A member of the plant family Apiaceae, coriander is also referred to as cilantro. It can be considered as a herb and a spice since both of its leaves and seeds are used in cooking, although all parts of the plant are edible. It is native to the European, African, and Asian regions. The leaves are feathery and slender with white or pale pink flowers.
Coriander seeds are often sold in dried and ground form but tend to lose its flavor quickly when stored. In Europe, the seeds are used in pickling vegetables, making sausages, and baking rye bread. The roots are also used in Thai soups and curry pastes.
History of Coriander
Coriander is one of the herbs with the longest history of use – its appearance dates back to the hanging gardens of Babylon. The Bible, ancient Sanskrit texts, and Egyptian papyruses all recorded the use of coriander. In the book of Exodus, chapter 16, verse 31, it uses coriander to describe the taste of Manna, saying that “The house of Israel called the name of Manna: and it was like coriander seed, white; and the taste of it was like wafers made with honey.”
The herb reached China from the West through ancient trade routes. Since then, it has been used in traditional Chinese medicine to heal various ailments, and they believed that its seeds granted immortality. The people during the Middle Ages also used it as an aphrodisiac.
Coriander has become a prominent fixture in Chinese dishes and is used in dressings, sauces, or salad garnishes. It is also widely used in Indian and Thai cuisine to add a savory and sumptuous flavor to curries.
Coriander Nutrition Facts
For every 100 grams of raw coriander leaves, you will get the following nutrients:
- 0 Calories (1% Daily Value)
- 13.5 From Carbohydrates
- 4.4 From Fat
- 5.2 From Protein
- 7 grams Total Carbohydrates (1% Daily Value)
- 2.8 grams Dietary Fiber (11% Daily Value)
- 0.9 grams Sugars
- 5 grams Total Fat (1% Daily Value)
- 0.0 grams Saturated Fat (0% Daily Value)
- 0.3 grams Monounsaturated Fat
- 0.0 grams Polyunsaturated Fat
- 10.0 milligrams Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids
- 1 grams Protein (4% Daily Value)
- 6748 IU Vitamin A (135% Daily Value)
- 0 milligrams Vitamin C (45%Daily Value)
- 5 milligrams Vitamin E – Alpha Tocopherol (13% Daily Value)
- 310 micrograms Vitamin K (388% Daily Value)
- 1 milligrams Thiamin (4% Daily Value)
- 2 milligrams Riboflavin (10% Daily Value)
- 1 milligrams Niacin (6% Daily Value)
- 1 milligrams Vitamin B6 (7% Daily Value)
- 0 micrograms Folate (16% Daily Value)
- 0 micrograms Vitamin B12 (0% Daily Value)
- 6 micrograms Pantothenic Acid (6% Daily Value)
- 8 milligrams Choline
- 0 milligrams Calcium (7% Daily Value)
- 8 milligrams Iron (10% Daily Value)
- 0 milligrams Magnesium (6% Daily Value)
- 0 milligrams Phosphorous (5% Daily Value)
- 521 milligrams Potassium (15% Daily Value)
- 0 milligrams Sodium (2% Daily Value)
- 5 milligrams Zinc (3% Daily Value)
- 2 milligrams Copper (11% Daily Value)
- 4 milligrams Manganese (21% Daily Value)
- 9 micrograms Selenium (1% Daily Value)
- 0 milligrams Phytosterols
- 2 grams Water
Top 12 Health Benefits of Coriander
Treats mouth sores
Mouth sores can become extremely painful and can cause difficulty in eating. Coriander effectively treats mouth sores through the antimicrobial effects of its essential oil, citronellol. It heals the sore while killing the bacteria that causes bad breath.
Boosts the appetite
Anorexia is a serious condition that causes extreme weight loss and can compromise the health. Coriander stimulates the appetite to bring back the normal weight of an individual experiencing weight loss due to eating disorders.
Prevents premature skin aging
The linolenic acid that is found in coriander is proven to protect the skin from UVB-induced skin aging while repairing the dermal collagen to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
Relieves joint pain
Coriander is a source of manganese which works with an antioxidant called superoxide dismutase to relieve joint pain caused by osteoarthritis. This joint disease is prevalent among the elderly, and while there is no cure for it, eating coriander helps in alleviating the pain.
Keeps the bones strong
Aside from relieving joint pain, the vitamin K and calcium that are present in coriander helps build stronger bones. Just one tablespoon of coriander leaves will already provide you 21.8 milligrams of calcium and 23.8 micrograms of vitamin K to help prevent degenerative bone disease.
Combats diseases and infections
This herb is also an excellent source of vitamin C which plays an important role in protecting the body from diseases and infections. Aside from this, vitamin C also helps in healing wounds, maintaining healthy gums, and preventing free radical damage.
Decreases risk of eye disease
Carotenoids such as beta-carotene, lutein, and zeaxanthin are all beneficial in maintaining a healthy vision and decreasing the risk of eye diseases. Fortunately, coriander is rich in carotenoids so incorporating this herb into your diet will help you keep your vision clear and sharp.
Regulates normal blood pressure
The consumption of coriander has been proven to regulate normal blood pressure among hypertensive people. It prevents the obstruction of the blood vessels to keep the blood flowing properly throughout the body, thereby reducing the risk of stroke and heart attack.
Iron deficiency can cause anemia, making the affected individual experience shortness of breath, headaches, dizziness, weakness, and lethargy. Severe anemia can even damage the vital organs and lead to death, so adding coriander to your meals is a must to help prevent anemia since it is loaded with iron.
Aids in proper digestion
Coriander is rich in dietary fiber that cleanses the toxic wastes in the gut and increases the body’s nutrient absorption. The essential oils of this herb also stimulate the production of digestive juices to prevent indigestion.
Promotes regular menstruation
For women with menstrual problems, regularly consuming coriander will stimulate the endocrine glands to balance out your hormonal levels, resulting in a regular menstrual cycle.
Maintains proper blood glucose levels
Coriander is also beneficial to diabetic individuals since it stimulates the insulin regulation of the pancreas and prevents sudden fluctuations of the glucose levels.
Potential Side Effects of Coriander
- Coriander is safe when consumed in amounts that are normally used in food. It is also safe when taken in higher amounts as a medicine.
- For pregnant and breastfeeding women, take extra precaution when consuming coriander in high amounts.
- For people who are allergic to anise, fennel, dill weed, mugwort, and caraway, coriander might induce a similar allergic reaction.
- For people with low blood pressure, coriander can cause it to decrease even more. It is important to monitor your blood pressure while partaking this herb.
- For people with diabetes, coriander can cause the glucose levels to decrease as well.
- For people who are about to undergo surgery, discontinue the use of coriander two weeks prior to the operation.
- Extremely high doses of coriander extract within a short span of time can cause severe diarrhea, missed menstruation, stomachache, dehydration, and depression.
Coriander Fun Facts
- Coriander got its name after the smell of crushed bedbugs, which closely resembles that of the herb.
- People from the medieval period used coriander in making love potions, saying that when it is consumed with wine, it “stimulates the animal passions.”
- The name coriander comes from the Old French word coriandre and the Latin word coriandrum.
- Coriander seeds are not only used as a spice but also as a traditional Indian snack called dhana dal.
- The seeds are also used in brewing certain types of beer, such as the Belgian wheat beer.
2 Popular Ways to Use Cilantro
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