Health Benefits of Cilantro (and other herbs)

Tonight we enjoyed one of our favorite dinners of Thai Chicken Curry over Brown Rice, topped with cilantro, green onion and fresh lime juice. I told Jill, “Pile on lots of cilantro because that’s your salad.” Normally we have at least a salad with dinner, plus another vegetable. But not tonight. It was all about a simple, one bowl meal. While we were eating  Jill said, “I’m glad cilantro is our salad, I like cilantro. Does cilantro have any health benefits?”

You know my mind immediately went to the blog and the internet. Guess what? Cilantro has a TON of health benefits.  Here are some that stood out to me:

  • Powerful anti-inflammatory capacities that may help symptoms of arthritis
  • Protective agents against bacterial infection from Salmonella in food products
  • Acts to increase HDL cholesterol (the good kind), and reduces LDL cholesterol (the bad kind)
  • Relief for stomach gas, prevention of flatulence and an overall digestive aid
  • Wards off urinary tract infections
  • Helps reduce feelings of nausea
  • Eases hormonal mood swings associated with menstruation
  • Has been shown to reduce menstrual cramping.
  • Adds fiber to the digestive tract
  • A source of iron and magnesium
  • Gives relief for diarrhea, especially if caused by microbial or fungal infections
  • Helps promote healthy liver function.
  • Reduces minor swelling
  • Strong general anti-oxidant properties
  • Disinfects and helps detoxify the body
  • Helps with insulin secretion and lowers blood sugar
  • Contains immune-boosting properties

Pretty impressive, huh?  Good thing I like cilantro!

Health benefits of other herbs

Basil:  strong antioxidant that can prevent premature aging, age related problems and even cancer, anti-bacterial properties, contains flavonoids that protect cell structures as well as chromosomes from radiation and oxygen-based damaged,  anti-inflammatory effects, rich source of Beta-carotene, good source of magnesium, very good source of iron, calcium, potassium and vitamin C and K, good source of dietary fibers.

Rosemary: blocks estrogen, rosemary helps prevent breast cancer, helps minimize the effects of aging on your skin, disarms harmful toxins and flushes them from your body, helps combat the effects of water retention.

We know that herbs are a great way to add flavor to foods without adding fat or sodium.  Now we can add a whole list of health benefits to the reason to love fresh herbs.  I think I’m going to go have a caprese salad for dessert!

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