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The Health Benefits of Coriander

Have you ever wondered if coriander is beneficial to your health? Find out the numerous health benefits and how to add more coriander to your diet below.
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Cilantro and coriander are typically love-hate foods. Some people love the taste and want to add it to everything, while other people say cilantro and coriander taste like soap and are disgusting. If you are in the camp that enjoys coriander and cilantro, you are in luck, as this plant has numerous health properties. Read more about this unusual plant and how it can benefit your health below.

What is Coriander?

Coriander is a seed of the cilantro plant. It may have more health benefits because it is the seed and cilantro are just the leaves. You will end up eating more nutrients by consuming the seed than by consuming the plant, but cilantro on its own has many health benefits as well. However, today we are examining the seed, coriander.

Coriander is typically used as a seasoning in Indian and Mediterranean foods. The mellow, earthy flavor means it combines well with many other popular herbs and spices. Nutrients in Coriander According to the USDA, a tablespoon of ground coriander contains:

  • 0.7 grams of protein
  • 34 percent of daily vitamin K1 intake
  • 5 percent of daily iron intake
  • 2 percent of daily vitamin C intake
  • 4 percent of daily calcium intake

Coriander is known around the world for its health-boosting properties. Some individuals refer to coriander as the “antidiabetic” plant, because it can control blood sugar along with inflammation. In the United States, the plant is typically attributed with the ability to lower cholesterol.

The Health Benefits of Coriander

According to The World’s Healthiest Foods and Medical News Today, coriander has the following health benefits:

Anti-Cancer Properties

A study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition suggested that coriander was one of the best foods for fighting cancer. According to the study, coriander is able to inhibit HCA formation while meat is cooking, which are chemicals formed during meat cooking that cause cells in the body to oxidate, encouraging cancer development.

A study from Japan found that when coriander was used to season meat before cooking, fewer HCA chemicals were formed.

Antioxidant Properties

Coriander contains high levels of antioxidants known as carotenoids, which are known for reducing oxidation that leads to the development of cancer and eye disease. A study published in the journal Plant Foods for Human Nutrition found that coriander has one of the highest levels of carotenoids of any plant.

Cholesterol-Reducer

According to data collected by the World’s Healthiest Foods, coriander is effective at reducing high cholesterol. In one study, rats were given coriander supplements along with a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet. When the rats are coriander supplements, their LDL (the “bad” kind) cholesterol and total cholesterol levels dropped significantly.

Blood Sugar Regulator

Animal studies have found that when coriander supplements are given to diabetic rats, their secretion of insulin increased and their blood sugar levels dropped to healthier levels.

Bacteria-Fighting Properties

A 2004 study published in the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry found that adding cilantro or coriander to foods made it easier to fight of salmonella bacteria. Salmonella is one of the most common foodborne illnesses, responsible for thousands of food poisoning cases each year. When researchers isolated the salmonella-fighting compound, dodecenal, and fed it to infected mice, it was twice as effective at killing salmonella bacteria than the antibiotic gentamicin.

Selecting and Storing Coriander

Both coriander and fresh cilantro have similar beneficial properties, but coriander may be more effective simply because you are more likely to consume more ground coriander than fresh cilantro. It is unusual to eat more than a few leaves of cilantro at a time. When choosing cilantro, look for vibrant and crisp leaves.

Avoid brown spots, yellow leaves, or anything moldy or rotten. When choosing coriander seeds, purchase whole seeds rather than pre-ground seeds. Ground seeds lose their beneficial properties sooner than whole seeds. Keep your seeds in a cool, dark place to keep them fresher for longer.

Coriander seeds will stay fresh for about one year. Store fresh cilantro in the refrigerator wrapped in damp paper towels or placed in a container where it has room to breathe. This will discourage rotting. Always wash the leaves just before using them in dishes.

Grind coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle just before adding them to a dish. You can also eat a spoonful of coriander powder daily, to maximize the health benefits of coriander.

Coriander Serving Ideas
  • Heat 2 cups of milk, 2 teaspoons honey, ¼ teaspoon of vanilla, 1/8 of a teaspoon of cinnamon, and 1/8 of a teaspoon of coriander until warm. Drink as a relaxing beverage after supper.
  • Place coriander seeds in a pepper mill and add to all of your dishes at home.
  • Add ground coriander powder to any breads, muffins, or other baked goods you make for an added punch of earthy flavor.
  • Add coriander to any soups and sauces you make.
  • Use coriander to season all meat dishes.
  • Add coriander powder to all meat rubs and spice mixes.
  • Eat ½ a teaspoon of dried coriander powder daily.

Are there any Health Risks of Coriander?

According to Medical News Today, 15 percent of the cilantro imported into the United States was contaminated with salmonella. However, since cilantro is also a salmonella-fighting food, it is less likely that you will get salmonella poisoning from coriander and cilantro than other infected foods. Nevertheless, the safest way to consume coriander and cilantro is to heat it to 150 degrees before consuming.

Dried coriander seeds are unlikely to be contaminated with any bacteria. A few individuals may be allergic to coriander. Coriander is in the same family as fennel, celery, and caraway, so if you have any allergic reactions to those, you may also be allergic to cilantro. If you think you might be allergic to cilantro, eat only a small amount and gradually increase your intake until you determine it is safe to eat.

Coriander: A Healthy Spice for All

Recent studies have found that spices are surprisingly healthy and just might be the new superfoods. Coriander is no exception. Studies show that coriander is effective in reducing blood sugar, cholesterol, oxidation, inflammation, and possibly even cancer. If you have yet to add coriander to your diet, start using it today and improve your health from the inside out.

Sources


http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=70

http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/299739.php

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