Jispa › Nutrition
Coriander is an aromatic herb that is a member of the parsley (Apiaceae) family. As one of the oldest spices, it has naturally evolved and cultivated since ancient times in vast parts of the world. Coriander has been an important ingredient within many traditional medicines. Its health properties have been linked to alleviating numerous ailments including bacterial infections, regulating blood sugar, clearing up skin conditions while enhancing digestive process. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of coriander’s health benefits.
Coriander is a fragrant flowering herb well known since ancient times in vast parts of the world from the Mediterranean basin to India and China. Both its dried fruits and the fresh leaves with the stem known as coriander and cilantro, respectively, are used for culinary and medicinal purposes. Even the culinary applications have a medicinal background. They were originally designed to balance the food and facilitate digestion. As part of the food, the herb is also useful for controlling bad breath and is a source of vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, calcium and iron. Different cultures have different preferences between the seeds and the leaf, and the number of applications is huge.
The various nutrients present in coriander leaf and seeds. According to USDA, it contains no cholesterol content in its seeds. Its seeds are considered as an important source of vitamins, minerals and lipids. Among minerals, potassium is present in high amount followed by calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, sodium, zinc. The folate content in coriander seed is 200 μg/ 100 g (fresh weight). Among the various constituents, vitamin C content is present in ample
Coriander is a potential source of essential oils (high in linalool) and lipids (rich in petroselinic acid) isolated from the seeds and the aerial parts. The high content of fats and protein in the fruits make distillation residues suitable for animal feed. Coriander fruits yield 5 to 7% of ash, 13% resin, astringent principle, malic acid and alkaloids.
Coriander is a mildly pleasant flavouring spice and is immensely popular amongst South Asian, Orient and Latin American dishes. The active compounds which carry these pleasant scent and taste profiles also produce numerous health benefits. From beginning of times, to the ancient texts, to modern science, coriander has always been part of every civilization. Its global popularity continues to marvel modern research and applications. Lets take a closer into the power of this unique and ancient seed.
Coriander is a good source powerful antioxidants like Polyphenolic compounds; caffeic acid, protocatechinic acid, and glycitin. They have the capacity to reduce free-radical formation by scavenging free radicals and protecting antioxidant defences.
The flavonoids within coriander possess potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties by actively seeking out and reacting with ROS.
Linalool is the main active ingredient in coriander making up about 50% of total essential oil. It is a strong antioxidant and antibacterial agent. Linalool are the major building blocks of many vital compounds (like steroids), and possess extensive health properties.. Linalool is extensively used for its anti-inflammatory and anti-depressant abilities affecting nervous system and producing a calming effect.
Besides linalool, coriander also contains other powerful terpenes within its essential oil content including alpha-pinene, gamma-terpinene (terpinolene), geranyl acetate, limonene and camphor.
Coriander seeds also contain many other phytonutrients including dietary fiber, vitamin-A, vitamin-K, copper, manganese, iron and calcium. The leaves (cilantro) pack calcium, phosphorus, iron, vitamin-A, vitamin-C and vitamin-B2 (riboflavin). Many of these vitamins come in high concentrations and are strong antioxidants (such as vitamins E and C).
Coriander’s powerful antioxidant activity has been linked to its high levels of terpene (like linalool) and terpenoid components.
Together these compounds improve antioxidant defence enzymes (superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)) which decrease oxidative stress. Some studies report coriander juice reduced lipid peroxidation by 300-600%, while increasing antioxidant enzymes (CAT by 57-75%, SOD by 57-62%, and GPx by 80-83%) and liver function at same time.
Coriander can be used as a natural cleansing agent as it has potential to remove toxic metals (like Mercury and Lead) from body. Chemical compounds present in coriander attach to toxic metals and remove them from cells
Studies exhibit coriander’s superb competencies in disposing 95% of mercury within pH scale range of 4 to 10, which happens to be the ideal acidity for us (human body pH is 7.35 to 7.45).
Lead is another potent toxin that causes numerous health and organ issues. It will increase free radical levels and have an effect on antioxidant enzymes (CAT, SOD, GPx and GSR) while reducing hemoglobin (oxygen carrying molecules) at the same time. The body requires compounds called chelating agents that can blend in water (water soluble) while binding to floating metals in the bloodstream to avoid metal-based poisoning. These chelating compounds are non-poisonous and may be excreted as urine or digestive juice.
Repeated studies have shown that coriander is a powerful chelating agent that removes lead effectively. Coriander has been continuously detoxified by removing lead from the liver, tests, blood vessels, and brain. Treatment with coriander extract reduced lead generating oxidative stress while enhancing antioxidant defence enzymes, sperm production, function of the liver and brain.
Coriander is considered to be very safe and excellent food for promoting digestion. Antioxidant, antispasmodic and anti-flatulent ingredients present in coriander stimulate pancreas to produce digestive enzymes, liver to bile and enhancing overall gastrointestinal (GI) process.
Coriander also contains several important minerals including iron, magnesium, and manganese. These minerals improves the function of overall digestive system and eases constipation and bloating. The fiber present in coriander diminish the re-assimilation of bile in the colon, which brings down LDL (otherwise known as "terrible") cholesterol levels in serum.
Coriander can also diminish or prevent alcohol causing stomach ulcers. Ethanol can cause tissue damage, including the diminishing of the stomach lining. The antioxidant compounds of coriander like terpenes (such as linanool), flavonoids, coumarins, catechins, and other polyphenoilcs act as free-radical scavengers, inhibit stomach ulcers and contribute to the formation of the protective digestive lining.
Coriander leaves and seeds are well reported for their anti-diabetic activity by increased release of insulin from the pancreatic cells. A recent study demonstrated that coriander is able to decrease hyperglycemia and increase glucose uptake and metabolism, and insulin secretion.
Oxidative stress is increased in diabetic patients due to an increased production of oxygen free radicals through autoxidation of glucose and non-enzymatic glycation of proteins. Increased levels of the products of oxidative damage to lipids and proteins have been detected in the serum of diabetic patients. Coriander seeds countered oxidative stress as evidenced by significantly decreased lipid peroxidation, protein oxidation and decreased activity of erythrocyte catalase (CAT), increased serum carotene, vitamin A, E and C in diabetics treated with coriander seeds.
Coriander seeds consumption reduced several components of metabolic syndrome, decreased atherosclerotic and increased cardio protective indices, the Coriander seeds may have cardiovascular protective effect in type 2 diabetic patients.
High cholesterol levels causes numerous metabolic diseases. Numerous studies contributed to study the effect of coriander for overall blood health and lipid management. Our regular diet comes with high quantity of fats, some of which negatively impact blood circulation. High concentrations of LDL were ascribed to a number of health issues, including enhanced danger of heart disease. Many anti-diabetic studies observed, coriander extract has considerably decreased total cholesterol, low density lipoprotein (LDL) and very low density lipoprotein (VLDL) cholesterol, while increasing high density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol and overall triglyceride levels in both people and small animals.
Animals who fed with high cholesterol diet found that using coriander oil reversed total blood lipid level including, overall triglycerides and cholesterol levels. Also, coriander contains range of phytonutrients which protect tissues (preventing lipid peroxidation), improve HDL-cholesterol and antioxidant enzymes (such as superoxide dismutase (SOD) and catalase (CAT)).
Many ancient practices and ayurvedic medicine have been using coriander seeds to treat high blood pressure. Coriander’s anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and antispasmodic abilities also are proven to reduce high blood pressure, blood sugar and cholesterols levels. Coriander is a rich source of fiber that helps with digestive health and lowering of overall blood lipids, reducing blood clot formation and possibilities of heart attack and stroke.
Many studies investigated coriander’s power of spice to relax muscles and reduce high blood pressure. Being a strong digestive aid, coriander improves digestion and diuretic effect on the body, which all show decreased hypertension. Coriander's phyto-compounds engage with Calcium (Ca2 +) channels, lowering the contractility of the smooth muscles of the heart and blood vessels, and producing the relaxation effect. In fact, coriander’s diuretic effect along with relaxant tissue abilities show results like standard hypertension drugs (verapamil).
The most active compound (terpene) linalool of coriander has been recognized as the major player in vasodilation (relaxation) of smooth muscles, including blood vessels. Various animal studies show linalool as a powerful agent for cardiovascular improvement. A research of three weeks of linalool study generated a substantial decrease in overall blood pressure. Linalool prevented cardiac hypertrophy (abnormal thickening of the heart muscle) often seen with chronic high blood pressure, while increasing concenration of anti-inflammatory cytokine Interleukin 10 (IL-10). In a recent research linalool neutralized caused hypertension in small animals through vasomodulation (neuronal regulation of blood flow) by interacting with Calcium (Ca2+), relaxing vascular walls of small animals and reducing blood pressure.
Coriander has also been proven to be an effective agent for weight-loss. Coriander is a fiber rich spice, It improves metabolism by engaging digestive processes of these non-digestiable carbohydrates which requires energy, while suppressing overall appetite. This calorie deficit process promotes weight loss. decreasing the risk for metabolic syndrome and other related conditions. Also, the coriander’s diuretic effect removes excess water, toxins and waste form the body that helps weight loss. This accelerates the gut emptying process, while eliminating water retention and bloating effect.
A strong antibacterial and antimicrobial properties of coriander seeds, may help in preventing the spread of food-borne pathogens. Coriander seeds are effective tool in treating food poisoning, dysentery, cholera and typhoid. Dodecenal – a compound present in coriander (both seeds and leaves) in high concentrations possess a strong antibacterial effect. Therefore, adding coriander to your diet will greatly reduce risk of developing such conditions including common food poisoning.
Traditional treatments has been used coriander to treat for various inflammation based discomforts, irritations and diseases such as conjunctivitis (often referred to as the pink eye). Conjunctivitis can be caused by many form of pathogens including bacteria, virus or allergens – leading to inflammation and irritation in and around the eye. Virus causing conjunctivitis is the most common type of infection, with allergic version coming close by affecting up to 40% of population. Using coriander has been proven to be powerful against various microbes and allergens causing conditions like conjunctivitis.
Coriander has been studied for its ability to prevent cancer. Promising results have been shown for preventing colon cancer. Another interesting study showed the roots as having strong antioxidant activity that could “prevent oxidative stress-related diseases.
Liver is the largest filtration system in our body. Liver is comprised of thousands of cells—hepatocytes—which possesses enzymes that involve in filter the blood from the portal vein in order to identify, separate, detoxify and restructure the circulating compounds. Many of these compounds are toxic and produce stress on the liver, eventually causing damage and decreasing its activity.
Coriander’s anti-inflammatory properties can help to improve liver’s health and function. Many studies show that coriander essential oils as well as extracts possess hepato-protective properties in animals with drug-induced liver and brain damage. Antioxidant content of the seeds act as strong ROS scavengers by seeking and reacting with free radicals and protecting tissue integrity. Also, Coriander improves liver’s health and creating a greater hepatoprotective effect by increasing antioxidant enzymes.