Coriander, commonly known as dhania in India and cilantro in America, is a kitchen herb. Its fresh leaves find their place as an important garnishing ingredient while the powdered seeds are often used to flavour curries. Scientifically known as Coriandrum Sativum L., coriander is rich in Vitamin A, C, K and protein. They also contain small amounts of calcium, potassium, phosphorous, thiamine, niacin and carotene, all of which are needed by the body to function properly.
While the use of coriander is fairly common all throughout India, most people are unaware of its health benefits. Such people would surely feel surprised when they realise that they have such a power-packed herb right in their kitchen!
How coriander promotes health
1. Enhances gastrointestinal functioning – Coriander improves the secretion of digestive enzymes which help in digesting and assimilating food particles in the GI tract. Helpful in resolving anorexia, dyspepsia and abdominal colic, this herb is a must in everyday diet.
2. Improves cardiovascular system – The acids present in coriander like linoleic acid, ascorbic acid, oleic acid, stearic acid, palmitic acid are very effective in reducing cholesterol levels in blood. They bring down levels of bad cholesterol (called LDL) that deposit in the inner walls of the arteries and veins, thus reducing the risk of Atherosclerosis, heart attacks and even strokes. These acids also help increase levels of good cholesterol (called HDL) that helps prevent a number of dangerous cardiovascular issues.
3. Prevents bone degradation – Coriander, being a good source of calcium helps in preventing degenerative diseases like Osteoporosis. Its other essential minerals also help in bone re-growth and durability.
4. Protects skin health – Coriander leaves have the ability to protect skin from Ultraviolet radiation (UVB) which is present in sunlight. This has been affirmed by a study published in Journal of Medicinal Food. The researchers observed the effect of coriander on human cells in the presence of ultraviolet radiation. It was discovered that this simple herb has the power to prevent premature skin ageing caused by the radiation.
5. Reduces risk of eye disease – Coriander leaves contain beta-carotene which prevents diseases that affect the eyes. It is so potent a herb that it can reverse effects of low vision in ageing people. Essential oils prepared from coriander prevent stress and strain in the eyes, macular degeneration and visual disorders.
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