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The Scientific Reason You Don't Like Cilantro

Dr. Weil

Cilantro, the most hated herb in existence.

If you're wondering why when eating cilantro, it feels like you've just chewed on a bar of soap, there is finally an answer why this happens.  It has now been scientifically proven why so many people hate the taste of cilantro - it's in our genes.

In a study done by 23andMe, 30,000 people were tested to find out why some people can't stand the taste of this herb. The study showed that the reason why lies in our olfactory-receptor genes, which influence our sense of smell. Within, there is a gene called OR6A2, which makes people sensitive to the aldehyde chemicals which is found in cilantro, as well as soap.

Thanks to science, we can stop thinking we're crazy because we hate cilantro. It's not our fault, it's our genetics.

But luckily, there are ways to make the taste bearable if the rest of the family is in the percentage that actually likes the taste of cilantro. The number one thing is to ease yourself into it. Don't pile it on to every meal and expect to like it instantly. Start by incorporating it into some meals at a very moderate amount and build from it. Your brain will eventually learn to like the taste of it. Another trick is to remove as much of the stem as you can, from the fresh herb. The stem is where most of the soapy taste comes from.

Cilantro also has a number of health benefits. It is very low in saturated fat and cholesterol, and has almost no calories. It is a good source of dietary fiber, vitamins A, C, E, K, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.

So are all the health benefits of cilantro reason enough to put up with the soapy aftertaste? That's for you to decide.