Cilantro Tastes Good on Tacos But Does It Benefit My Health?
Cilantro is an herb that has been used for hundreds of years (if not more) not only for flavor but for its medicinal properties before anyone knew about nutrition in a scientific sense.
The cilantro health benefits do go beyond the medicinal as it not only helps reduce or prevent some common discomforts, but it also contains high levels of many vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that aid in preventing other health issues.
There needs to be more peer-reviewed research on the benefits of cilantro microgreens themselves, but there sure is a lot of research on cilantro as a whole.
I believe that the nutritional values of cilantro microgreens are greater than the values collected from my research on cilantro. I say this because the values are based on mass and it seems logical that the older a plant is the more vascular and supportive tissue it contains, thus diluting the vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant values.
- Cilantro Tastes Good on Tacos But Does It Benefit My Health?
- Cilantro or Coriander?
- Love Cilantro or Hate Cilantro
- Health Benefits of Cilantro
- May Help Manage and Lower Blood Sugar Levels
- Bone Health Benefits
- Benefit Heart Health
- Benefit Brain Health
- Colon Cancer Protection
- Reduces Anxiety
- Digestive Benefits
- Helps Fight Infections & Foodborne Illnesses
- Help Prevent Urinary Infections
- Help Eliminate Heavy Metals from the Body
- Reduce Oxidative Stress
- Supports Healthy Menstrual Function
- Skin Health
- Eye Health
- Does Cilantro Have Any Nutritional Value?
- Want More Information?
- How to Grow Cilantro Microgreens
- Need Microgreen Seeds or Supplies?
Cilantro or Coriander?
In the United States, cilantro most frequently refers to the leaves and stems of the Coriandrum sativum plant, while the seeds are called coriander. In many other parts of the world, any part of the plant is referred to as coriander.
I take this a bit further and only use the word coriander for the seeds used as a spice during cooking. Not the seeds I grow for cilantro microgreens, cilantro seeds grow cilantro microgreens.
The plant is also less commonly known as Chinese parsley.
Love Cilantro or Hate Cilantro
As much as I like cilantro I know many people can’t stand it. I doubt any of those people are reading this article, but if you see a friend make a fun face when they eat some guacamole or nachos you topped with cilantro there may be a reason.
Personally, I like the refreshing flavor that cilantro provides (more on this later) but many people find that cilantro leaves a soapy aftertaste in their mouth.
This is caused by a genetic variant in the tastebuds making people sensitive to the taste and even smell of aldehydes found in cilantro and other foods.
So, it might not be your cooking, only their mutated tastebuds that give them the unpleasant look on their face.
Health Benefits of Cilantro
Here are some of the health benefits of cilantro, either microgreen or herb. The benefits and nutritional information listed are based on the most abundant nutritional compounds in cilantro.
Cilantro provides more nutritional value than what is listed in this article.
Those resources also have links to more of the research papers, how to grow and use cilantro, and more nutritional information on other varieties of microgreens.
As always, in the world we live in I must post the following: The information and other material contained on this website are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this website is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.
May Help Manage and Lower Blood Sugar Levels
Cilantro has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels in animal studies.
Cilantro extracts were shown to contain bioactive compounds including phenolics, flavonoids, steroids, and tannins that help the liver process better.
The study showed cilantro extracts brought liver function to normal and improved blood sugar levels when the animal was in a diabetic state.
Bone Health Benefits
Cilantro has high levels of Vitamin K which helps to make bones strong by increasing calcium absorption, which is essential for the growth and repair of bones.
Vitamin K also helps the development of ligaments and other fibers that support our body.
Benefit Heart Health
Some research shows that cilantro can help heart health by reducing risk factors for heart disease. The results of one animal study indicated that cilantro lowers cholesterol and triglyceride levels in the body.
Another study found that the polyphenols and the mentioned cardioprotective nutrients contained in the cilantro can help prevent inhibiting myofibrillar damage that is often associated with heart disease.
Benefit Brain Health
Neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and multiple sclerosis, are associated with chronic inflammation.
Molecular Neurobiology published a study that found that diets high in spices and herbs, including cilantro, could help prevent the inflammation associated with the mentioned diseases.
As secondary confirmation, the researchers also mentioned that populations commonly including these herbs and spices show lower incidences of neurological degeneration.
Furthermore, cilantro may help with convulsions. A report in Medical News Today references studies on how potassium is channeled in the brain to reduce seizures.
Colon Cancer Protection
Research conducted on animals suggests that cilantro may protect against colon cancer by promoting the excretion of natural steroids and increasing the production of bile.
The steroids and bile decrease toxic levels in the colon, lowering the risk of cancer.
The last reference might also explain how compounds in cilantro may reduce anxiety.
Cilantro may help calm the nerves and improve sleep quality due to its natural sedative properties. An article published in a pharmacology journal showed that cilantro extract produced the same anti-anxiety effects as the valium.
It may be possible to help people with anxiety by using cilantro extracts without the potential side effects that valium can elicit in some people.
For thousands of years, people have used cilantro to reduce the symptoms of IBS, including nausea, prevent gas and bloating, relieve indigestion and heartburn, and ease stomach cramps.
The herb also aids digestion by helping produce digestive enzymes that break down the food we eat.
It is no coincidence that hot and spicy dishes often are topped with fresh cilantro as it provide relief from the chemicals that make spicy food taste hot.
Helps Fight Infections & Foodborne Illnesses
Studies have shown that the antimicrobial and antibacterial properties of cilantro may help fight infections.
Another study showed that compounds in cilantro may help fight foodborne infections by killing bacteria such as Salmonella enterica.
Help Prevent Urinary Infections
Again, based on the last studies the antimicrobial properties most likely help with UTIs.
A myriad of factors can cause urinary tract infections, including bacterial growth, sexual activity, diabetes, and even genetic predisposition.
The antibacterial compounds in cilantro could reduce the bacteria that cause urinary tract infections.
Help Eliminate Heavy Metals from the Body
Heavy metals such as arsenic, cadmium, aluminum, lead, mercury, and others, can accumulate in our bodily tissues.
Accumulation of these metals in some individuals can contribute to issues such as heart disease, hormonal imbalances, neurological conditions, and infertility to name a few.
Cilantro will bind these toxic metals together, loosening them from tissue and making it easier for the body to remove them from the system.
Other studies have been less conclusive saying the difference between cilantro and placebo is statistically insignificant.
Reduce Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress is a phenomenon caused by an imbalance between the free radicals and antioxidant defenses in cells and tissues. Basically, the body does not have the ability to detoxify the reactive products that attack your body.
Oxidative stress is linked to many exacerbating diseases, such as some types of cancer, heart disease, arthritis, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration, and many other maladies.
Cilantro has strong antioxidant properties, due to the flavonoid quercetin, which helps protect against the damage caused by free radicals. This study found that cilantro protects against oxidative stress thanks to its high content of quercetin and other antioxidants.
Supports Healthy Menstrual Function
Cilantro (and coriander) benefits menstrual function by regulating proper endocrine gland function and the hormones that regulate menstrual cycles.
Cilantro contains natural antihistamines that help the immune system respond to allergens.
It helps not only by consuming cilantro but also by spreading it on the skin externally as a remedy for skin irritations.
Blend fresh cilantro with coconut oil and let it sit for a few minutes before applying it topically to soothe sunburns, dry skin, poison ivy, and hives caused by an allergic reaction.
Cilantro microgreens and mature cilantro are rich in vitamin A, which is integral to maintaining eye health.
Does Cilantro Have Any Nutritional Value?
Cilantro has abundant nutritional benefits that not only help with the issues stated above but also add to a healthy diet.
Cilantro has several high-value essential vitamins and minerals.
High-value vitamins and minerals are classified as those that provide more than 20% of the DV per 100 grams. Cilantro is considered to contain high values of:
- Vitamin A (37%);
- Vitamin C (30%);
- Vitamin K (258%); and
- Copper (25%).
It also contains even more good-value essential vitamins and minerals.
Good value vitamins and minerals are those that contain more than 5% but less than 20% of the DV per 100 grams. Here are the vitamins and minerals that cilantro contains and is considered as good value.
- Vitamin B1;
- Vitamin B2;
- Vitamin B3;
- Vitamin B5;
- Vitamin B6;
- Vitamin B9;
- Vitamin E;
- Manganese; and
Want More Information?
If you are interested in the actual values of all these vitamins and minerals, plus some that are less than 5% of the DV% the Home Microgreens Nutritional Resource should be your go-to.
It has not only the nutritional information for all of the essential vitamins and minerals for cilantro it has the nutritional values for over 30 more microgreens and leafy green varieties.
Here are some examples of the tables in the Nutritional Resource.
How to Grow Cilantro Microgreens
The following article and the Ultimate Guide to Cilantro Microgreens are great resources.
Need Microgreen Seeds or Supplies?
The Home Microgreen Store has every thing you need!