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Herbs for Health: Coriander (Cilantro, Chinese Parsley)

Updated: Apr 1

coriander cilantro health benefits polyphenols

Coriander, also known as cilantro (in Spanish) or Chinese parsley, is a flavourful herb widely used in various cuisines worldwide. Identified in use since the days of ancient Egypt, its distinct citrusy and slightly peppery taste adds depth to dishes, making it a beloved ingredient in soups, salads, curries, and salsas.


  • Coriander leaves (cilantro) are often used as an ingredient or garnish, while its seeds are utilised in spice blends and cooking to enhance the flavour of meats, vegetables and grains.

"From Latin America to SE Asia, most people enjoy coriander leaves in salads, salsas or as a garnish. If you are going to grow coriander, grow more!"
  • Coriander possesses health-promoting polyphenols. Key polyphenols found in coriander are linalool, quercetin and kaempferol, with potent antioxidant properties. These help neutralise free radicals in the body, supporting cellular health and potentially reducing the risk of chronic diseases.

  • Coriander contains other beneficial phenolic acids such as vanilic, ferulic and p-coumaric acids, which also exhibit antioxidant effects and may contribute to overall wellbeing.

  • Beyond its polyphenol content, coriander is a source of essential vitamins and minerals, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium, adding to its nutritional value.

  • In traditional medicine, coriander has been used for its potential digestive benefits, aiding in relieving bloating and promoting healthy digestion.

"Popular as it may be, for up to 1 in 5 people, coriander tastes like soap. As this comes down to genetics they'll never be able enjoy its lovely green leaves."
 

Coriander can be the highlight of many dishes:


  1. Fresh salsa with coriander

  2. Coriander lime chicken

  3. Coriander Spiced Rice

  4. Coriander Crusted Fish



Thai green dipping sauce recipe
 

As part of a nutritionally rich, whole health lifestyle, at The Whole Health Practice we advocate enjoying herbs (and spices) as a regular part of one’s diet. While some herbs have shown positive results for specific health outcomes, nutrition science and the interaction of polyphenols from different plant sources is incredibly complex.


Enjoy a healthy eating pattern with a variety of herbs, spices and whole foods that work in synergy to promote maximum health. Think fruits, berries, beans, vegetables, and whole grains; add colour to your dishes wherever possible.

 

Incorporating coriander into your cooking not only adds a burst of flavour to your meals but also provides you with health-boosting polyphenols and vital nutrients. Embrace this versatile herb in your culinary creations and enjoy the delightful tastes and potential wellness benefits it brings to your table.


Stay Healthy,


Alastair

 

More than just taste, herbs can bring health and joy to our lives. Read on for our complete collection of articles, recipes and more...

 

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Related Studies

Mauer, L., El-Sohemy, A. Prevalence of cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) disliking among different ethnocultural groups. Flavour1, 8 (2012). https://doi.org/10.1186/2044-7248-1-8



Mackonochie M, Rodriguez-Mateos A, Mills S, Rolfe V. A Scoping Review of the Clinical Evidence for the Health Benefits of Culinary Doses of Herbs and Spices for the Prevention and Treatment of Metabolic Syndrome. Nutrients. 2023 Nov 22;15(23):4867. doi: 10.3390/nu15234867. PMID: 38068725; PMCID: PMC10708057.

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