Coriander seeds contain many plant-derived chemical compounds that are known to have been antioxidant, disease-preventing and have health promoting properties.
The characteristic aromatic flavor of coriander seeds comes from the numerous 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 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 antioxidants, 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 Iron is essential for cell metabolism and red blood cell formation. Zinc is a cofactor 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 cofactor for the powerful antioxidant enzyme, superoxide dismutase.
Unlike other dry spice seeds that lack in vitamin C, coriander seeds contain an ample amount of this antioxidant 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.
The seeds are chewed as a remedy for halitosis (unpleasant breath).