Coriander seeds contain many plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have been 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 an 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 lack in vitamin C, coriander seeds contain an ample amount of this anti-oxidant vitamin. 100 g of dry seeds provide 21 mg or 35% of RDI of vitamin-C.
Furthermore, the seeds are the storehouse of many vital B-complex vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, and niacin.
Along with dill, and fennel, coriander seeds are being used as a carminative and digestive agent in various gripe water preparations.
The seeds are chewed as a remedy for halitosis (unpleasant breath).
In smaller doses, coriander seeds have been found to have no adverse effects on health. They can be safely used by pregnant as well as nursing mothers.
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