Bunch of cilantro.

Is Your Cinco de Mayo Dinner Helping You Live Longer?

Cinco de Mayo is one of America's favorite adopted holidays. We love to indulge in margaritas, guacamole, tacos and everything else the day has to offer. But did you know that your favorite Mexican foods contain an ingredient that has super powers? No, it's not one of the usual suspects like avocado, garlic and tomato that have been getting attention for years. I'm talking about a serious herb that has never gotten the respect it deserves: Cilantro. Also known as coriander, cilantro is one of the world's great superfoods and you will be amazed at just a few of the health benefits it provides.

Disease Fighter

Cilantro contains numerous antioxidants including vitamin A, vitamin C, and beta carotene. These free radical fighters play a major role in the prevention of heart disease, diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer's, while at the same time slowing down the aging process and promoting healthy hair, skin, nails, and eye sight.

Lead Detoxification

Lead and other heavy metals are very toxic to the body and can cause numerous health issues including cancer, osteoporosis, and dementia. Unfortunately these heavy metals are very common in the environment around us. Heavy metals can enter the body through contaminated food, water, and beauty products. Cilantro has chelating abilities that allow it to bind to heavy metals and remove them from the body's soft tissues.

Improve Sleep Quality

More than one third of the nation suffers from sleep related issues. Not getting enough sleep has been shown to cause less productivity throughout the day and increase anxiety. However, traditional sleep aids can be addicting and make you groggy the next morning. The oils in cilantro have a calming effect that can help promote a restful night's sleep without any side effects.

Cilantro is much more than just a delicious seasoning on our favorite Mexican treats. Who would have known that a little green leaf has the power to fight disease, detoxify heavy metals, and improve sleep? So the next time you have taco night, sprinkle a little extra of this delightful herb onto your food and know that cilantro is keeping you healthy so you can enjoy every fiesta to the fullest for years to come!

The information in this article is for general educational purposes only, and should not be construed or interpreted as medical advice. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider regarding any medical condition or treatment, and before undertaking a new heathcare regimen. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this article or any linked materials.

Anna Mahoney is a Licensed Acupuncturist with a Bachelor's Degree in Nutrition from Rutgers University. In her practice, she focuses on bringing her patients back to health through Chinese Medicine, nutritional counseling, and overall wellness care. In her personal life, she is a passionate cook, musician, yogi, and athlete. Anna lives in New Jersey, with her husband, John, and their dog, Betty. Anna blogs at The Green Banana.