We all know that adding fresh herbs to your meals is a great way to improve the taste in a healthy way and can help lower your sodium intake.
But did you know that each herb has it’s own health benefits and can do so much more for you than simply improve the flavor of your food?
90/10 Nutrition is going to explore one of the most common herbs each week and let you know what it can do for you!
Today we’re looking at cilantro. Cilantro comes from the plant Coriandrum sativum which is known as Coriander in the UK. In the US, the leaves of the plant are what we refer to as Cilantro while the seeds are considered Coriander. It’s also commonly called Chinese Parsley. Let’s explore some of the ways cilantro can help improve your health:
- A Natural Preservative:
Cilantro has a high concentration of antioxidants. When it is added to other foods, it’s been shown to inhibit the oxidation process which delays spoilage. The leaves of cilantro have been shown to have an antibacterial effect against salmonella in some studies.
- Heavy Metal Detoxification:
Studies have shown that cilantro helps in the chelation process of the body. Chelation is the removal of heavy metals, including lead and mercury, from your body. It is usually a formal medical procedure, however studies are showing that cilantro helps in the natural removal of these heavy metals from your body. It’s also being studied currently as a natural water purifier.
- Vitamin and Mineral Content:
Cilantro contains many minerals including potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium and many vitamins including folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, beta carotene and vitamins A, C and K. It is one of the richest herbal sources of vitamin K providing 258% of the daily recommended intake per 100g. Vitamin K is a necessary partner to Vitamin D providing bone health and vitamin K also promotes cardiovascular health.
**Fun Fact: You can grow a cilantro plant from the coriander seeds that you have in your pantry right now!**
A great use for cilantro is in dips and dressings. The recipe below is a great 90/10 Nutrition approved salad dressing using all Green Light Tier foods to make your salad a little more snappy and is super simple to make!
- 1 cup cilantro loosely packed, stems removed
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 cloves bottled minced garlic
- lime juice about 1 lime
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- Combine cilantro, Greek yogurt, garlic and lime juice in the bowl of a food processor.
- With the motor running, add olive oil and vinegar in a slow stream until emulsified.
- Serve immediately.