Coriander and Cilantro
Coriander is considered both an herb and a spice, since both its leaves and its seeds are used as a seasoning condiment. Fresh coriander leaves are more commonly known as cilantro; it bears a strong resemblance to Italian flat-leaf parsley. Coriander seeds have a health-supporting reputation that is high on the list of the healing spices. In parts of Europe, coriander has long been referred to as an “anti-diabetic” plant. In parts of India, it has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory properties.
In the United States, coriander has recently been studied for its cholesterollowering effects.
In a study where coriander was added to the diet of diabetic mice, it helped stimulate their secretion of insulin and lowered their blood sugar. Another study demonstrated that when given to rats fed a high-fat, high-cholesterol diet, coriander lowered levels of total cholesterol and low-density lipoproteins (LDL), or “bad” cholesterol, while actually increasing levels of high-density lipoproteins (HDL), or “good” cholesterol. Research also suggests that the volatile oils found in the leaves of the coriander plant may have antimicrobial properties.Nutritional Facts
One-fourth cup of fresh coriander leaf (cilantro) provides 1 calorie, 0.1 g carbohydrate, 0.1 g protein, 0 g fat, 0.1 g dietary fiber, 111 IU vitamin A, 22 mg potassium, and 4 mg calcium.