I am a self-proclaimed Cilantro lover. Adding fresh cilantro to salsa, tacos, eggs, makes the dish taste ‘fresh’- in my opinion. To my surprise, there is a large group of people with cilantro phobia!!! How could this be??!!
‘It tastes like soap!’??
‘Cilantro gives me headaches!!’???
There never seems to be an in between, either you love it, or you hate it- which category do you fall in?
Cilantro are the leaves of the of the coriander plant. To someone unfamiliar with the plant, it might easily be confused with Italian parsley. One whiff and the difference should be apparent.
Pay attention to the scent of your bunch when picking some up from the store. Select leaves that are fragrant, thus fresher leaves. I’ve noticed several bunches in the store with no scent.
It’s in your Genes!
Curiosity got the best of me, and I started searching around wondering about those odd-balls that don’t like cilantro. It turns out, it has been studied and researchers believe this like/dislike phenomenon is in your genetic makeup.
I just love this video from SciShow that makes this explanation very entertaining!
Cilantro has high amounts of Vitamin K found in other leafy green vegetables, along with vitamins A and C. Cilantro is rich in phytonutrients, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. Natural phenolic compounds play an important role in cancer prevention and treatment. Phytonutrients and flavonoids are powerful anti-oxidants.
Amongst my cilantro loving family and friends, I’ve always heard that cilantro has antibiotic properties- and is very good for the digestive system.
There are several published scholarly articles defending the anti-bacterial properties of cilantro, to include the essential oil of coriander seeds. In the 2009 study published in Food Chemistry- The oil was screened for antimicrobial activity against both Gram positive (Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus spp.) and Gram negative (Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhi, Klebsiella pneumonia, Proteus mirabilis, Pseudomonas aeruginosae) bacteria and a pathogenic fungus, Candida albicans .The oil showed pronounced antibacterial and antifungal activity against all of the microbes tested, except for P. aeruginosae, which showed resistance.
Make Cilantro a regular part of your diet!
- Kubo I, Fujita K, Kubo A, Nihei K, Ogura T. Antibacterial Activity of Coriander Volatile Compounds against Salmonella choleraesuis. J Agric Food Chem. 2004 Jun 2;52(11):3329-32. 2004. PMID:15161192.
- Huang WY1, Cai YZ, Zhang Y. Natural phenolic compounds from medicinal herbs and dietary plants: potential use for cancer prevention.; Nutr Cancer. 2010;62(1):1-20. doi: 10.1080/0163558090319158
- Peter Y.Y. Wong, David D. Kitts; Studies on the dual antioxidant and antibacterial properties of parsley (Petroselinum crispum) and cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) extracts; Food Chemistry; Volume 97, Issue 3, August 2006, Pages 505–515
- C. Matasyoha, , , Z.C. Maiyob, R.M. Ngureb, R. Chepkorira; Chemical composition and antimicrobial activity of the essential oil of Coriandrum sativum; Food Chemistry; Volume 113, Issue 2, 15 March 2009, Pages 526–529 [http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0308814608009424]