From garnishing hearty veggie chillis to being ground down and added to spicy curries, coriander is definitely a go-to herb to have in your kitchen! But what do you know about this popular plant’s nutritional benefits?
First things first, what is coriander?
You’ll have almost certainly eaten or come across coriander at some point. The green, leafy herb is grown worldwide and used in various cuisines, from Indian to Mexican.1
Known as cilantro in some countries, coriander is part of the Apiaceae family and closely related to parsley, carrots, and celery. It’s typically the leaves of the plant we eat; however, the seeds are also cultivated, dried, and ground down.
Coriander has a unique taste which is quite peppery and fragrant. It’s quite similar to parsley, but with a more citrusy flavour. Interestingly, one in five people finds coriander tastes soapy.2 For this reason, make sure you try a leaf before you add a whole handful into your food!
Coriander health benefits
As well as adding a little extra flavour to dishes, coriander has a few major nutritional perks. Among coriander’s nutrition profile includes the fact it is:
Rich with antioxidants
Coriander is thought to contain various antioxidants, including terpinene and quercetin. These are compounds which help the body fight off free radicals that can cause cell damage.3
Can act as an anti-microbial
Coriander is thought to contain anti-microbial properties which can fight off certain food-related bacteria.4 Because of this, oil made using coriander could also be an effective natural preservative for many foods.5
How to include more coriander in your diet
Coriander is one of the most versatile herbs out there! You can either buy it ground or purchase it as leaves still on the stalk. After some coriander recipe inspiration? Here are a few ways to use it:
- Blend up boiled carrots with vegetable stock and a handful of fresh coriander for a deliciously warming soup
- Toss a few leaves into a salad to give it a little spice
- Add a pinch of ground coriander to any curry or soup
- Throw a handful of freshly chopped coriander leaves on top of chilli, on Mexican-inspired bean stews, or in fajitas
- Make sweetcorn and coriander fritters
- Whip up a tasty pilau rice dish and add some chopped up coriander leaves
- Use it to create pesto in place of basil leaves
Last updated: 8 April 2021