Dhania Patta, or Cilantro, known widely as Coriander leaves in India, packs quite a punch, which many may not be aware of. The best thing about it is that it is used widely across India as it finds a place in all regional cuisines. Rather, it is used daily in most households in some form or the other. Interestingly, it is easy to grow these as they do not need much space or care. Many people grow it in pots on their balconies. It is one of those plants that can be grown as micro herbs or even in soil-less hydroponic farming. A variation of these leaves called Parsley is used commonly in Western cuisine as well.
The Coriander, as such, is a widespread spice in India used in most masalas, and its flavour comes out best in the fresh dhania patta. Usually sold as a bunch, these can be easily stored in the refrigerator for as long as ten to fifteen days when stored with proper care. Most commonly, it is used in preparing soups, chutneys, ground masala for curries, sprinkled fresh as toppings for salads and gravies, and even added to some summer drinks. Here is a rundown on all health benefits you gain by consuming Coriander leaves.
The humble Coriander leaves are highly nutritious and filled with Vitamin A, C, K, B1 (Thiamine), and E; they are also an excellent dietary fibre source. They contain many essential minerals like Zinc, Manganese, Iron, Magnesium, Calcium, Phosphorous, and Potassium. They also contain Thiamine and Carotene that are also important for our body, and many other antioxidants. They are said to have powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-microbial properties, such that they are also used in the preparation of certain medicines.
Improves Eye Health
The carotenoids present in these leaves and the high amounts of Vitamin A promote healthy vision. They can even heal diseases like conjunctivitis and reduce macular degeneration related disorders of the eye. Besides the Vitamin C and certain minerals contained in it also help with this. These components help reduce the strain on the eye, thus keeping it healthy. The beta carotenes in it act preventively against many eye diseases also.
Helps in Diabetes Management
Called the diabetes capital of the world, many senior citizens are suffering from this lifestyle disease. It is always said that diet management is the better part of managing diabetes as much as medicines. The dietary fibres and proteins present in Coriander leaves help manage the blood sugar levels in the body. They stimulate the endocrine glands and helps the pancreas to produce more insulin.
Good Digestive Aid
The fibre in Coriander leaves is a good digestive aid as it stimulates bowel movement. The anthocyanins contained in them also aid in healing stomach ulcers due to the anti-inflammatory properties. Also, the components in these leaves aid the gastric mucosal secretions that help in enhancing gut health and overall digestion. Some antioxidants present in these leaves also help the liver function, and this is an essential part of the digestive system. It also aids kidney functioning, which makes sure that the toxins are removed from the body.
We are well aware that antioxidants help prevent and contain the oxidative stress that adds to the free radicals in our body. The damage caused by free radicals that cause inflammation and tumours in our body that lead to cancer. The anti-inflammatory properties of the Coriander leaves and the many antioxidants in them can thus help us reduce the chances of developing cancer. The research on this topic is ongoing; however, scientists indicate that the results so far hold many potential.
Good for Skin
The anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and antifungal properties of the Coriander leaves make it a good treatment agent for the skin. The antioxidants present in it can prevent skin infections like dryness, itching and eczema. It helps soothe the skin, prevent damage due to the UV rays, and even make it glow. These properties can help heal mouth ulcers too.
Improves Bone Density
Reduction in bone density and easy fractures are another common ageing problem. Perhaps, Coriander leaves’ consumption can help with this as it contains lots of minerals that can improve bone density. This can reduce or prevent conditions like osteoporosis. Combines with anti-inflammatory properties, this can also reduce arthritis-related issues.
Overall, a glass of Coriander leaf juice or a bit of chutney or even just a sprinkle of it on some of our daily foods may just help us remain healthier with ease. With so much going for it, you don’t really need to look for reasons to include it in your diet. Even the naturally fresh aroma of these leaves is so refreshing to us.