Coriander and Cilantro: A Nutritional Prospective

My friend Leslie is the one who told me that coriander and cilantro come from the same plant, Coriandrum sativum.  I had no idea, so I decided to research this, especially to see how they differ nutritionally. Cilantro is the green leafy part and the coriander is the seed. Cilantro is the spanish word for coriander (1).  They taste very different and are used in different cuisines. Interestingly enough, some people have a genetic predisposition that makes them despise cilantro, claiming it has a very soapy taste. According to one study, Eastern Asians have the highest incidence of this genetic trait (3,1). Cilantro is fresh and citrusy and is commonly used in Mexican, Thai, and Chinese food, while coriander seeds are spicy, nutty and lemony and mainly used in Indian dishes. Cilantro is often added to soups, salsa, and guacamole, while coriander seeds add flavor to curries, stews, and meat seasonings. They are not often substitutes for one another in cooking.

Nutritionally speaking, because cilantro is leafy, it is higher in vitamins and coriander higher in minerals due to differences in water content. Cilantro leaf is an antioxidant and contains the bioflavonoid quercetin as well as various other phenolics.  It also contains the minerals potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and manganese and vitamins C, A, K, the B’s, and folic acid (2).  Medicinally it can cause side effects such as rashes, swelling and photosensitivity in some people (3).  Coriander seeds are high in various minerals such as manganese, magnesium, copper, and phosphorus. Coriander seeds can help with cardiovascular disease, namely blood pressure.  Both the leaf and seed may help reduce inflammation because of their anti-oxidative nature, as well as help lower blood sugar which can contribute to Type II diabetes, and fight infection due to its antimicrobial properties (1).  More research needs to be done in vivo.

When purchasing coriander, buy the whole seeds which are more flavorful than ground.  Cilantro, should look green and healthy with no spots or discolorations. I keep dried cilantro in the pantry as well as coriander seed and frozen cilantro in the freezer as a back up when I don’t have fresh.  Dried cilantro has a much milder taste.  With fresh cilantro, cut off stems and place in water in the refrigerator and change water frequently.

Although I infrequently use coriander seeds, I love the pungent flavor and freshness of cilantro and it reminds me of summer, when my daughter makes the family homemade salsa from our garden and guacamole al fresco.

  1. Raman, Ryan. Cilantro vs Coriander: What’s the Difference? 2018. Healthline 22 February 2018. <

2. Rudrappa, Umesh. Cilantro (Coriander leaves) nutrition facts. 2018. Nutrition And     <>

3. Mercola, Joseph. Cilantro: Why You Should Choose This Unique, Pungent Herb.  <

The Slick Truth About Cooking Oils

When cooking with oils, there are a few important things to consider.

  1. What are you using the oil for: frying, sautéing, or drizzling on food? Also, from a culinary standpoint, what flavors are you looking to enhance your food? For example, when I cook Asian cuisine I like to use sesame seed oil. I love the flavor of truffle oil,  so I like to drizzle it on potatoes after they have been cooked or potato chips.
  2. It is important to buy a healthy oil, so look for one high in nutrients and antioxidants and that has a good balance of omega-3’s and 6’s and even some incorporation of omega-9’s.
  3. Avoid buying GMO oil.  Assume that canola, soybean, and corn oils are genetically modified unless they say NonGMO or organic.
  4. Different oils need to be used at different cooking temperatures. If you heat oils past their smoke point, then you are oxidizing the oil and releasing free radicals that can be carcinogenic.  This also, will deplete their nutrients.
  5. All oils can go rancid if exposed to light, heat, and air, therefore it is important to store your oils in a dark and cool environment.  If an oil goes rancid you can typically smell and taste it. Reused oils go rancid quickly, and I recommend throwing them out.  Rancid oils can release free radicals, called oxidative rancidity, and adversely affect your health.

My list of Oils with their Associated Smoke Point

For frying, searing meat and woking – *avocado oil (520), ghee (485), which is a fat, not an oil, look for organic or grass fed, light sesame oil (410),  sunflower oil (460)

For sautéing – unrefined sesame oil (350), butter (350), which is a fat, not an oil, look for organic or grass fed, *grapeseed (420), virgin olive oil (420), olive oil (350) coconut oil (350)

For drizzling or salad dressing – flaxseed (225) or *extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) (320)

For baking – coconut oil (350) and *organic canola oil (400)

* The oils I personally use the most in each category.

Genetically Engineered Food- Is it Safe?

Here’s the scoop about GMO’s.  GMO stands for genetically engineered organism.  Are they safe?  The verdict is still out. In rat studies, massive tumors were exhibited at age 13 months old in rats that were fed a small portion of their diet (11% being Genetically modified). In humans this study equates to tumors showing up […]

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My Tips for Traveling with Low Back Pain

Let’s face it, it’s hard to drive long distances with back pain.  The ideal situation would be to get out of the car every 20-30 minutes to stand, move around, or stretch, but that’s not too practical, especially traveling long distances.  Here’s my tricks to try to bring relief to the low back pain sufferer. […]

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My Protocol for Getting Rid of Poison Ivy Naturally and Quickly

Since my daughter was little, she has been extremely allergic to poison ivy.  I’ve had to come up with a method that was both safe and natural to get rid of it quickly.  Poison ivy can be contracted from direct contact with the plant or also from contaminated clothes, garden tools, and even pets. 1) […]

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Lamb Meatballs

Marc and I made these delicious lamb meatballs last night using Sabra’s hummus and tzatziki sauce.  Here’s our recipe. Enjoy with cut up veggies with hummus and roasted asparagus. Ingredients -1 lb of ground lamb (we bought lamb shoulder and trimmed and ground it ourselves with one onion) -2 oz of Sabra classic hummus -1/2 […]

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Natural Remedies for the Common Cold

This past fall I had the honor of teaching at Western Connecticut State University and I wrote and taught a class never been offered before on food as medicine, supplements, herbs and homeopathy.  I taught each section individually and then at the end of the semester, as a class, we used all of what we […]

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Stress and the Effect on One’s Health

   The key to optimal health is the avoidance of stress (see types of stress below) and the implementation of healthy habits.  One of the most important jobs I have as a chiropractor is to help people discover their sources of stress and eliminate them or help improve them.  I also, teach people healthy habits […]

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The King of Antioxidants – Chocolate

    Oh thank God for chocolate or I should really say raw cacao!  There about 40 different health benefits of chocolate.  Number one in my book, is that it is nature’s most powerful antioxidant.  It is much higher in antioxidants than red wine, blueberries, green tea, gogi berries and acai.  Let me define some parts […]

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Just Say NO to Sugar

   Sugar is getting some bad press recently.  It’s consumption has been linked to obesity, diabetes, heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and cancer. Sugar raises triglyceride levels, promotes cavities, lowers your immune system, feeds bacteria, yeast, and some cancers.  Simply put, sugar is devastating to your health.  According to Dr. Mercola, sugar is more addictive than cocaine, […]

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