Cilantro is a popular herb extensively used around the globe. At first glance it may resemble flat leaf parsley but at first sniff, it takes you straight to the Mediterranean, Asia, Mexico and India. In some countries, cilantro is called Japanese or Chinese parsley. Packed with a bunch of health and medicinal benefits, it’s often been dubbed the ‘wonder herb’ of the world. Cilantro alone can boost flavor without any other seasonings. This versatile plant is used in everything, from guacamole and salsa to curry noodle dishes and Argentinian chimichurri sauce. Not only does this flavorful, bright herb have countless culinary applications, but surprisingly, cilantro benefits the human body in multiple ways and actually possesses many healing properties.
Diabetes is an incurable health condition; however, with exercises and a balanced diet, you can control your blood sugar levels. Diabetes occurs when the pancreas is not able to produce an adequate amount of insulin, or the body is unresponsive to it.
Your kitchen cabinet is in all honesty a treasure box of spices that could help in managing diabetes and most other health conditions. Cilantro is a medicinal plant with potential anti-diabetic properties; it helps in delaying the development of diabetic complications and correcting metabolic abnormalities. All parts of the plant are edible but the fresh leaves and the dried seeds are generally more used.
Top 6 Cilantro Benefits
1. Lowers Blood Sugar Levels
Cilantro leaves and stems help to reduce blood sugar levels. Research found that when diabetes is diagnosed, cilantro can help support healthy liver function and help balance blood sugar. Chopping cilantro leaves and stems to add to salads and smoothies is a great way to consume the herb.
2. Protects Against Cardiovascular Disease
Besides helping to lower blood pressure, cilantro helps dissolve cholesterol build-up in the arteries, which protects against heart disease and atherosclerosis. Researchers indicated that cilantro lowers total cholesterol and triglycerides in the body. Another study published in Food and Chemical Toxicology found that cilantro’s rich polyphenolic content and natural cardio-protective nutrients are responsible for preventing the oxidative damage that is specifically associated with cardiac damage and can prevent myocardial infarctions. Cilantro reduces cholesterol, lowers blood pressure and protects against damage associated with cardiac impairment. With so many benefits, there is no reason why we shouldn’t all enjoy more cilantro.
3. Prevents Urinary Tract Infections
Diabetes could be one of the reasons leading to urinary tract infections (UTI). Cilantro’s antibacterial compounds help to keep the urinary tract healthy and free from unhealthy bacteria in a healthy alkaline environment. Coriander seeds are equally helpful in relieving symptoms of a UTI. Add 2 tablespoons of dried coriander seeds in 2 cups of water, soak overnight and add to your morning smoothie, This is a great way to start incorporating these little guys in your diet.
4. Rids the Body of Heavy Metals
Cilantro, scientifically known as “Coriandrum sativum,” has been shown to bind toxic metals together, loosen them from tissues they attach themselves to and facilitate the heavy metals to be eliminated from the body. Aluminum, arsenic, cadmium, lead and mercury can all become dangerous guests in our tissues, leading to heart disease, neurological conditions, infertility and so much more.
5. Protects Against Oxidative Stress
Oxidative stress arises when there is an imbalance between the production of free radicals and the body’s ability to detoxify their harmful effects. A recent study found that cilantro actually protects us against oxidative stress through its high antioxidant effects. This stress is linked to multiple degenerative diseases like cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer’s Disease, arthritis and many more. Cilantro’s strong antioxidant properties, due to the flavonoid quercetin, helps to protect against the damage caused by free radicals in the body.
6. Improves Sleep and Lowers Anxiety
Cilantro benefits your sleep cycle naturally. It can enhance sleep quality and calm nerves, as the leaf and seed both have a natural sedative effect. A recent study found that high levels of cilantro produce the same levels of anti-anxiety effects as the popular prescription drug, Valium (diazepam). Without dangerous side effects, cilantro can relieve anxiety and improve sleep quality. Cilantro’s natural sedative properties help encourage relaxation, and therefore promoting deep, satisfying sleep.
Cilantro or Coriander Seeds for Diabetes
The Floridian Research Institute suggested a few benefits of cilantro or coriander seeds:
- Cilantro or coriander seeds help reduce the blood glucose levels in people with diabetes. They can help to maintain insulin activity, which further helps in keeping blood sugar levels in control limits.
- The ethanol present in the leaves or seeds is effective in reducing serum glucose or blood sugar.
- A study published in the US National Library of Medicine confirmed that coriander seeds are effective in controlling the insulin release from pancreatic beta-cells in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats.
- Cilantro or coriander seeds also help improve digestion, keeping blood sugar levels stable. An excellent digestive system is a must to keep diabetes in check.
Cilantro Benefits in Leaves & Seeds
Cilantro is a versatile herb with many medicinal uses. Although it is green and leafy, it brings a fresh, citrusy flavor to any food, be it salads or curries. The flowering plant produces seeds which has several health benefits.
Cilantro Nutritional Facts
Cilantro is rich in flavonoids, phytonutrients, and phenolic compounds.
Vitamin A: 270 IU
Vitamin K: 12.4 mcg
Folate: 2.5 mcg
Potassium: 20.8 mg
Cilantro is very low in cholesterol and saturated fat, and it’s caloric value is therefore negligible. It’s a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium. Just a quarter cup of fresh cilantro provides 270 IU of Vitamin A.
The vitamin K and calcium content of cilantro help to build strong bones, teeth and hair.
Cilantro is considered the ‘anti-diabetic’ plant in some parts of Europe.
Research shows that it helps to lower cholesterol, supports healthy cardiovascular function, lowers blood pressure and much more.
Cilantro is an excellent addition to your diet, try adding it in to your food for a more refreshing taste and to spice up your recipes!