Health Benefits of Eating Cilantro

Cilantro, flowers, leaves and coriander seeds.
Cilantro, flowers, leaves and coriander seeds. | Source

What is Cilantro?

The first time I heard about cilantro was when a neighbor was growing it and I asked her what is was. She said it is mainly used in Mexican dishes. Later I learned that it is used in both Asian and South American food. It has become popular in many countries.

Coriander and cilantro are the same plant. The green leaves are known as cilantro and the seeds are known as coriander seeds. Both parts of the plants are used, but have a different taste. It is a native from southern Europe to North Africa. and has been used in cooking since medieval times. Coriander seeds have even been found in Egyptian tombs.

The herb is an annual that needs to be replanted from either seeds that spread naturally or planted every year. The plants grow about 20" tall.The flowers are either white or pink and small. Cilantro can be grown here in the US in our gardens and most other countries.

How to Use Cilantro

Cilantro is often found in salsa, guacamole, chutneys and salads. If you are questioning what it is, you've probably already eaten it without knowing. This herb has a taste that either you love or hate and a strong odor.. A friend of ours said that at first taste he didn't like it, but now includes it in almost everything he eats. The flavor can grow on you. Others refuse to eat it, because they say it has a soapy taste. I've even heard it described as tasting like a dirty dishcloth. The leaves have a citrus taste which might remind some of dish soap.

Fresh Cilantro - Photo by Alsterdrache
Fresh Cilantro - Photo by Alsterdrache | Source

Nutrition Benefits of Cilantro

Cilantro has many health benefits. Here are a few of them.

1. Cilantro contains anti-inflammatory properties that may help such diseases as rheumatoid arthritis, crohns disease, and many other immune disorders.

2. The anti-oxidant properties of cilantro help prevent aging and may help prevent cancer.

3. Cilantro has been shown to help control high cholesterol by lowering bad cholesterol and raising the good cholesterol.

4. The leaves are high in Vitamin K. In fact it is a higher source of the vitamin than any other herb. Vitamin K is important for bone health and healthy blood clotting.

5. The herb contains a form of alcohol (borneol) that is believed to help prevent flues and colds by killing bacteria and viruses.

6. Research results also show that it may help kill salmonella bacteria.

7. Cilantro is being used to help in detoxifying metals from the body. These include aluminum, mercury and lead. Along with the cilantro, chlorella and garlic are used to make a mixture. The mixture works well for these metals and possibly will remove other toxins.

8. It is a good source of fiber.

9. The herb aids in digestion and taking care of flatulence.

10. It provides many vitamins and minerals including iron, magnesium, calcium, potassium. Iron helps prevents and treats anemia. Calcium is important in keeping healthy bones and preventing osteoporosis. Potassium is important in keeping a regular heartbeat and is needed by those taking high blood pressure medications. Magnesium is needed for the use of certain anti-oxidants.

Coriander or Cilantro Seeds - Coriander and Cilantro are the same thing.
Coriander or Cilantro Seeds - Coriander and Cilantro are the same thing. | Source

Where Can You Buy Cilantro?

Cilantro can be grown in your garden and makes a good kitchen plant too. Because it is an annual plant, you will need to replant it every year. It isn't hard to grow. It is actually a member of the carrot family. If you've grown carrots, you know they aren't difficult.

The herb is now offered at most grocery stores. Just make sure that the leaves are nice and green and look fresh. They should still have a strong pungent odor.When you bring the leaves home, remove any that don't look fresh and immediately put the rest in a glass or clean vase of water. Now cover this with a plastic bag and store in the fridge. This should keep the leaves fresh.

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Grow Your Own Cilantro

Cilantro Recipe

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Comments 37 comments

homesteadbound profile image

homesteadbound 5 years ago from Texas

I absolutely love cilantro. I usually have at least one bunch of it in my refrigerator. I didn't know it had so many health benefits though. That was good to know. Great hub. Voting up and across.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

homesteadbound, Thanks for commenting. I didn't know about cilantro myself until last year. Then I heard everyone talking about it, so I had to check it out for myself.

may018 profile image

may018 5 years ago from Philippines

Hi Barbara kay,I've actually tried cilantro and its truly a good source of fiber,its good for detoxification.This hub is truly interesting

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

may018, Thanks for your comment. I was surprised myself that it has so many health benefits.

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

I used to hate cilantro's pungent flavor but now I love it. I am happy to know of its many health benefits.

I was surprised to discover from your article that cilantro produces the coriander seed. How interesting.

Glad to have stopped by.

profile image

leann2800 5 years ago

This herb is also high in folic acid. So, it's good for pregnancy too. Thanks for sharing. Up and useful

DonnaCosmato profile image

DonnaCosmato 5 years ago from USA

Good hub, thanks for reminding me about this awesome herb. Once you taste salsa made with fresh cilantro, you'll probably never go back to the store-bought versions. You're spot on about it being easy to grow,which makes it a wonderful way to introduce children to gardening. Voted up and shared.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

Tamarajo, Thanks for commenting and I'm happy to hear that you learned something new.

leann2800, I hadn't heard that cilantro was high in folic acid. Thanks for adding that. Thanks for voting up too.

Donna Cosmato, I haven't tried growing it yet. I'll have to do that. Thanks for commenting and sharing.

AlmostLola profile image

AlmostLola 5 years ago

great, informative article. Thanks for sharing

World-Traveler profile image

World-Traveler 5 years ago from USA

For several years I saw an older fellow selling his cilantro from his bicycle going door to door in a small hilly village. "Cilantro! Cilantro!" he would say as he took his home grown garden products from door to door.

In certain countries older people make a sustainable living selling cilantro and other other home grown vegetable products.

Where I lived old pick-up trucks beat the bumpy village roads selling bananas, pineapples from house to house. Believe it or not, milk is also sold door to door. The most amazing thing about the milk sales is the containers which hold the milk are 1 liter Coke and Pepsi plastic bottles.

Rated "UP, USEFUL and AWESOME" for the memories you brought back and Tweeted! Thank you.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

World-Traveler, Thanks for commenting and I enjoyed reading your memories. Putting the milk in cola bottles doesn't sound sanitary though. What country was this in?

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

AlmostLola, Thanks for visiting the hub.

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 5 years ago

Good Hub Barbara. I never knew about Cilantro and all the Health Benefits derived from it...Wow, Next year, I will try to grow it in my that I've had such success with my Tomatoes! Thanks for Sharing.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

b.Malin, Thanks for commenting. I think I'll write a hub yet on how to grow it. Good luck with it in the garden. I'm happy to hear you had success with your tomatoes. Gardening is fun.

Sinea Pies profile image

Sinea Pies 5 years ago from Northeastern United States

I noticed that the Southbeach Diet cookbook has cilantro in a lot of recipes. Love the taste. Glad to know about it's health benefits, too! Thanks.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

Sinea Pies, Thanks for your comment. Cilantro has a double plus for you if you love it, since it so good for you too.

moiragallaga profile image

moiragallaga 5 years ago from Lisbon, Portugal

I've always liked cilantro, now you have given me several more reasons to like it a lot more. Thanks.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

moiragallaga, Thanks for stopping by.

HikeGuy profile image

HikeGuy 5 years ago from Northern California Coast

Good information. I've been using cilantro most of my life and when I learned about its ability to remove heavy metals from the body I found even more ways to use it. I enjoyed your detailed presentation.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

HikeGuy, Thanks for your comments and positive input. I should eat more too.

Smokes Angel profile image

Smokes Angel 5 years ago from Broke Alabama

Very interesting information. Terry uses it in his cooking a lot. I would say it adds a great flavor to Mexican dishes.

rajan jolly profile image

rajan jolly 5 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

Hi Barbara, nice useful hub about cilantro health benefits. Voted up and useful.

I am sharing a link to your hub in my hub on benefits of coriander, also known as cilantro.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

Smokes Angel, Thanks for commenting. I think that is the most popular use of cilantro.

rjan jolly, I'll add your coriander one to this.

Brinafr3sh profile image

Brinafr3sh 4 years ago from West Coast, United States

Hi Barbara, Great article the smell of cilantro smells good, especially in burritos and tacos. Voted up and beautiful.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

brinafr3sh, Thanks for reading the hub. I'm happy to hear you like something that is so healthy for you. Thanks for voting up.

xochilt 4 years ago

Iam 9months pregnant and eat a lot of cilantro is it bad?..

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

Not that I've heard of, but you better ask a doctor.

RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 4 years ago from the short journey

I am going to buy cilantro today thanks to reading this hub.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

RTalloni, Thanks. I'm happy I helped you make that decision.

lemonkerdz profile image

lemonkerdz 4 years ago from TRUJILLO, PERU

For the English contingency we call it corriander, and i love the stuff,mainly in indian curries and salads. To be honest i never knew it was so good for you i just enjoyed the taste. Thanks for the hub. shared and voted up

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

lemonkerdz, Thanks for reading and commenting. I remember a great aunt that used corriander seed and I loved it. I don't remember what I had to eat, by I remember the corriander seed.

drpastorcarlotta profile image

drpastorcarlotta 4 years ago from BREAKOUT MINISTRIES, INC. KC

God brought me t your hub!!! I needed this information, and I am going to get this immediately! Thank you so much. I have been praying for you and your cigarrett habit. Thanks for stopping by and reading my hub!! I voted up on this hub!

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

drpastorcarlotta, I'm happy you found some information you could use and thanks for your prayers.

Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 4 years ago from Georgia

This is a good article. Thanks for sharing the many health benefits of cilantro. I'm in the love it category. Take care.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

Cyndi, Thanks for reading the article and I'm happy it provided some good info for you.

Solaras profile image

Solaras 3 years ago

I love cilantro, I use it in my pasta sauce recipe made with fresh tomatoes. It really add something to the flavor. - Thumbs up and useful!

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 3 years ago from USA Author

Solaras, I'm pleased to hear you enjoyed this and found it useful. Thanks for commenting.

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