Spotlight on: Cilantro
I am obsessively organized…except when I’m not. With me, if it’s not all put together, it all falls apart. This seems to apply to everything, even posting recipes and nutrition information. So, I’ve decided to highlight a different ingredient (herb, fruit, vegetable, nut, supplement, etc) each week, then share recipes that showcase that ingredient. Rather than sporadically post health and nutrition information and random recipes, there will be a method, a formula, a pattern! This makes my heart sing. I love love love to be organized. Now onto our ingredient of the week, which is one of my favorites: cilantro (also called coriander)!
Vitamins and Minerals:
NutritionData.com reports that cilantro is a good source of the following: Thiamin and Zinc, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol), Vitamin K, Riboflavin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese.
Most of the healing benefits of cilantro are due to its high content of phytonutrients (also called phytochemicals). According to Wikipedia and WebMD , phytonutrients are plant- or fruit-derived organic compounds believed to promote human health. One group of phytochemicals is flavonoids, potent antioxidants that are abundant in cilantro.
According to the World’s Healthiest Foods website (whfoods), cilantro has been referred to as the "anti-diabetic" plant in parts Europe, used for anti-inflammatory properties in parts of India, and has recenty been studied in the United States for its cholesterol-lowering effects. There is plenty of anecdotal evidence (isn’t that always the case?), and studies confirming these beliefs have been done on animals. (Eg. adding cilantro to the diet of diabetic mice increased secretion of insulin and decreased blood sugar, etc.)
Cilantro is also being studied for its antimicrobial effects, particularly against Salmonella. WhFoods reports that U.S. and Mexican researchers worked together to isolate a compound from cilantro that was twice as effective against Salmonella than the regularly used antibiotic drug gentamicin.
Many sources claim that cilantro is also useful as a digestive aid. According to the Viable Herbal Solutions website , cilantro improves all sorts of digestive troubles and can relieve colic.
Recipes with Cilantro: