While all plants offer various health benefits, Rachelle Robinett, a holistic health coach and herbalist, believes mint is particularly unique. She previously told Well+Good that mint is “one of the most medicinal families of plants on the earth,” and that it has been used for thousands of years. Mint’s health advantages have long been known.
While some herbs with numerous health advantages aren’t particularly appealing to the taste, mint is delightful. It’s so popular that it’s the flavour profile of choice for lingering chewing gums and after-dinner treats.
What you might not know about mint is that it comes in a variety of species, ranging from 13 to 24. Peppermint, spearmint, chocolate mint, wild mint, and pennyroyal are just a few examples. These cultivars have slightly varied flavour profiles, so it’s great to try them all to figure out which ones are your favourites.
Mint is also one of the easiest herbs to cultivate, something many people are unaware of. It has spread around the world as a result, including North America, Europe, Asia, Southern Africa, and Australia. Plant it in a container, such as a pot, at a location where it will get morning sun but afternoon shade if you wish to grow it yourself. Mint is one of those plants that may quickly take over, so keep it isolated from other plants. When it comes to mint storage, whether you grow it yourself or buy it at the shop, the leaves should be kept in an airtight plastic bag in the refrigerator. As a result, the leaves will last as long as feasible. Wrap your mint leaves (stem attached) in a damp paper towel before placing them in the baggie to extend their life.
Researchers have spent a lot of time studying mint, and there’s a lot of evidence that it can help the body in a variety of ways. (Unless otherwise specified, peppermint has been extensively examined and is the mint kind focused on here.) Five mint advantages are explained by Ginger Hultin, RD, author of Anti-Inflammatory Diet Meal Prep ($12) and How to Eat to Beat Disease Cookbook ($18). You’ll find recipe ideas for imaginative and delicious ways to use it after that.
According to a certified nutritionist, there are 5 mint benefits.
1. It aids in the digestion of food.
After a meal, popping a mint in your mouth isn’t simply for breath freshening. Mint has been shown in scientific research to aid digestion. Mint is easily absorbed by both stomach and intestinal cells, where it has a relaxing effect, according to Hultin. “It has been demonstrated to have spasm-relieving properties as well as slow peristalsis, which is the natural movement of the intestines that assists digestion. As a result, it’s quite gentle on the digestive tract.”
Cooking with mint, as well as eating it after a meal, can clearly aid digestion. However, according to this research, mint can help ease the stomach even when it isn’t mealtime. Consider it an all-natural substitute for Tums.
2. It may be good to persons who suffer from IBS.
Mint can help relieve the stomach by calming intestine spasms, making it a particularly beneficial herb for those with irritable bowel syndrome. Peppermint, specifically in oil form, has been demonstrated in studies to be a safe and effective strategy for patients with IBS to manage their gastrointestinal pain and symptoms.
3. Mint has the potential to improve your mood.
Mint, in addition to helping to calm the stomach, may also improve one’s mood. It has even been proven that simply smelling it can help people feel less worried or depressed. “The study explicitly mentions GABA receptor binding qualities, which is something that occurs in the brain that has a soothing impact and can even lessen emotions of tension and anxiety,” Hultin explains. GABA receptors play a crucial part in the body’s stress response, assisting in the management of fear and anxiety. Mint’s ability to support these important mood receptors is significant.
4. It has the potential to improve brain function.
Mint (particularly spearmint) has been demonstrated to aid memory and cognitive performance. This is due to the herb’s high polyphenol concentration, according to researchers. Polyphenols are active molecules that protect the body from hazardous agents such as UV rays, radiation, and certain infections. Polyphenols help to protect against some diseases and malignancies, in addition to improving cognitive function. As a result, the fact that mint is such a good source of them is a big plus.
5. Mint may be beneficial to athletic performance.
According to one study, taking peppermint before exercising increased athletic performance considerably. “[This] could be attributable to peppermint’s effects on bronchial smooth muscle tonicity with or without changing lung surfactant,” according to the study. To put it another way, mint makes it easier to breathe, which is important for exercise. So, if you want to get the most out of your next workout, it could be worth chewing on a peppermint before putting on your sneakers.
5 different ways to eat mint
Mint proves it’s worth drinking on a regular basis with a CV like the one above. Here are five simple recipes to get you started.
1. Peppermint tea
If you want to use mint to soothe your stomach or help with digestion, enjoying it in the form of a tea is one of the best ways to reap the benefits. The video above shows an easy way to brew some, also incorporating antioxidant-rich cacao.
2. Peppermint chocolate cookies
You can’t make Thin Mints without peppermint, and this recipe shows you how to produce a gluten-free, low-sugar version. These cookies, which are made with rolled oats, cashew butter, and almonds, are also high in fibre.
Photo: Cookie+Kate3. Dressing made with fresh mint
Making a simple salad dressing with mint will brighten up your entire bowl of greens. It’s combined with olive oil, lemon juice, honey, garlic, sea salt, and pepper in a Dijon mustard dressing. In only five minutes, you’ll have a week’s worth of homemade dressing.
Get the recipe for fresh mint dressing by clicking here.
Photo: All The Healthy Things4. Salad with watermelon and mint
As this summer dish demonstrates, mint can also be incorporated into the salad itself. The herb is coupled with cucumbers, feta cheese, and watermelon, another summer favourite.
Get the recipe for watermelon mint salad by clicking here.
Photo: Minimalist Baker
5. Mint chocolate ice cream that is vegan
Without ice cream, what would a mint recipe roundup be? This recipe includes a short list of ingredients and is completely vegan. The key is to use full-fat coconut milk, which gives the ice cream a richer texture.
Get the recipe for vegan mint chocolate ice cream by clicking here.
As you can see, mint may be used in a variety of ways outside simply sucking it in the form of hard candy. It’s absolutely worth experimenting with due to its numerous advantages. The wonderful part is that mint’s benefits are just as good as its taste. What a win-win situation!
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