Coriander powder is made from the seeds of the coriander plant, which is scientifically known as Coriandrum sativum. This aromatic spice has been used for thousands of years in cooking and traditional medicine. While coriander leaves or cilantro are primarily used as a fresh herb, the seeds are dried and ground into a fine powder to be used as a versatile spice.
Coriander powder has a warm, citrusy, and slightly nutty flavor that makes it a staple in many cuisines around the world. It's an essential ingredient in popular spice blends like garam masala, curry powder, and tandoori masala. But beyond just adding flavor to food, coriander powder has a wealth of potential health benefits that make it a valuable addition to your diet and wellness routine.
Read on to explore all the ways that incorporating coriander powder into your food or using it as a supplement can boost your overall health and wellbeing.
An Abundant Source of Antioxidants
One of the standout qualities of coriander powder is that it's brimming with antioxidants. These are compounds that help protect your body from oxidative stress caused by free radicals.
Research shows that coriander powder contains high levels of antioxidants like quercetin, kaempferol, rutin, and catechin. These antioxidants exhibit strong anti-inflammatory effects in the body and have been linked to anticancer activity in studies.
The abundance of antioxidants also makes coriander powder an effective remedy for chronic inflammatory conditions like arthritis. By reducing inflammation and swelling, it can help relieve joint pain and improve mobility.
Regular consumption of antioxidants from spices like coriander powder can also protect your cells from everyday damage. This may help slow aging and lower your risk of many age-related diseases over the long term.
Key Takeaway: The antioxidants in coriander powder can help reduce inflammation and lower your risk of chronic diseases like cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Promotes Heart Health in Various Ways
From regulating blood pressure to improving cholesterol levels, coriander powder can support heart health in a number of ways.
First, it has natural diuretic properties that help your body flush out excess sodium and water. This effect helps reduce blood pressure, which is a major risk factor for heart attacks and stroke.
Coriander powder also contains compounds that may help manage cholesterol levels. Research indicates it can lower LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol. Maintaining optimal cholesterol levels reduces your chances of dangerous plaque buildup in your arteries.
Additionally, the antioxidants in coriander powder protect your heart by reducing oxidative damage and preventing inflammation in your cardiovascular system. The anti-inflammatory effects also help prevent atherosclerosis, which is the hardening of your arteries due to fat and cholesterol accumulation.
Assists With Regulating Blood Sugar
For people with high blood sugar or diabetes, coriander powder can help maintain healthy glucose levels.
Coriander seeds contain compounds like cineole, borneol, and linalool that appear to stimulate the secretion of insulin in your pancreas. This results in increased insulin in your blood, which facilitates the transport of blood sugar into your cells to be used as energy.
Multiple studies have shown the blood sugar lowering effects of coriander seeds and extracts in diabetic animal models. While human research is still limited, the current evidence suggests coriander can aid glycemic control and thus may be useful for managing diabetes.
Always consult your doctor before using coriander powder supplements or increasing consumption if you have diabetes. Monitor your blood sugar carefully, as it can potentially enhance the effects of glucose-lowering medications.
Aids Digestion and Relieves Stomach Issues
Traditionally, coriander powder has been used to treat a wide range of digestive complaints. Its ability to promote healthy digestion comes from its content of antioxidants, minerals, and antibacterial compounds.
The minerals like magnesium and sodium in coriander powder help stimulate the production of digestive enzymes and gastric juices. This improves the breakdown of food and nutrient absorption.
Coriander also contains antioxidants like quercetin that prevent oxidative damage in your digestive tract. Its antibacterial properties help eliminate harmful pathogens that can cause stomach infections.
Together, these effects make coriander powder an exceptional digestive aid. Research indicates it can help relieve discomfort from issues like bloating, gas, stomach pain, and indigestion. Some studies also found it useful for treating diarrhea.
Adding just a small amount of coriander powder to your meals can keep your digestive system healthy and free of problems.
Helps Lower the Risk of Urinary Tract Infections
Urinary tract infections (UTIs) are often caused by E. coli or other bacteria creeping into the urinary system. Coriander powder can help prevent these painful infections thanks to its antibacterial properties.
Compounds in coriander seeds, especially linalool, possess potent antibacterial effects. Research has shown these substances are particularly adept at fighting E. coli and other microbes that instigate UTIs.
Coriander also has diuretic properties that increase urine flow. This helps flush out any bacteria from your urinary tract before they can multiply and cause infection.
Studies confirm that coriander extracts can inhibit the growth of UTI-causing pathogens. So, consuming more coriander powder may be an easy way to avoid the unpleasant effects of UTIs without resorting to antibiotics.
Nutrient Profile of Coriander Powder
Coriander powder is low in calories but packed with an array of important vitamins, minerals, and other beneficial plant compounds. Here is an overview of the main nutrients found in 1 tablespoon (8 grams) of coriander powder:
- Vitamin K: 17% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Dietary fiber: 12% of the DV
- Vitamin C: 5% of the DV
- Iron: 5% of the DV
- Calcium: 3% of the DV
- Potassium: 3% of the DV
- Magnesium: 3% of the DV
Coriander powder also provides small amounts of B vitamins, phosphorus, zinc, manganese, and copper.
These nutrients contribute to the many health effects of coriander powder, from regulating blood sugar to supporting bone health. Vitamin C, vitamin K, and iron are particularly important for immune function and prevention of nutrient deficiencies.
Has Anti-Inflammatory and Pain-Relieving Effects
The antioxidants and volatile oils in coriander powder provide it with anti-inflammatory and pain-relieving properties. Research suggests it can help reduce swelling, joint pain, and discomfort associated with inflammatory conditions.
A study in rats with arthritis found that coriander seed extract significantly decreased paw swelling. It also lowered inflammatory markers like nitric oxide and cytokines. Researchers noted that the effects were comparable to those of standard anti-inflammatory drugs.
The analagesic effects of coriander have also been demonstrated in studies using lab mice. Coriander powder extracts exhibited pain-relieving activity against chemically induced pain.
So if you suffer from frequent swelling, joint pain, or chronic inflammatory issues like arthritis, adding more coriander powder to your diet could help provide some natural relief without medications.
May Help Support Brain Health
Emerging research indicates that coriander powder may have neuroprotective effects that support overall brain health.
The antioxidants in coriander, especially quercetin, have been shown to protect neurons (brain cells) from oxidative damage in animal studies. Coriander also appears to help prevent the buildup of dangerous plaque in the brain.
Additionally, early studies suggest coriander powder may even help improve memory and cognitive function. More studies are still needed, but these neuroprotective effects make coriander powder a potential benefit for aging brains.
How to Add More Coriander Powder to Your Diet
Coriander powder is one of the most versatile spices in the kitchen. Here are some easy ways to incorporate it into your cooking:
- Add it to meat rubs, marinades, and seasonings for extra flavor. It pairs especially well with chicken, fish, and lamb.
- Mix it into dips and sauces like hummus, raita, salsa, and chutneys.
- Sprinkle it on roasted, sauteed, or grilled vegetables.
- Use it in curry powder blends, garam masala, and other spice mixes.
- Add it to lentils, beans, dals, and curries for an aromatic touch.
- Put a pinch in bread doughs, biscuits, cookies, and cakes.
- Whisk it into salad dressings.
- Make coriander tea by steeping 1 tsp powder in hot water for 5-10 minutes.
The options are endless when cooking with this classic spice! Consume coriander powder daily to take advantage of its many potential benefits.
Potential Side Effects and Precautions
For most people, coriander powder is very safe with minimal risks. However, some things to keep in mind:
- In high doses, it may lower blood sugar too much. Those on diabetes medication should monitor levels closely.
- Allergic reactions are possible but rare. Discontinue use if any irritation develops.
- Coriander can make skin more sensitive to UV light. Wear sunscreen if spending extended time outdoors.
- Pregnant women should exercise caution and consult their doctor before regularly consuming.
- Coriander powder may enhance the effects of sedative medications.
As with any supplement, it's ideal to start with small doses to assess your tolerance. Speak with your healthcare provider before using coriander powder medicinally.
Is coriander powder good for weight loss?
Some research indicates coriander powder can support weight loss in a few ways. Its fiber keeps you feeling full longer while the antioxidants may boost metabolism. Coriander also enhances digestion and nutrient absorption. However, evidence is limited and more studies are needed.
What's the difference between coriander and cumin?
Coriander comes from the seeds of the coriander plant, which are typically dried and ground into powder. Cumin comes from the seeds of the cumin plant and has a more intense, earthy flavor. While they are two different spices, coriander and cumin are commonly used together in spice blends.
Does coriander powder expire or go bad?
Properly stored, coriander powder lasts up to 1-2 years before losing its potency or flavor. Keep it in an airtight container in a cool, dry place away from light. Signs it has expired include dull color, faded aroma, and bitter taste.
Can you use coriander powder on your skin?
Yes, coriander powder has antioxidant properties that can benefit your skin when applied topically. Mix it with yogurt or lemon juice to make a nourishing face mask. You can also add it to DIY body scrubs. Always do a patch test before applying to your skin to check for allergic reactions.
What dishes use a lot of coriander powder?
Popular dishes that feature coriander powder include curries, chili, tacos, fajitas, garam masala, chicken tikka masala, lentil soups and dals, marinades for grilled meats, and spiced roasted vegetables. It's used in a wide range of both sweet and savory recipes.
Coriander powder is so much more than an everyday seasoning. This flavorful spice can have remarkable impacts on your overall health.
From supplying antioxidants to regulating blood sugar, the diverse bioactive compounds in coriander powder make it a valuable addition to any diet. Taking advantage of its medicinal properties is as simple as sprinkling it onto more of your foods or brewing healing coriander tea.
Spice up your meals and your wellbeing by incorporating coriander powder daily. With benefits ranging from heart health to digestion, this aromatic spice packs a big nutritional punch in a small package.