There’s nothing that can brighten up a dish quite like the right spice, and cultures all over the world have decided that coriander is the one. The seeds of the plant are used in everything from pastries to curries, and its leaves are just as popular. There’s more to this plant than its flexibility, though.Coriander, also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley, is a widely used spice native to the Mediterranean. Coriander plants are entirely edible, but their leaves and their seeds are most commonly used as herbs and spices. In the US, the seeds of the plant are typically known as coriander and the leaves are called cilantro. In both forms, the plant provides some impressive health benefits.

Health Benefits

The vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in coriander provide significant health benefits. Coriander leaves and seeds are full of vitamin K, which plays an important role in helping your blood clot.

Vitamin K also helps your bones repair themselves, helping prevent problems like osteoporosis. Additionally, evidence points to vitamin K helping lower your risk of heart disease.

Coriander leaves and seeds can also provide health benefits like:Fewer Free RadicalsCoriander is full of antioxidants, which are important for fighting free radicals in your body. Free radicals are loose oxygen molecules that can damage your cells, potentially causing cancer, heart disease, and more. The antioxidants in coriander help remove free radicals from your body, reducing your risk of certain cancers and even decreasing signs of aging.

Lowered Risk of Heart Disease

Coriander has multiple effects that can benefit your heart health. The herb acts as a diuretic, which can help flush extra sodium from your system and reduce your blood pressure. Early research also suggests that coriander can help lower “bad” LDL cholesterol, reducing your risk of atherosclerosis, a form of coronary heart disease.

Reduced Inflammation

Coriander shows promise in helping to reduce inflammation in the body. Inflammation is linked to several uncomfortable conditions, from cancer to heart disease. The antioxidants in coriander have been linked to reduced inflammation and slowed growth of cancer cells in the lab.

Reduced Blood Sugar LevelsCoriander seeds have been shown to significantly lower blood sugar in people who have diabetes. Current trials show that coriander helps activate the enzymes that help your body process blood glucose effectively. While more studies need to be done, people with high blood sugar may benefit from adding more coriander to their diet.