Mint is a popular ingredient in many foods and beverages, ranging from teas and alcoholic drinks to sauces, salads and desserts. Its leaves are particularly known for the cooling sensation they impart. They can be added to foods as such or even in dried/powdered form. While consuming the plant has benefits of its own. Research points out that many of mint’s health benefits are achieved by applying it to the skin, inhaling its aroma or taking it in the form of a capsule.
Some of the health benefits of mint are listed below:
With the little amount of calories it contains, this herb is packed with a lot of nutrients like Fiber, Vitamin A, Iron, Manganese, Folate etc. Because of its strong flavor, it can not be used in a huge quantity in recipes except salads. Because its rich in antioxidants, it can help prevent your body from oxidative stress, caused by free radicals.
It is a common digestive problem where the bowel habits keep alternating between constipation and diarrhoea. Peppermint oil is often used as an assisting remedy for the treatment of this disease because of the presence of Menthol in it, which provides comfort to the digestive tract. However all of the research on this subject has been conducted using oil capsules rather than fresh mint leaves.
Inhaling the aroma of this herb is said to be beneficial for brain function too. Studies have shown a significant improve in memory after inhaling the aroma of peppermint oil. It increases alertness and decreases stress, frustration, and fatigue.
New mothers sometimes experience pain and tenderness in the breasts after breastfeeding, due to which they often discontinue breastfeeding their infant. To get relief from this pain, it is recommended that mint essential oil or mint in any form be applied and massaged on the affected area which can also help reduce the soreness.
Mint has been a controversial subject in terms of its function as a nasal decongestant. But even then, it is believed to significantly help in breathing through the nose thus providing some relief in flu/ cold and cough.
Mint is a common flavor for chewing gums aptly because of its effect of masking bad breath. Drinking peppermint tea and chewing on fresh mint leaves may also be able to kill the bacteria causing bad breath because of its antibacterial effect.
It can be added to most recipes and blends easily with most flavors. Some options to consider are: salads, chutneys, teas, juices, garnish. It can also be consumed in supplement form i.e. capsules.