poisoning

Cilantro assists the body by detoxifying it as well as shielding it from pathogens and poisons. Due to its inherent antibacterial qualities, it may help prevent illnesses like food poisoning and dysentery that are water- or food-borne. Dill, coriander, and eucalyptus were all the subject of research published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology, and it was discovered that cilantro was particularly potent against Listeria monocytogenes, a particular strain of bacteria that causes listeriosis.

Settles Digestive Upset

For thousands of years, people have utilized cilantro for its many health advantages, which include settling queasy stomachs, preventing gas and bloating, relieving indigestion and heartburn, and easing stomach cramps. By assisting in the production of digestive enzymes that encourage food breakdown, it also promotes effective digestion. Fresh cilantro is often served with hot and spicy foods because of its calming properties.

Many people may more easily endure hot curry foods, green chili dishes, and spicy Thai noodle dishes with the simple addition of a tiny bit of fresh, chopped cilantro. After eating spicy food, this cooling effect can aid in preventing heartburn. If you have bloating or gas, consider garnishing salads and foods with chopped cilantro.

Supports Heart Health

According to some research, this herb may improve heart health by lowering a number of heart disease risk factors. In fact, the outcomes of one animal study showed that cilantro lowers triglyceride and cholesterol levels in the body. Another study found that the polyphenols and natural cardioprotective nutrients present in the herb can aid in preventing oxidative damage, which is specifically linked to heart damage and was published in Food and Chemical Toxicology.

Soothes Skin Irritation

Hives, sunburns, and poison ivy are just a few of the skin irritations that cilantro is used to treat both internally and topically. Its natural antihistamines aid in reducing the immune system’s allergic reaction. To treat sunburns, dry skin, poison ivy, and hives brought on by an allergic reaction, coconut oil and fresh cilantro can be combined.

Try mixing cilantro with water rather than coconut oil, then straining to receive all the benefits. While drinking the remaining juice, apply it to your skin. This two-pronged strategy is especially beneficial when looking for relief from an allergic reaction.

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Help Protect Against Colon Cancer

Coriander may help prevent colon cancer by lowering cholesterol levels and improving the excretion of sterol molecules and bile, according to promising animal study. Through this process, the colon’s harmful levels are reduced, reducing the chance of cancer.

Prevents Neurological Inflammation

Chronic inflammation is linked to neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis. According to a study in the journal Molecular Neurobiology, eating a lot of foods like turmeric, pepper, clove, ginger, garlic, cinnamon, and coriander may help reduce the inflammation that leads to these deadly diseases. It was also discovered by researchers that populations with diets high in these herbs and spices had lower rates of neurological degeneration.

Nutrition Facts

The abundance of phytonutrients, flavonoids, and phenolic substances in cilantro contributes to its health advantages. Each serving contains a healthy quantity of vitamin K and A and is low in calories.

This herb has around four grams in a quarter cup, or roughly:

  • 1.1 milligrams vitamin C (2 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams vitamin E (1 percent DV)
  • 2.5 micrograms folate (1 percent DV)
  • 20.8 milligrams potassium (1 percent DV)
  • 1 calorie
  • 0.1 grams carbohydrates
  • 0.1 grams protein
  • 0.1 grams fiber
  • 12.4 micrograms vitamin K (16 percent DV)
  • 270 international units vitamin A (5 percent DV)

How to Eat Cilantro

Garnishing food with raw cilantro is a great way to increase your intake of antioxidants and vitamins. For guacamole, salads, beans, stir-fries, soups, fish, curries, and other dishes, sprinkle it on top.

Even if you’re not a huge lover of cilantro in its raw, unprocessed form, you can look up recipes online for pico de gallo, pesto, chutney, and cocktails that use this herb. Consider combining chopped cilantro and fresh lime with roasted corn. The secret is to enjoy yourself while exploring the several ways cilantro can liven up a dish.

Bottom Line

The advantages of cilantro, a plant loved for its adaptability, reviving flavor, and lemony perfume, are numerous. Coriander is a spice made from the dried seeds of the cilantro plant, even though the name coriander refers to the plant’s leaves and stalks. While coming from the same plant, the two flavors and meals they are used in are completely distinct. Many possible health advantages of cilantro have been discovered by researchers. Improved heart health, reduced anxiety, lower blood sugar, protection against oxidative stress, and other potential health advantages of cilantro include.

While low in calories, it has significant levels of vitamin K and A as well as antioxidants. The best part is that it is simple to prepare and can be found in many recipes, including salad dressings and vinaigrettes with cilantro and lime. These recipes include soups, salsas, and sauces.

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