Cilantro Health Benefits: Prevents UTIs, Reduces Anxiety And More

Cilantro may not be appealing to some due to its unpleasant aftertaste, but it is actually rich in micronutrients, medicinal compounds and antioxidants that reduce anxiety, regulate cholesterol and blood sugar levels and prevent cancer, among others.

What Is Cilantro?

Cilantro is a herb that looks like parsley but has a different smell than the latter. It is usually used as a garnish to boost food flavors. Interestingly, it also offers several health benefits, particularly leaning toward healing recurring health conditions and preventing certain diseases. Check out all of them below:

Reduces Anxiety

Cilantro calms the nerves and improves sleep quality. Its sedative properties were proven in a study published in the Indian Journal of Pharmacology where high levels of cilantro extract were found to have anti-anxiety effects similar to those of valium. The drug, however, has adverse side effects such as hallucinations, risk-taking behavior, confusion, aggression, agitation, muscle weakness and memory problems. Cilantro extract, on the other hand, was found to relieve anxiety and improve sleep without causing the aforesaid side effects.

Lowers Blood Sugar

A study published in the Journal of Food Sciences found that cilantro reduces blood sugar levels in animals. In the study, these animals were diagnosed with diabetes and were administered with cilantro. The results showed that their liver functions improved and that the herb balanced their blood sugar levels. The researchers then claimed that chopping the stems and leaves of cilantro and consuming them through salads and smoothies regulate blood sugar levels and promote better overall health.

Prevents Oxidative Stress

Oxidative stress causes cancer, heart diseases, Alzheimer’s disease, macular degeneration and degenerative diseases, among other health conditions. A study published in the US National Library of Medicine found that antioxidant properties of cilantro such as the flavonoid quercetin protect against free radical damage, which is caused by oxidative stress.

Promotes Better Heart Health

An animal study confirmed that cilantro regulates cholesterol and triglyceride levels, thereby reducing the risk of heart disease. Another research published in the Food and Chemical Toxicology also confirmed that the herb’s polyphenols and natural cardioprotective nutrients prevent oxidative damage, which is linked to heart disease.

Protects Against Food Poisoning and UTIs

A study published in the International Journal of Food Microbiology found that cilantro also protects from infections and gets rid of toxins in the body. The antibacterial properties abolish harmful organisms from the food we eat and water we drink, thus preventing food poisoning.

Meanwhile, bacterial growth, sexual activity, diabetes and poor hygiene cause urinary tract infections (UTIs). The antibacterial compounds found in cilantro block unhealthy bacteria from entering the body, so it is said to prevent UTIs and or relieve its symptoms.

Salad Cilantro on top of a chopping board David Schwarzenberg/Pixabay