When talking about popular herbs, cilantro is definitely not far off the list. With so many cilantro benefits to enjoy, it certainly does not come as a surprise why this is so. Here are some of the awesome benefits this popular herb has to offer.
Before delving into the many healthy cilantro benefits, it would be great to learn some facts about it first. Cilantro essentially is a herb that originated from the Asian and Mediterranean region. At present, it is grown all over the world and is mostly used in different culinary applications.
Cilantro is sometimes mistaken for parsley because the two look very similar. The telltale difference is that cilantro has curved leaves while the leaves of parsley is noticeably pointed. Cilantro also has a stronger scent and taste. Parsley is much milder to the tongue and to the nose. This is the reason why cilantro is the herb of choice for flavorful dishes like Mexican and Indian cuisine. Parsley, on the other hand, is used to adding a little twist to soup, salads, and sandwiches but its taste is so subtle that sometimes you hardly notice that it is there.
Cilantro is quite a unique-tasting herb. With the looks of it, you would not expect that it would come with a citrusy flavor. When it flowers, it produces seeds that have this delicate nutty flavor which is perfect to spice up sandwiches, sausages, and Indian and Mexican dishes.
Cilantro is very versatile. More than its culinary benefit, it is also known for its nutrients and healing properties. Here are some cilantro benefits that you can enjoy each time you add this to your diet:
One of the cilantro benefits is gaining access to the nutrients this herb contains. It has Vitamin A, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, dietary fiber, Vitamin E, calcium, iron, and magnesium. Together, these nutrients help build strong bones and teeth while promoting hair health.
Among the many cilantro, benefits are the ability of this herb to get rid of heavy metals from the body. This includes arsenic, lead, aluminum, mercury, and cadmium. Research has shown that cilantro helps hasten the elimination of these metals by binding them together and detaching them from body tissue. This is the main reason why cilantro is usually included as an ingredient for many metal detox supplements.
Fights degenerative diseases
Cilantro has antioxidant properties that protect the body from free radicals that cause degenerative diseases such as arthritis, macular degeneration, even Alzheimer’s disease.
Improves mood and sleep
Here is one cilantro benefit that is mind-blowing. One study showed that cilantro has anti-anxiety properties much like Valium. The upside is that it is cilantro is all natural so it does not pose any threat of side effects.
Lowers cholesterol and blood sugar
Cilantro promotes liver health which then helps balance blood sugar levels in the body. It also is very low in saturated fat, cholesterol, and calories.
- Promotes healthy menstrual function. Cilantro is known to relieve pain during menstruation. It also helps reduce cramps and manages the feeling of bloatedness.
Good for different conditions
Among the many conditions cilantro can be used for are the following:
- Cardiovascular diseases
- Urinary tract infections
- Stomach upset
- Food poisoning
- Neurodegenerative diseases such as brain tumors, Parkinson’s, Multiple Sclerosis, and Alzheimer’s Disease
- Colon Cancer
- Skin irritation
Potential side effects
Generally, cilantro is very safe to use. There have been reports of severe allergic reactions to it but this happens very rarely. These reactions usually manifest as respiratory concerns anywhere as mild as sneezing to more severe symptoms such as irritation of bronchial arteries and even anaphylaxis. Make sure you check with your physician if adding cilantro to your diet is something that would go well with your present health and dietary considerations.
How to Use It
You can enjoy cilantro benefits by doing any of the following:
- Chopping the leaves and adding them to hot dishes right before they are served
- Add leaves in hot water as a beverage
- Can be added to smoothies, guacamole, salad dressing, and salsa
Storage and Preservation
If you want to enjoy all cilantro benefits the freshest way possible, it would be excellent to have a herb garden right at your backyard. This will ensure that you will have access to cilantro any time you want to. However, if your place and schedule are not conducive for growing cilantro yourself, you can keep cilantro in a jar or plastic bag with an inch or two of water and refrigerate it. You can store cilantro this way for up to eight to ten days. Do not dry cilantro because this will compromise its taste. If you want to store it even longer, you can convert cilantro into oil or beverage. This will prolong the shelf life of cilantro to about two or three weeks. The rule of thumb, however, is the fresher the better.
Cilantro is definitely one herb that should be a staple in any kitchen or home. With many cilantro benefits that transcend culinary applications, adding cilantro to your dish or beverage is one healthy choice that should be easy to make. Try it now and feel the difference.