Cilantro aka Coriander

cilanCilantro is one of my favorite herbs.  It has a very unique taste…one you love or one you don’t.  I know friends and family who dislike the taste of cilantro so much that they avoid it like the plague.  Me….on the other hand….add it to salads, smoothies, green juice, recipes such as guacamole and more.  Aside from cilantro’s interesting flavour it has many health benefits.

Cilantro is a healing herb and has been studied for it’s healing properties and proven to add great benefit to your nutrition arsenal.  You can also use cilantro essential oils to benefit your health as well as eating the herb.

If you have a diffuser you can put cilantro oil in the diffuser and put the scent of this healing herb throughout your home or office space.  It has been proven to have anti-anxiety effects like that found from using a drug such as diazepam.  Why use a drug to “chill” out when you can just diffuse cilantro oil and calm yourself down in a natural, non-pharmaceutical fashion.  That makes sense to me.   I take the natural route over the pharmaceutical  route at every opportunity.

Cilantro has a chemical compound known to protect your skin against free radical damage.  Free radical damage could lead to skin cancer and other not so pleasant skin diseases and conditions.  Juicing cilantro adds to your skin regime.  I add cilantro to my smoothies and juices whenever I can get fresh cilantro from my grocer.  You don’t need to put a ton of cilantro into the mix.  Just enough to reap the skin boosting benefits.  Like, say, 3 or 4 sprigs per juice or smoothie.

Today we are bombarded with commercial products boasting detoxifying properties.  You don’t need to buy all of those detox lotions and potions and powders to help your body detox.  Fresh cilantro is a wonderful detox herb when added to smoothies and green juices on a regular basis.  It binds with heavy metals in the body and eliminates them through urination.  Amazing….I SAY.

If you have a sour stomach, or a stomach ache it has been suggested that drinking a cup of fresh cilantro tea will help alleviate this discomfort.  Just pour boiling water over a handful of fresh cilantro in a cup.  Let it steep for a while and then drink the warm liquid.  You will have relief shortly thereafter.

Cilantro is a powerful antioxidant.  It helps to lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels so is a good addition to your diet for the management of diabetes too.  The leaf has also been found to have antibacterial properties.

Cilantro is an excellent source of vitamin K which I’ve posted about before.  Vitamin K is good for you bones and helps with the absorption of calcium.  It is very low in calories, has zero fat, protein and carbohydrates.  Contains vitamin C, vitamin A, folate, potassium, manganese and choline, beta carotene among other nutrients.

When cooking with fresh cilantro, keep in mind that it is a delicate leaf and should be added to your recipes near the end of the cooking process like parsley would be added last.  Cilantro pairs well with many Mexican recipes, bean dishes, eggs, salads, dips etc.  Dried cilantro works well too but I prefer fresh over dried whenever possible.

If you don’t already include cilantro in your diet, think about giving it a try.  Hopefully you are like me and fall in love with the flavour of it.

Here is a simple dip recipe.

CILANTRO LIME DIP:

1/2 cup of sour cream (if you are vegan use vegan sour cream options)

2 green onions, sliced thin

2 tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro

1 tsp. lime zest from fresh lime

1 tsp. lime juice from fresh lime

1/4 tsp. salt

1/8. tsp. pepper

Stir all ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to use.  Great on baked potatoes or as a veggie dip.

 

 

 

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