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Coriander leaves for your kidney health: Know the facts
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Coriander leaves for your kidney health: Know the facts

Coriander leaves boost kidney health due to the diuretic property. Regular intake of coriander leaves provides the micronutrients your body needs. But not for those with kidney issues, say experts.
Photo by Anantha Subramanyam K / Happiest Health

Giving a green touch to your favorite dish by dressing it with coriander can have health benefits, especially for your kidneys. This has been a popular belief. A leaf that is native to the Mediterranean terrains—coriander leaves—is an abundance of micronutrients that can boost the general health of an individual. Amidst the benefits attributed to the coriander leaves, Happiest Health spoke to experts about the science behind it.

Coriander leaves can boost the kidney health of healthy individuals. However, coriander leaves do no magic for those with chronic kidney disease (CKD) and they must exercise caution while eating coriander leaves recommended experts.

This look-alike of the European parsley leaves is not parsley. The herb, with its citrus taste, is a flavor enhancer in Asian cuisines.

Dhanashree Pai (30), a homemaker from Mangalore, loves the aroma and the citrus taste of fresh coriander leaves. There is no day that her cooking goes without coriander leaves. She says, “I call coriander leaves a hero. It comes in the end and lifts the taste of any dish.” Pai, who is a foodie, cook, and enthusiastic gardener grows coriander leaves in her kitchen garden. Her gynecologist recommended she include coriander in her daily diet during my pregnancy to prevent any micronutrient deficiencies. “I add the fresh coriander leaves in buttermilk, salads, vegetable rice, and curries for its health benefits,” she says.

Coriander leaves: Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant

The health benefits of these leaves are plenty. It is a green leafy vegetable that is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and micronutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, and K, iron, and calcium too, explains Karthigai Selvi A, Head of the Department, Clinical Nutrition & Dietetics, Gleneagles Hospital, Kengeri, Bangalore.

“The antioxidant compounds in coriander leaves can reduce cell damage caused by free radicals and also fight inflammation in the body,” adds Selvi.

Affordable and easily available diuretics

A 2019 study by Indian researchers suggests that coriander leaves have a diuretic effect—it helps the kidney to produce more urine and flush out the toxins through urine, explains Dr Rajesh B Kumar, Nephrologist, Dr L H Hiranandani Hospital, Mumbai.

The kidney persistently produces enzymes to cleanse the toxins from the body. Natural sources of micronutrients, such as coriander leaves, can boost these enzymatic activities,” explains Dr Kumar.

Coriander leaves for kidney stones

The optimal way to flush out kidney stones in the early stages is through having a diet rich in diuretics along with medication. “With its diuretic effect, coriander leaves can reduce the uric acid in the body,” explains Dr Kumar. So, it helps to have coriander leaves while having kidney stones.

This can also be combined with drinking more water to flush out toxins with ease, adds Selvi.

What is the best way to eat coriander leaves?

Coriander leaves are best eaten raw and when sprinkled as a seasoning on the cooked food, says Selvi, who advises not to fry or saute it in oil lest the vitamin A is lost in the process. A healthy individual can consume 100-200 grams of coriander leaves per day.

Selvi recommends it is best to have coriander leaves after leaching—soaking it in water for at least 2 hours and rinsing it well before use. “The leaching process helps to reduce the potassium levels in raw vegetables by nearly 50%. This is a must for those with kidney issues, including those with anemia caused by kidney issues and those who have been advised a kidney-friendly diet,” she adds.

Those with healthy kidneys benefit by including coriander leaves in their diet. They can eat coriander leaves in the form of coriander chutney or juice, or by seasoning raw leaves in buttermilk, or salad, recommends Dr Kumar.

Those with hypertension or kidney issues are generally advised to limit the salt in their diet. This makes the food bland and non-appetizing. For those, adding three to four coriander leaves in dishes after leaching, adds flavor to the food, explains Dr Kumar.

Who cannot have coriander leaves: Precautions

Coriander leaves are not recommended in the following conditions:

  • High creatinine levels: Creatinine is considered high if it is beyond 1.2 mg/dL in males and 1.0 mg/dL for females. Persons with CKD fall under this category.
  • High potassium levels (>5.2 mmol/L) as it adds to toxicity.

People with CKD can have restricted quantities of coriander leaves and not more than 2 grams (3-4 leaves in a day after leaching), advises Dr Kumar. Agreeing with him, Selvi adds that, those with CKD cannot eliminate waste, including potassium. “The consumption of coriander leaves can add to the accumulated toxins in their body,” Selvi said.

Takeaways

  • Coriander leaves for kidney health are recommended to provide an abundance of micronutrients
  • It is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and micronutrients such as vitamins A, B, C, and K, iron, and calcium
  • It acts as a diuretic for those with kidney stones, but those with CKD are advised against using it

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