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Cilantro herb contains no cholesterol; however, it is rich in antioxidants, essential oils, vitamins, and dietary fiber, which help reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol” while increasing HDL or “good cholesterol” levels.
Its leaves and seeds contain many essential volatile oils such as borneol, linalool, cineole, cymene, terpineol, dipentene, phellandrene, pinene and terpinolene.
The leaves and stem tips are also rich in numerous anti-oxidant polyphenolic flavonoids such as quercetin, kaempferol, rhamnetin and epigenin.
The herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is essential for red blood cell production. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
It is also rich in many vital vitamins, including folic-acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, beta carotene, vitamin-C that is essential for optimum health. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant. 100 g of cilantro leaves provide 30% of daily recommended levels of vitamin-C.
It provides 6748 IU of vitamin-A per 100 g, about 225% of recommended daily intake. Vitamin-A, an important fat soluble vitamin and anti-oxidant, is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin-A and flavonoids (carotenes) helps body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
Cilantro is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K; provide about 258% of DRI. Vitamin-K has a potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer’s disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.