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Nutritious & Delicious Cilantro

Cilantro has been used for centuries across continents and is popular in Latin American, Middle Eastern, and Asian cuisine. This "super herb" contains many hidden wonders. Aside from the amazing aroma and taste, cilantro (also called coriander) can be used as an appetite stimulant, a digestive aid, and to relieve nausea and bloating. The antioxidant power of cilantro may also help lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.

Cilantro contains vitamin C, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium similar to other dark leafy greens. It's also the herb richest in vitamins A and K as well, providing one-third the vitamin A and three times the vitamin K as carrots. The leaves of the plant contain antibacterial properties that can delay the spoiling of foods and fight against salmonella.

Some people may dislike the taste of the herb and claim to smell or taste a soapiness when it is eaten. Luckily there are ways to become accustomed to the taste of cilantro by associating it with more delectable foods or by crushing the leaves prior to use to release the scent.

To choose and store cilantro correctly, find a bunch with no wilted leaves that are a medium green color. Use to taste or per recipe and store in the refrigerator with the ends cut and the entire plant slightly damp in a plastic bag for up to a week. Cilantro is a great addition to Mexican cuisine, salsa, chicken recipes, fish, rice, salads, and so much more. If you are looking for that little addition to bring out something more, reach for cilantro!

This article was submitted by Lauren Parsly, R.D., CDN, Clinical Nutritionist at NYP/Columbia




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