Scientifically known as Coriandum Sativum, Cilantro leaves (or fresh coriander) are healthy and convenient additions to the diet. This freshly flavorsome herb belongs to the same family as parsley and in commonly used for garnishing and as a flavoring agent for dips and curries. The fact that it is easy to grow at home only adds to its health and nutritional quotient.
Health Benefits of Cilantro
Coriander /Cilantro leaves are rich in phytochemicals, flavinoids and phenolic acid compounds which may be responsible for its immense health benefits. Cilantro is known to have antibiotic properties and is effective against Salmonella infections.
Cilantro is a natural detoxifying and chelating agent. On regular consumption, it helps cleanse the body of toxic, heavy metal deposits like mercury, lead and aluminum. Accumulation of heavy metals in the body can hamper brain function and cause memory loss, impaired cognitive function and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Coriander extracts work wonders for a disturbed digestive system. Cilantro soothes the digestive tract and relieves acidity or flatulence. The dietary fiber in Cilantro aids regularization of digestive functions.
It is also a rich source of trace nutrients like magnesium, calcium and iron.
Due to its high anti-oxidant content, Cilantro is effective in combating inflammation, bad cholesterol and high blood sugar levels.
Tips for Effective Use:
As far as possible, try to use fresh leaves instead of dried and powdered ones. Though you may not be able to preserve the former for too long (even in your refrigerator), dried stuff simply cannot match up to the goodness of fresh, green herbs.
Cilantro is easy to grow on your kitchen window. Soak a handful of coriander seeds overnight in water, sprinkle them into a small pot and place it on a sunny spot on your window sill. Before you know it, you will have more sprigs of fresh cilantro than you can handle!
Use cilantro leaves regularly for garnishing your meals or use them in sauces, salsas, soups and chutneys for added flavor.
When you buy a bunch of cilantro at a grocery store, make sure the leaves are rigid, fresh smelling and free from any spots or discoloration.
Cilantro leaves should be washed thoroughly in cool, running water to avoid any gritty surprises later on.
On your next grocery shopping trip, don’t forget to bag a bunch of these fragrant herbs!
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