The health benefits of cilantro include its being high in antioxidants, such as vitamin C and especially vitamin A. Antioxidants are chemicals that protect against the cell damage caused by free radical molecules. Cilantro also supports digestion and the health of the urinary tract.
The plant, used for centuries as an herb and medicinal, also fights fungi and bacteria. It is especially effective in defeating the salmonella bacteria, which is responsible for sometimes fatal cases of food poisoning. At least one study also indicates that cilantro removes mercury from ground water.
Cilantro is also high in vitamin K, which is essential to normal blood clotting and also helps build bone mass. Cilantro helps in the treatment of Alzheimer's disease. Animal studies show that cilantro also lowers blood sugar and stimulates the production of insulin, which may help in treating diabetes in humans. Cilantro has a low glycemic index, which means it does not significantly raise blood glucose levels.
Cilantro is also a good source of potassium, which regulates blood pressure. It is also fairly high in calcium, which is necessary for the health of bones and teeth. Finally, cilantro also has an abundance of phytonutrients which also act as antioxidants; these include quercetin, apigenin and kaempferol.