If you are looking for a kick of nutrition and taste, look no further than cilantro. Cilantro is a leaf that comes from the same plant as coriander seeds, and adds a fragrant, citrus-like taste to foods, such as soups and salsas [i,ii]. Cilantro is a globally-used herb, but is commonly seen in Indian, Middle Eastern, and Asian dishes [i]. Some countries even use it in medicines or herbal remedies because of its extensive health benefits [i].
One cup (16 grams) of cilantro contains 4 calories, 0 grams of fat, 1 gram of carbs, and 0 grams of protein. Cilantro is packed with vitamins C, A and K and has trace amounts of folate, potassium, manganese, and choline [ii].
While more research is needed, cilantro use has been associated with anti-cancer effects, as it slows cancer cell production and protects against oxidative stress, which in turn, may slow the spread of certain cancers [ii]. It also contains a significant amount of immune-boosting antioxidants to help fight against cancer [i]. In addition to these health effects, cilantro has also been associated with the below [i,ii].
- Prevention of infections and food-borne illnesses
- Skin protection
- Improved heart health
- Brain health
- Improved digestion and gut health
- Anti-fungal properties
- Analgesic effects (relieves pain)
- Anti-inflammatory effects
- Reduction in blood sugar
Cilantro is also a great natural preservative to add to your foods to help keep them fresh for longer [ii].
How to Use
To easily boost your health and protective factors, try adding cilantro to this delicious recipe for a 3-bean salad. Watch a video of preparation of this recipe here!
- 1 can cannellini beans
- 1 can black beans
- 1 can kidney beans
- ½ medium to large red onion
- 1 cup of cut tomatoes
- Lemon juice, parsley, cilantro to taste
- Drizzle of olive oil
- Optional add-ins: spinach, quinoa, avocado
- Open cans of beans and thoroughly wash.
- Cut red onion and tomatoes.
- Combine beans with red onions and tomatoes and mix.
- Add in lemon juice, parsley, and cilantro to taste.
- Drizzle in olive oil.
- Mix ingredients together.
- Add any optional add-ins and mix.
- Serve and enjoy!
[i] Panoff, L. (2019). 8 Surprising Health Benefits of Coriander. Healthline. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/coriander-benefits
[ii] Kubala, J. (2019). Why is Cilantro (Coriander) Good for You? Medical News Today. https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/277627