Health Benefits of Eating Cilantro
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.
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.
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.
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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