Cilantro is Spanish for coriander. Coriander is the small seeds from the cilantro plant that are dried and used in curries, pickles, sausages, stews, soups and much more. It’s an aromatic herb with scalloped leaves and a pungent smell and perhaps an odious soapy taste to some. It’s called Chinese parsley or dhania as well. You either hate it or love it. I happen to love it, and I appreciate the phenomenal benefits it offers us.
All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are the parts most commonly used in culinary creations and herbal formulas.
Cilantro possesses high antioxidant content that inhibits spoilage, lots of essential oils that are antibacterial and dietary fiber that aids in reducing LDL (bad) cholesterol while elevating HDL (good) cholesterol.
It’s packed full of minerals from potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, and manganese. Iron is an essential mineral; it helps with red cell production, hair, skin and nail growth. Manganese helps develop a healthy bone structure, aids in bone metabolism, absorption of calcium, thyroid gland function, regulating blood sugars and metabolism of fats and carbohydrates.
It’s also rich in important vitamins, including folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta-carotene. Folic acid has gained the reputation of preventing neural tube defects. Vitamin C is a powerful natural antioxidant that supports our immune system, prevents eye and cardiovascular disease, and even wards off wrinkles.
Cilantro is also one of the richest herbal sources of vitamin K, which plays a critical role in blood clotting, building strong bones, preventing heart disease, and increasing our longevity.
With these stellar attributes, one might consider including this frilly herb to their diet. It’s easy to chop fine and add to salsa, dips, pesto, soups, salads, sauces, rice, a and so many more options. There are a plethora of recipes on the web. You can also add a handful to your juice; it adds a punch of flavor and edible wellness to any meal.