What are the health benefits of Cilantro (coriander)?

Cilantro is used by people as a flavorful addition to soups, salads, curries, and other dishes. It’s known as coriander in certain parts of the world. Cilantro refers to the leaves in the United States, and coriander refers to the seeds. Its nutrient content may have a number of health benefits.

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum L) belongs to the family of Apiaceae, consisting of 3,700 species, including carrots, celery and parsley. All parts of the plant are edible, but the fresh leaves and dried seeds are most widely used by people in cooking. Cilantro has long been a staple of foreign cuisine.

It contains a lot of antioxidants. The use of cilantro to flavor food can encourage individuals to use less salt and reduce their intake of sodium.

The health benefits of cilantro are discussed in this article, as well as the nutritional value of cilantro.

Health benefits

Aside from adding flavor to a wide variety of dishes, cilantro also boasts

Anticancer effects

cilantro
The need for salt in food can be decreased by cilantro.

The evidence on the impact of cilantro on the development of cancer is minimal.

A 2019 test tube study, however, examined the effects on individual prostate cancer cells of an extract of C. sativum. The researchers found that the herb decreased the expression in cancer cells of particular genes.

The prostate cancer cells were less invasive in doing so, showed features that meant they would not spread as easily, and did not show as many signs of colonial grouping together.

The extract of C. sativum stem, root, and leaves showed anticancer effects against human breast cancer cells in another test tube study and inhibited cell damage due to oxidative stress.

Scientists aren’t sure whether the outcomes will be the same in human trials. The results, however, show the potential for further studies of C. sativum and its effect on harmful activity in cancer cells.

Pain and inflammation

As a remedy for pain and inflammation, a growing body of evidence suggests that C. sativum may be helpful.

The pain relief potential of C. sativum in mice was investigated in another study, published in 2015. The researchers discovered that C. sativum seed extracts had a significant analgesic effect.

The pain-relieving effect of C. sativum was blocked by naloxone, according to the researchers. Naloxone is a drug that prevents the effects of drugs for opioid pain.

As a result, the researchers concluded that C. sativum through the opioid system supports pain relief.

68 individuals who suffered regular migraine headaches were included in another study.

For one month, the authors asked participants in one group to take 15 milliliters (ml) of coriander fruit syrup three times a day in conjunction with a standard migraine drug. Only standard migraine medicine was included in the control group.

Compared to the control group, the group undergoing the combination therapy experienced decreased intensity, duration, and frequency of migraines.

Skin health

The ability of C. sativum extracts to protect the skin against ultraviolet B (UVB) radiation damage was examined in a 2015 study in the Journal of Medicinal Food.

The suspension of C. sativum alcohol was tested on both human skin cells in a dish and on skin cells in hairless laboratory mice.

The findings supported C. sativum’s ability to prevent or reduce sun damage in the skin.

Antifungal properties

Although some remedies for fungal infections, such as thrushes, are available, they also cause unpleasant side effects.

As a result, scientists are focusing on creating natural compounds that people can use to treat fungal infections.

An essential oil derived from the leaves of C. sativum was tested on Candida albicans, a yeast that is a common cause of infection in humans, in a 2014 study.

The authors conclude that the oil does have antifungal properties and suggest that further research be done.

Natural preservative

The preventive effects of C. sativum seed oil on bacterial and fungal activity are highlighted in a 2017 review.

As a natural food preservative, the authors suggest that this oil may be highly efficient.

Nutrition

One cup of raw cilantro, about 16 grams (g) in weight, provides:

  • 3.68 calories
  • 0.083 grams (g) of fat
  • 0.587 g of carbs
  • 0.341 g of protein

Cilantro also provides vitamins C, provitamin A, and K, as well as trace amounts of the following:

  • folate
  • potassium
  • manganese
  • choline
  • beta-carotene
  • beta-cryptoxanthin
  • lutein
  • zeaxanthin

Preparation and uses

A perfect way to add flavor to a dish or beverage without adding additional calories, fat, or sodium is to use cilantro in a meal.

Cilantro is a tender herb with leaves that are soft. These are best added either raw or near the end of the process of cooking. It allows them to retain their taste and texture.

Cilantro is a flavorful herb that is relatively easy to grow and can thrive in small pots on a sunny windowsill.

Separate the leaves from the stems when preparing cilantro and only use the leaves. Cut them gently with a small knife or herb shears.

Cutting the herb with a dull knife or overchopping it bruises it, and a lot of the flavor ends up on the cutting board surface.

With many dishes, particularly Mexican or Thai meals, Cilantro pairs well. It also works well with beans, cheese, eggs and fish-containing dishes. The herb is also excellent with creamy vegetable dips and for soups and salads as a topping or garnish.

Check out these safe recipes that use cilantro:

In their own recipes, people should experiment with cilantro, as it is a versatile herb that makes a delicious addition to many meals.

It is also appropriate to use dried herbs and spices, which might be more convenient for certain people.

Risks

When eating imported spices, salmonella is a possible health risk. About 80 percent of its spices are imported from the United States.

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) found that 15 percent of coriander imports had salmonella contamination in a 2013 analysis of more than 20,000 food shipments.

Ground or cracked coriander, on the other hand, had a higher Salmonella prevalence than whole coriander.

At the time of importation, the FDA performed this test for Salmonella. There is less risk at the retail level, particularly with larger, more reliable spice distributors. The Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recommends heating food to 150–170 degrees Fahrenheit to kill bacteria, including Salmonella.

Cilantro is often difficult to detect in meals because it sometimes contains a mixture of other herbs and spices. So, when choosing or consuming meals or when using spice blends that may contain it, people with an allergy or sensitivity to cilantro must take special caution.

The overall eating pattern of an individual is important for disease prevention and healthy living. Consuming a varied diet is healthier than relying on particular foods as the secret to good health.

Sources

  • Bhat, S. P., et al. (2014). Coriandrum sativum on pain and inflammation.
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  • de Almeida Freires, I., et al. (2014). Coriandrum sativum L. (coriander) essential oil: Antifungal activity and mode of action on Candida spp., and molecular targets affected in human whole-genome expression. 
    (LINK)
  • Why is cilantro (coriander) good for you? (LINK)
  • Elmas, L., et al. (2019). The determination of the potential anticancer effects of Coriandrum sativum in PC-3 and LNCaP prostate cancer cell lines [Abstract].
    (LINK)
  • Hayes, J. E., et al. (2013). Do polymorphisms in chemosensory genes matter for human ingestive behavior?
    (LINK)
  • Hwang, E., et al. (2014). Coriander leaf extract exerts antioxidant activity and protects against UVB-induced photoaging of skin by regulation of procollagen type I and MMP-1 expression [Abstract]. 
    (LINK)
  • Kasmaei, H. D., et al. (2016). Effects of coriandrum sativum syrup on migraine: A randomized, triple-blind, placebo-controlled trial.
    (LINK)
  • Kazempor, S.F., et al. (2015). The analgesic effects of different extracts or aerial parts of Coriandrum Sativum in mice.
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  • Roof, B. (2012). Fresh herbs — pick through the garden of possibilities.
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  • Salmonella questions and answers. (2013).
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  • Silva, F., & Domingues, F. C. (2017). Antimicrobial activity of coriander oil and its effectiveness as food preservative [Abstract].
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  • Spices, coriander seed. (2016).
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  • Tang, E. L. H., et al. (2013). Antioxidant activity of Coriandrum sativum and protection against DNA damage and cancer cell migration.
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  • Van Doren, J. M., et al. (2013, June). Prevalence, serotype diversity, and antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella in imported shipments of spice offered for entry to the United States, FY2007–FY2009.
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