Why Cilantro Is So Good for You
Fresh herbs are a delicious, nutritious boost to any meal. One of my favorites? Cilantro.
Cilantro, also known as coriander, is a tasty herb that is also incredibly healthy. Just look at fresh cilantro: it’s green and leafy, much like other well-known health foods like spinach, kale and collard greens. And just like those other greens, it’s full of nourishing nutrients to support heart health and total wellness. The fresh, citrusy taste complements a variety of foods, including salsa, salad, soup, pasta, sandwiches, and meat and vegetable dishes.
Here are some health benefits of this good-for-you herb:
- Low in calories and contains no fat and cholesterol. The herb contains just one calorie per quarter cup and is free of fat and cholesterol, making it a healthy choice you can enjoy without worrying about overindulging.
- High in vitamin A, an important antioxidant that supports a number of processes in the body, including the health of the endothelial cells. Endothelial cells are the major producer of Nitric Oxide (NO), the critical molecule responsible for relaxing the blood vessels and maintaining healthy blood flow.
- High in vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, an antioxidant that promotes endothelial function and provides general antioxidant support against free radicals.
- High in vitamin K, which is a critically important nutrient that supports healthy blood clotting—a key for heart health. The nutrient is often overlooked, so it’s important to focus on getting plenty of vitamin K in your diet. (Please note that people with blood conditions or who are taking blood thinners should talk to their doctors before increasing vitamin K intake.)
- Good source of minerals, including calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese and potassium.
- Full of additional vitamins, including vitamin E, folate, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and niacin.
Next time you prepare a meal, consider adding fresh cilantro. It’s a nutritious addition to any dish. For a delicious recipe with cilantro, try the “Endothelial Health Pomegranate-Avocado Salsa.”
What is your favorite way to enjoy fresh cilantro?
Dr. Rocio Medina is the vice president of Herbalife Worldwide Nutrition Training, where she shares her vision for a global community focused on nutrition education.