A healthy diet should contain a variety of herbs and spices to make the food tasty. Some of my favorites are coriander and cilantro.
Coriander: A Healthy Diet Spice That’s Worth Discovering
Coriander is a healthy diet spice that is worth discovering and using in your cooking.
What is Coriander?
Coriander comes from the seeds of the cilantro plant, a fresh herb commonly use in salsas and sometimes referred to as Chinese or Mexican parsley. You may be unfamiliar with coriander, the dried version of this leafy flavor enhancer. Just examine the ingredients in any curry powder spice and you’ll see it listed. You can buy coriander as whole seeds or ground into a powder. The seeds are tiny and brown and can be roasted for extra flavor.
What is Cilantro?
Many people are confused about the difference between coriander and cilantro. They’re both derived from the same plant. The plant itself is a coriander plant. The spice known as coriander is the dried seeds of the plant. The herb cilantro that you buy in the produce section of the supermarket is the fresh leafy green leaves and stems of the plant. You can also buy dried cilantro leaves in the spices aisle, but the flavor isn’t as strong as the fresh herb.
Fresh cilantro is aromatic and citrusy and should be added at the end of cooking time – it is also frequently used in fresh salsas. Coriander seeds, as they are dried, have a warmer, spicier flavor and are best in sauces, curries and stews. Although they come from the same plant, they have totally different flavors. Cilantro and coriander seeds are not interchangeable, so don’t use one in place of the other in recipes.
It Has Ancient Roots
Coriander comes with a storied history. It’s thought to be one of the most ancient herbs, earning mention in the Bible and in works of literature as early as 1500 B. C. Indian tradition is to chew roasted fennel and coriander seeds after eating a large meal to combat sleepiness. According to an ancient Chinese belief, coriander confers immortality on those who eat it and has aphrodisiac properties.
Healthy Diet Benefits of Coriander and Cilantro
A healthy diet benefits from the addition of coriander and cilantro. Coriander comes with an impressive health resume.
• Just two tablespoons of coriander or 9 sprigs of cilantro supplies about 3/4 of your Vitamin K needs.
• Coriander and cilantro are also good sources of iron, calcium and Vitamin C.
• Cilantro can be used generously. It contains only 4 calories in 9 sprigs.
• Its high levels of antioxidants have been shown to convey a wide variety of benefits.
• It can be used as pain reliever and is effective in the treatment of inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, and diabetes.
• It also shows promise in heart attack prevention and in reducing anxiety and improving sleep quality.
How to Use Coriander and Cilantro in a Healthy Diet
Here are some suggestions about ways to add coriander and cilantro to a healthy diet.
The taste of coriander has been described as “multifaceted” and complex. It displays citrusy notes as well as floral and nutty flavors. Its taste is a good complement to onions, bell peppers, tomatoes and potatoes. Pair it with cumin make a tasty rub for pork chops or sirloin steak. It also works well in marinades, chilis, sauces, and soups. Famed Indian Chef Sanjeev Kapoor uses coriander to make his delicious chicken curry. Jamie Oliver adds coriander, cumin and almonds to roasted cauliflower to give it a new flavor twist.
Click here for a slightly different version of this healthy diet blog, which first appeared on LifetimeDaily.com.