Coriander seeds nutrition facts
Are you caught with gripping stomach pain? Having few sips of coriander seeds along with dill, caraway, fennel, and aniseed from your granny's kitchen is perhaps the most effective carminative remedy for this ailment.
Coriander is tender hollow stemmed plant in the apiaceae family, of the genus coriandum. Its scientific name is Coriandum sativum. Pleasantly aromatic and spicy, the seeds have been in use since ancient times in cooking as well as in various traditional medicines.
Coriander is native to Southeastern Europe and grown extensively all over Europe, Middle East, China, India, and Turkey. It is recognized as cilantro in the west. This herbaceous plant grows up to 2 feet in height with branching stems, featuring deep green soft, hairless, bi or tri-lobed leaves. The mature plant bears small light pink color flowers that subsequently turn in to globular or oval shaped fruits (seeds). The seeds are oval, measure about 4-6 mm in diameter with central hollow cavity containing two vertical vittae containing some important essential oils.
The seeds are ready for harvest when the plants turn brown, leaves begin to dry and fall. Immature seeds are light green in color and taste bitter. To harvest, the crop is cut, tied in small bundles, and dried under the sunlight for several days. To separate the seeds, either the bundles beaten with stick or a lightweight roller used to wear off the pods.
Health benefits of coriander seeds
Coriander seeds contain many plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing, and health promoting properties.
The characteristic aromatic flavor of coriander seeds comes from the many fatty acids and essential volatile oils. Some important fatty acids in the dried seeds include petroselinic acid, linoleic acid (omega-6), oleic acid, and palmitic acid. In addition, the seeds contain essential oils such as linalool (68%), a-pinene (10%), geraniol, camphene, terpine etc. Together, these active principles are responsible for digestive, carminative, and anti-flatulent properties of the seeds.
As in other spices, coriander is also rich in of dietary fiber. 100 g seeds provide 41.9 g of fiber. Much of this fiber is metabolically inert insoluble fiber, which helps increase bulk of the food by absorbing water throughout the digestive system and help easing constipation condition.
In addition, dietary fibers bind to bile salts (produced from cholesterol) and decrease their re-absorption in colon, thus help lower serum LDL cholesterol levels. Together with flavonoid anti-oxidants, fiber composition of coriander helps protect the colon mucus membrane from cancers.
The seeds are excellent source of minerals like iron, copper, calcium, potassium, manganese, zinc and magnesium. Copper is required in the production of red blood cells. Iron is essential for cell metabolism and red blood cell formation. Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps controlling heart rate and blood pressure. Manganese is used by the body as a co-factor for the powerful anti-oxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Unlike other dry spice seeds that are lack in vitamin C, coriander seeds contain ample amount of this anti-oxidant vitamin. 100 g of dry seeds provide 21 mg or 35% of RDI of this vitamin.
Furthermore, the seeds indeed are storehouse for many vital B-complex vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
|Principle||Nutrient Value||Percentage of RDA|
|Total Fat||17.77 g||60%|
|Dietary Fiber||41.9 g||110%|
|Vitamin A||0 IU||0%|
|Vitamin C||21 mg||35%|
Selection and storage
Coriander seeds as well as its oil are readily available in the markets year around. The seeds used as spice. Good quality coriander seeds should release pleasant, slightly peppery flavor when squeezed between index and thumb fingers. In the store, buy whole seeds instead of powder since, oftentimes it may contain adulterated spicy powders.
The seeds should be stored in cool, dry, dark place, in airtight containers. This way they keep well for many months and can be milled using hand mill whenever required. Ground or powdered coriander should be stored in airtight containers and placed in the refrigerator. Use this spicy powder as early as possible since it loses its flavor rather quickly due to evaporation of essential oils.
Dried coriander seeds are one of the common spice ingredients used worldwide. In general, completely dried seeds are gently roasted under low flame in a pan before ground in order to get fine powder. Roasting enhances release of special aromatic essential oils in the seeds.
Here are some serving methods:
The whole coriander seeds are used as flavoring agent in confectionary, stews, sausages, sweet breads, and cakes.
Coriander leaves as well as seeds is used as an aromatic spice in Chinese, Indian, Pakistani, Middle-eastern and European cooking.
Russian dark rye bread, "Borodinsky bread" uses coriander seeds.
In India, ground powder is a common household spice powder that is used in pickling, chutneys, stews, curries, marinades as well as in sausages.
In some parts, the seeds are used to flavor gin and liqueurs.
Along with dill, and fennel, coriander seeds are being used as carminative and digestive agent in various gripe water preparations.
The seeds are chewed as a remedy for halitosis (unpleasant breath)
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