Cilantro, also known as coriander or Chinese parsley, is one of the herbal additions in various cuisines. With the scientific name Coriandum sativum, it comes from the Apiaceae family. In addition to being edible, cilantro also presents a number of health benefits.
Cilantro is full of nutrients. According to Nutrition and You, cilantro has vitamins A, B, C, E, and K. It is highest in vitamin A, which promotes visual acuity and prevents night blindness. Vitamin A is also vital to the integrity of the skin and the mucus membranes. On the other hand, vitamin B boosts nervous function, which encompasses learning and thinking to sensation and perception. Some B-vitamins include niacin, riboflavin, thiamin, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, and folate, which is essential in a baby’s neurodevelopment and neural tube defect prevention. Then, vitamin C raises the body’s immune system, preventing infection and illness. The vitamin also promotes collagen function, which acts as cement to find loose connections in cells and tissues. Vitamin E is beneficial to the skin and along with vitamins A and C, vitamin E also acts as an antioxidant and helps the body get rid of toxins and free radicals. Finally, vitamin K contributes in wound healing by activating the clotting factors. This way, the vitamin is also able to prevent excessive bleeding.
In terms of minerals, cilantro contains calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, selenium, zinc, sodium, and potassium. Calcium and phosphorus promote bones and teeth strength while copper and manganese enhance the metabolic process, as well as the growth and development of cells and tissues. Iron ensures proper oxygenation throughout the body while magnesium contributes to neuromuscular health. Selenium prevents cellular damage by releasing antioxidant enzymes while zinc promotes digestive health and wound healing. Then, sodium retains fluids in the body while potassium counters sodium’s actions while promoting cardiovascular health by preventing hypertension and excessive cardiac workload secondary to relaxing the muscles of the blood vessels.
Cilantro as Detoxifier
Along with its nutritional contents, cilantro also aids in the detoxification of the body. According to Medical News Today, cilantro has demonstrated its ability to reduce lead accumulation in rats; thus, promising the use of the herb to fight forms of metal toxicity, such as lead. The plant’s chelation abilities led researchers to investigate on it as a natural purifier for water systems, in addition to being a component in detoxification juice or beverages.
Cilantro can be part of a number of meal recipes, such as Spicy Sausage Soup with Cilantro. According to All Recipes, the ingredients include two pounds of hot Italian sausage links (casing removed, sliced), four cloves garlic (minced), two 14-ounce cans beef broth, one 14.5-ounce can stewed tomatoes, a 15.5-ounce can white hominy, a cup of carrots (sliced), a 14.5-ounce can of beans (undrained), two small zucchini (cubed), salt, pepper, and two cups of fresh cilantro (chopped).
To prepare, as per the publication, a large skillet is heated over medium heat. Next, the Italian sausage and garlic are combined. The ingredients are cooked and stirred frequently until the sausage becomes brown in color. Then, the cooked sausage is drained in a strainer to remove the grease. Once done, the beef broth, stewed tomatoes, beans, hominy, carrots, and zucchini are combined in a large pot. Then, they are brought to a boil over medium to high heat and are boiled for two minutes. After that, heat is lowered and the sausage and cilantro are added and simmered until the zucchini and carrots are tender. Finally, the dish is seasoned with salt and pepper.
Cilantro is essential to one’s health due to its health benefits. Adding it to various meal recipes not only enhances the flavor of the food, but it also promotes a person’s health and wellness.