According to Nutrition and You, cilantro has many health benefits including:
- Cilantro herb contains no cholesterol; but is rich in anti-oxidants and dietary fiber which help reduce LDL or "bad cholesterol" while increasing HDL or "good cholesterol" levels.
- The leaves and seeds contain many essential volatile oils.
- The herb is a good source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, and magnesium. Potassium in an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure. Iron is essential for red blood cell production. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase.
- It is also rich in many vital vitamins including folic-acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, beta carotene, vitamin-C that are essential for optimum health. Vitamin-C is a powerful natural antioxidant. Cilantro leaves provides 30% of daily recommended levels of vitamin-C.
- It provides 6748 IU of vitamin-A per 100 g, about 225% of recommended daily intake. Vitamin-A, an important fat soluble vitamin and anti-oxidant, is also required for maintaining healthy mucus membranes and skin and is also essential for vision. Consumption of natural foods rich in vitamin-A and flavonoids (carotenes) helps body protect from lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Cilantro is one of the richest herbal sources for vitamin K. Vitamin-K has potential role in bone mass building by promoting osteotrophic activity in the bones. It also has established role in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease patients by limiting neuronal damage in their brain.
- The coriander seeds oil have found application in many traditional medicines as analgesic, aphrodisiac, anti-spasmodic, deodorant, digestive, carminative, fungicidal, lipolytic (weight loss), stimulant and stomachic.
Ok, I'm done with the history lesson on cilantro now! :) But really, this dish was delicious and extremely light and flavorful.
4 Chicken Thighs, skin removed
2 tbsp. Canola Oil
1 c. White Wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
3 tbsp. Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1 Lime, zest and juice
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 c. Low-Sodium Chicken Broth
2 tbsp. Cornstarch + 2 tbsp. Cold Water, to thicken sauce
Heat a Dutch oven or large saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Add the chicken and lightly brown on both sides (approx. 15 minutes). Add the wine, cilantro, lime zest and juice, garlic powder and chicken broth. Bring to a boil, cover, reduce heat then let simmer for 45-50 minutes. Remove the chicken and set aside. Thicken the sauce with the cornstarch and water then add back in the chicken and simmer for another 5 minutes. Garnish with parsley. Serves 4.