There’s few herbs with such powerful and characteristic flavor as cilantro. Used extensively in cooking to liven up dishes ranging from salads to burritos, cilantro is a well-known and great tasting herb that also has powerful medicinal and nutritional benefits.
Let’s take a look at five simple reasons why you should add more cilantro to your diet.
1. Eliminates Heavy Metals
Cilantro has been shown to remove heavy metals from the body that would otherwise prove harmful. One study looked at using cilantro as a substitute for charcoal in water filtration units. Cilantro is capable of filtering out heavy metals, and can work to rid your body of these materials as well.[ref]Cilantro: This herb can purify water too[/ref]
But make sure the cilantro that you use for this natural detox doesn’t come with harmful chemicals of its own. You’ll want to be sure to purchase organic cilantro if you don’t choose to grow it yourself.
Cilantro has recently been added to a list of foods that could potentially have high levels of pesticides in them. Testing conducted by the US Department of Agriculture found at least 34 unapproved pesticides on cilantro samples as part of routine sampling.
2. Lowers Bad Cholesterol, Raises Good Cholesterol
Cilantro has traditionally been used as a natural alternative remedy for individuals with high cholesterol or diabetes. It provides organic acids which help lower the bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase good cholesterol (HDL).
In a study involving rats with a high-fat diet, cilantro was found to significantly reduce the amount of total cholesterol while boosting the proportion of HDL in the blood.[ref]The cholesterol lowering property of coriander seeds[/ref]
3. Great Source of Minerals and Vitamins
Cilantro is chock-full of healthy minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and iron. Besides these minerals, cilantro makes for an excellent source of a wide range of vitamins, including folic-acid, vitamins C and A, and beta carotene.
In fact, a single serving of cilantro contains roughly 30% of the daily recommended intake of vitamin C!
But like any vegetable, you should wash your cilantro before eating it. This is especially true if you didn’t buy organic.
4. Boosts Your Antioxidant Intake
Both the leaves and seeds of cilantro contain a powerful punch of antioxidants.[ref]Antioxidant activity in extracts from coriander[/ref]
Antioxidants prevent reactions from occurring in the body that release free radicals. These free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that are believed to contribute to both cancer-formation and general aging effects.
5. Easy to Grow
Cilantro is extremely easy to grow and lasts a long time. Why spend money buying your cilantro when you can grow your own endless supply?
You can find mini cilantro plants at most any big box home goods store. Make sure to water it daily and give it plenty of sun. Depending on the size of your plant, you’ll be able to harvest cilantro several times a week without harming its future growth.