Cilantro: Love It or Hate It?

cilantro

This weekend I was helping teach a cooking class for a local organization that encourages people to grow, buy, and cook real whole foods to prevent chronic illness. One of the ingredients we were using in the salsa and guacamole we were making was cilantro. It turns out that cilantro is one of those foods that people either love or hate.

We had one person who really despised cilantro (just like my mother) and one with a sensitivity to cilantro, so we also made a small batch of cilantro-free guacamole. I, on the other hand, love it. I love the way it smells and I often mix it with my salad greens. I don’t even bother to chop it before putting it in my salad, I just toss in the whole thing. Yum!

Cilantro (and parsley) contains many cancer-fighting antioxidants as well as antibacterial and antifungal properties.¹ It is also believed to help the body detoxify, aid in digestion, and help stabilize blood sugar levels.

It’s best to consume cilantro fresh, as cooking it destroys its flavor and its essential oils which contain all of the beneficial properties I mentioned above.

Here are some tips to use cilantro:

  1. Toss in your salad, like I mentioned previously. It’s so easy.
  2. Chop and sprinkle it on your finished dishes to add color and a little boost in flavor. It’s the perfect edible garnish.
  3. Try it chopped and mixed into your favorite dips and sauces. It’s great in rice, salsa, and guacamole.
  4. If you’re into juicing, add it to your juicer to add a little extra flavor and nutrients to your juice.
  5. It is a mild laxative, so keep that in mind before you go adding it to all of your dishes. ;)

Lastly, I would like to note that if you have a history of food allergies, you may take it easy and only introduce cilantro in small amounts to make sure you don’t have any adverse reactions. As you may know, anyone can be allergic to any food and I have come across a few people who have stated that they have an allergy or sensitivity to it.

Interestingly, the strong aversion to cilantro may have a genetic component. Research has shown that the dislike for cilantro varies between ethnic groups and may be associated with certain specific gene variants.²,³

So what’s your opinion on cilantro? Do you love it or hate it? Let me know what you think in the comments below.

References

  1. Wong, P., and D. Kitts. “Studies on the Dual Antioxidant and Antibacterial Properties of Parsley (Petroselinum Crispum) and Cilantro (Coriandrum Sativum) Extracts.” Food Chemistry 97.3 (2006): 505-15. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.
  2. Bold, Cambria. “New Research Says Soapy Coriander Taste Is Linked To Genetic Receptors – Food News.” The Kitchn. The Kitchn, 24 Sept. 2012. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.
  3. Mauer, Lilli, and Ahmed El-Sohemy. “Prevalence of Cilantro (Coriandrum Sativum) Disliking among Different Ethnocultural Groups.” Flavour 1.1 (2012): 8. Web. 25 Apr. 2016.
About Tiffany deSilva

Hi I'm Tiffany deSilva, MSW, CPC, CHC, Founder of BrightFire Living, LLC. I am a social worker, speaker, author, certified health, wellness and lifestyle coach, certified green living coach and toxic-free consultant. I am passionate about helping women like you to detox each area of your life, safeguard your family's health, and live life fully charged and completely lit up! I am on a mission to empower women and families who are managing food allergies, autoimmune disorders, and other modern chronic health conditions to live a safe, happy, and healthy life that truly lights your fire!

Feedback & Comments:

  1. Interesting topic Tiffany, I’m definitely a fan and add it to so much of my cooking have never tried it though in a salad will do so next time. Thanks for the tip. :)

  2. My husband and I love cilantro, especially in guacamole, but my Dad truly hates it. To him, it tastes just like soap!

    • Tiffany deSilva says:

      I’ve always thought it was interesting that people who don’t like it think it tastes like soap! Ironically, I ate some last night and I thought it does taste a little like soap! I’ve never thought that before.:)

  3. This is so funny because I was just speaking to someone about this last week. I actually know two people who can’t stand cilantro. Really fascinating to understand what is behind it.

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