For many thousands of years, people across the globe have enjoyed the fresh, citrusy flavor and bright, zesty aroma of one of the world’s oldest and most beloved herbs, cilantro. Also known as Coriandrum sativum, cilantro is a favorite of many in the culinary world, boasting a rich history of food pairing that’s almost as old as time itself. But did you know that cilantro is well-documented in the scientific literature as having medicinal properties as well?
Hailing from the Apiaceae family of herbs, which includes well-known vegetables and spices like parsley, carrots, and celery, as well as some 3,700 other plant species, cilantro is abundant in therapeutic elements that science suggests may help keep the body robustly nourished and free of toxins.Because it’s loaded with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, cilantro is a top pick when it comes to perking up foods with a little extra nutrition.
Also called coriander or Chinese parsley, cilantro is both delicious and nutritious, which is why cultural foods from all around the world incorporate its use. There’s never a dull moment in terms of flavor when cilantro is present. And thanks to the fact that cilantro is widely available at most grocery stores very inexpensively, you can take home a bundle of cilantro and get a lot out of it by making freshly-prepared guacamole, for instance, which is one great way to incorporate more of it into a healthy diet.
But what about the alleged health benefits of cilantro?
Cilantro: One of the World’s Most Powerful “Superherbs”
Often referred to as a “superherb,” cilantro packs a pretty big punch considering its size. Cilantro contains vitamins A and K, as well as high levels of vitamin C and the trace mineral manganese. Cilantro also contains an impressive lineup of other vitamins and trace minerals such as B vitamins, calcium, iron, zinc, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.1
In the antioxidant department, cilantro holds its weight with the best of them. Cilantro is such a powerful antioxidant, in fact, that it’s often used as a natural preservative, its oil helping to inhibits oxidation and prevent spoilage in food.2 There are also antibacterial elements within cilantro that studies have shown can help prevent bacterial infections like Salmonella.