12 Best Health Benefits Of Cilantro

Posted by Wen Dan Jiang on

12 Cilantro Benefits, Nutrition, and Usage

Who doesn't know cilantro? We may be more familiar with coriander seeds, but did you know that coriander and cilantro come from the same plant?  Cilantro is used in cooking, salads, salsa or other dishes of American and Southeast Asia.  Just like seeds, cilantro leaves are also used in treatment, especially in Ayurveda and other traditional medicines. 

Cilantro is a perennial herb that is grown as an annual plant because it requires drainage, a sunny climate and fertile soil. The plant blooms with small white or light pink flowers in the summer, and later it gives numerous tiny aromatic seeds, which are also used as a spice.  (Wong & Kitts, 2006)

Cilantro Health Benefits

According to Kivuti (2017), the following are some health benefits of cilantro:

1. Lowering LDL cholesterol or blood cholesterol

Cilantro leaves have very low-calorie content and, since it is an herbal plant, they do not contain cholesterol. Essential oil and fiber found in cilantro can help lower low-density lipoprotein or "bad cholesterol" levels in the blood. It will help those people who suffer from atherosclerosis and heart diseases while maintaining the normal function of the artery.

2. Reduce high blood pressure

It has been proven that consuming cilantro can lower high blood pressure in people with hypertension. The interaction of calcium and acetylcholine in cilantro can reduce the likelihood of heart stroke and other cardiovascular problems.

3. Promotes red blood cell production and prevents anemia

The iron mineral inside the cilantro is necessary for the production of red blood cells in the bone marrow. It helps the body divert oxygen to the entire body and support the metabolism and functioning of the body. 

A large amount of iron in cilantro can directly help people suffering from anemia. Anemia is a condition in which the body lacks hemoglobin in red blood cells, which interfere with the transfer of oxygen to the entire body, especially the brain. As a result, there is a symptom such as rapid breathing, heart palpitations, fatigue, weakness, and impaired cognitive function.

4Regulate body fluid

One of the essential functions of potassium is to help the body regulate heart rate and blood pressure while maintaining healthy body fluid. 521 mg of potassium, which is adequate for the body and satisfies the daily needs of potassium, is served per 100-gram portion of cilantro.

5Maintaining healthy mucus, vision and skin

Cilantro contains about 25% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A. Vitamin A is one of the essential fat-soluble vitamins and is also known as an antioxidant. Vitamin A is necessary for maintaining healthy mucus and skin. It is also a vital component for vision. Consuming natural foods rich in vitamin A can help protect your eyesight. People who regularly consume vitamin A are less likely to suffer from cataracts in old age.

6. Treat Alzheimer's

Most herbal plants are truly the best medicine for treating Alzheimer's. Alzheimer's disease is one of the symptoms of brain degradation, and it is a nightmare for people, especially in old age. Cilantro components, especially vitamin K, play an important role in limiting brain damage.

7. Get rid of toxic metals in the body

There are many cases of poisoning by metal compounds, especially mercury. These toxins enter the body through food. People who suffer from exposure to mercury will experience disorientation. These toxic heavy metals usually enter the body through the consumption of certain foods, water, raw fish, drugs, smoking, and even deodorant. 

Regular consumption of cilantro can help to reduce the effect. The chemical components contained in cilantro act as "chelating agents" that can help cleanse the body of mercury and other toxic metals, linking them and freeing them from tissues.

8. Prevent diabetes

Leaves and stems of cilantro have a significant effect on diabetes. Using cilantro in a kitchen can be a home remedy for diabetes. Cilantro can trigger and stimulate the secretion of insulin from the pancreas and increase the amount of the hormone insulin in the body, which helps lower blood sugar and inhibits the absorption of blood sugar.

9. Reduce anxiety and improves sleep quality

It has been shown that cilantro has an anti-anxiety effect on the body, and magnesium contained in cilantro has a calming effect on the nerves. Cilantro not only calms the nerves but also calms the muscles and acts as a sedative that helps relieve anxiety and reduce the effects of substances harmful to the body. Vitamin B in cilantro also served to calm the mind along with magnesium.

Further cilantro can also improve sleep quality. People who suffer from anxiety usually cannot sleep well, so eating cilantro can help them relieve anxiety and, of course, get a good night's sleep.

10. Improve oral health

The antibacterial effect of cilantro also fights against bacteria in the mouth and improves oral health. Citronellol, a type of oil found in cilantro, is a good antiseptic that can cure a mouth ulcer. This natural oil is also used in natural toothpaste to remove bad breath. Even before the invention of toothpaste, people chewed cilantro to maintain oral health.

11. Improve digestive function

Natural cilantro oils help our digestive system, effectively improving peristaltic waves. When you feel unwell or uncomfortable in your stomach, you can drink a cup of tea or tonic with cilantro.

12. Prevent constipation and promote weight loss.

If you eat cilantro with another meal, you will feel full, consuming fewer calories. This is good news for people who want to lose weight. Cilantro can also prevent constipation, which is a result of digestive problems leading to weight loss.

13. Helps the urinary tract prevent infection

The antibacterial in cilantro removes pathogenic bacteria in the urinary tract and fights infection. Cilantro also acts as a natural diuretic, and studies have shown that cilantro can significantly boost the body's immune system and protect the kidneys from infections.

14. Prevent kidney stones

By taking cilantro, we can prevent kidney stones and maintain a healthy kidney. Some heavy components in food or drinks are harmful to our bodies if they build up in the body for a long time. This can damage the kidneys, which can lead to kidney stones. Cilantro is a natural kidney cleanser and allows the kidneys to work best.

15. Treatment of menstrual problems and as an aphrodisiac

Cilantro leaves are a natural stimulant of the endocrine gland. It is necessary for the secretion of certain hormones of reproduction, especially those that control menstruation in women and can also reduce pain during menstruation. Eating cilantro with other herbs can increase libido or sexual desire.

The nutritional value

  Saturated Fatty Acids

0.014 g

  Mono- and disaccharides

0.87 g

  Water

92.21 g

  Ash

1.47 g

  Alimentary fiber

2.8 g

Vitamins

Vitamin B4 (Choline)

12.8 mg

Vitamin PP (Niacin Equivalent)

1.114 mg

Vitamin K (phylloquinone)

310 mcg

Vitamin E (Tocopherol)

2.5 mg

Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)

27 mg

Vitamin B9 (Folic Acid)

62 mcg

Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)

0.149 mg

Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid)

0.57 mg

Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)

0.162 mg

Vitamin B1 (Thiamine)

0.067 mg

Vitamin A (retinol equivalent)

337 mcg

Beta carotene

3.93 mg

Minerals

Selenium

0.9 mcg

Manganese

0.426 mg

Copper

225 mcg

Zinc

0.5 mg

Iron

1.77 mg

Phosphorus

48 mg

Potassium

521 mg

Sodium

46 mg

Magnesium

26 mg

Calcium

67 mg

How to use cilantro

Some people like to eat it along with other dishes, but others may hate it. As an herbal plant, cilantro is recommended to be used to maintain health, but there are several ways that it is important to pay attention too.

When you are about to buy cilantro, choose only tender, fresh, and fragrant green leaves. Do not purchase if it has no aromatic odor or the leaves turn yellow. Dried cilantro has less flavor than fresh. 

You can add cilantro to your salad, as well as use mint leaves or basil. Cilantro is good in its raw form and gives your dish a lemon or lime flavor. Although it is well known that cilantro is added to salad or salsa, you can also add chopped cilantro to soup, stir french fries, stew, or any pasta dish just before cooking.

As a herb, you can easily grow cilantro yourself. Cilantro is a cold season culture that grows best at temperatures between 10 and 30 degrees Celsius. It can also tolerate low temperatures, but not lower than -12 degrees Celsius. If cilantro is planted in an area with a temperature exceeding 30 degrees Celsius, cilantro will begin to hurt.

It is easy to grow in well-drained soil. Just wait 45 to 70 days to collect the leaves after sowing, when the plant reaches a height of at least 15 cm. Do not worry, it will continue to grow, even if you have only 2.5 cm from the ground. (Fan, Niemira, & Sokorai, 2003)

How to store cilantro

  • To keep cilantro fresh and moist, use a newspaper to wrap the entire portion of cilantro, including the roots
  • Store it in a plastic bag with water in the refrigerator for longer storage and replace it with a new one every two days to keep cilantro fresh
  • You can also freeze cilantro in the fridge, but the taste will not be the same when it dries.

Side effects

A history of renal failure is not recommended for cilantro due to its high potassium content. It is better to consult a doctor before using it. If you don't know how to use cilantro in your dish, start eating it, and enjoy your meal.

References

Kivuti, N. M. (2017). USING CILANTRO LEAVES AND STEMS TO REMOVE LEAD, CADMIUM AND TURBIDITY FROM CONTAMINATED WATER (Unpublished master's thesis). Kenyatta University.

Wong, P., & Kitts, D. (2006). Studies on the dual antioxidant and antibacterial properties of parsley (Petroselinum crispum) and cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) extracts. Food Chemistry, 97(3), 505-515. doi:10.1016/j.foodchem.2005.05.031

Fan, X., Niemira, B., & Sokorai, K. (2003). Sensorial, nutritional and microbiological quality of fresh cilantro leaves as influenced by ionizing radiation and storage. Food Research International, 36(7), 713-719. doi:10.1016/s0963-9969(03)00051-6

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