Know Your Ingredient – Coriander

coriander

Description
Coriander is also known as cilantro, Chinese parsley or dhania. It is from the family Apiaceae that grows annually. It’s a soft plant that can grow up to 50 cm tall. The leaves have different shapes, largely lobed at the base of the plant, and small and downy higher on the flowering stems. The flowers are borne in tiny umbels, uneven, white or very pale pink in color, with the petals pointing away from the center of the umbel longer than those pointing toward it. The fruit is globular in shape and about 3-5 mm in diameter. Coriander has different description of its taste. Those who like it say it has a refreshing, lemony or lime-like flavor, while those who dislike it says it’s like soap and bugs.

Nutrients
In a 100g amount, coriander leaves are mainly rich in vitamin A, vitamin C and vitamin K, with reasonable content of dietary minerals. Even though seeds generally have lower content of vitamins, they have considerable amounts of dietary fiber, calcium, selenium, iron, magnesium and manganese per 100 g.

Health Benefits
Coriander has linoleic acid and known to have components of essential oils that are used to treat skin inflammation. It has detoxifying and antiseptic properties used to cure skin disorders. They also reduce the level of bad cholesterol (LDL) deposition along the inner walls of the arteries and veins, which can lead to serious cardiovascular issues like artherosclerosis, heart attacks, and strokes. It is also helpful in curing diarrhea caused by microbial and fungal action, since components like Cineole, Borneol, Limonene, Alpha-pinene & beta-phelandrene have antibacterial effects. Coriander is also known to treat many disorders like diabetes, hypertension, mouth ulcers, conjunctivitis, menstrual problems, and small pox. It has also components that aids in digestion, bone development and eye care.

Culinary Uses
Coriander leaves and seeds are both used in culinary arts. The seeds are used as spices while the leaves are used as herbs. It is also used in all sorts of cuisines, from Latin American to Asian. In Mexico and the United States, fresh coriander leaves are frequently used as a garnish for salsas and spicy soups.

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