Herbs make a world of a difference in cooking. Garnish, sauce, spread – you name it! One particular favourite ingredient worldwide has to be coriander, known as cilantro in the Americas and certain parts of Europe and Chinese parsley in most of Asia. Its leaves, seeds, fruits and roots have a distinct aroma and flavour of its own. A tinge of citrus in its zesty fragrance, this herb can be used both raw and dried in culinary.
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Garnish your meats and salads. Use them in your spice rubs for meat and poultry. Add it to your dips, salsa, soup and stew. Coriander almost always gives you the perfect pairing. It is the main ingredient of two south Indian dishes, sambhar and rasam. And what curry goes without coriander seeds? Reasons to love coriander are endless.
Beyond tasting delicious, coriander plants produce certain chemicals to ward off unwanted pests. Some of these chemicals have been shown to deter fungus, insects and even some humans as a minority liken its smell to that of a stinkbug. Some of the chemicals produced are antioxidants. These antifungal and antioxidant properties present in coriander extract serves as a natural preservative in foods. So coriander is not only delicious but also nutritious.
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The health benefits of coriander:
1. Coriander is good for diabetic patients. It stimulates the insulin secretion and can help in lowering blood sugar levels.
2. It has vitamin K which is used for the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease.
3. It is known to lower bad cholesterol (LDL) and increase the levels of good cholesterol (HDL).
4. Natural compounds in coriander can remove toxic heavy metals from the body without any side effects.
5. It promotes liver functions and bowel movements. It aids the digestive system.
6. The fat soluble vitamin and antioxidant, Vitamin A in coriander, protects from lung and cavity cancers.
7. Coriander has anti-inflammatory properties and is a natural remedy for arthritis.
8. Coriander contains high amounts of iron, which is essential for anaemia.
9. It is good for the eyes. Antioxidants in coriander prevent eye diseases and problems. It’s a good home remedy for conjunctivitis.
10. Phytonutrients in coriander such as elemol, camphor, borneol, carvone, quercetin, keampferol and epigenin. These nutrients give protection from free radical damage.
11. This herb peps up the nervous system by stimulating memory.
12. It can be used to treat skin problems such as eczema, pimples, blackheads and dry skin.
13. Coriander also contains fungicide and anthelmintic properties.
14. The anti-bacterial compound in coriander fights against Salmonella which cause typhoid fever and food poisoning and protects from food borne diseases.