6 Uses and Benefits of Mint
You’ll see peppermint flavors cropping up like wildfire around the holidays: peppermint mochas, candy canes, peppermint flavored ice cream. And while mint flavoring has become a staple during the colder months of the year, did you know that mint has many benefits all year long?
This Homemade Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream is so full of goodness!
This delicious flavor actually comes from various mint plants, including peppermint and spearmint (a popular chewing gum flavor). Mint plants have been used for centuries for flavoring, health aids, and even decor.
First, it’s important to note that mint can be used in different forms, including eating the plant raw, capturing its essence in oils, and compressing it into capsules for consumption. Now, let’s dive into all the ways this simple plant can be used to benefit your overall health! Here are 6 uses for mint:
When it comes to the plant itself, mint leaves can be used in foods, such as salads, smoothies, and teas. It’s a great source of nutrients, such as fiber and iron; vitamins, particularly vitamin A, a fat-soluble vitamin that aids in overall eye health; and antioxidants, which help protect the body from oxidative stress.
Some of my favorite mint recipes are these clean eating peppermint patties and this perfect finger food: watermelon + feta + mint skewers.
Try These Watermelon Mint Skewers for Vitamins on a Stick!
SOOTHES ABDOMINAL PAIN
Tablets containing peppermint can be used to improve Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), which is a common digestive tract disorder offset by stomach pains, gas, bloating, and abnormal bowel movements. Peppermint contains a compound called menthol, which can help relax the muscles of the digestive tract, alleviating some symptoms of IBS.
AID IN DIGESTION
Similarly, mint has also been found to relieve indigestion. When used in an oil form, often taken with food, mint can help aid the stomach in digesting foods quicker, helping to prevent indigestion, which occurs when food sits too long in the stomach before passing into the digestive tract.
FIGHTS COLD SYMPTOMS
Have you ever been advised to drink peppermint tea or tea infused with peppermint oil when you had a cold? That’s again because of the menthol found in mint, which is often a common ingredient in most cold medicines. Many agree that menthol is an effective nasal decongestant, which can greatly help you through those tough seasonal colds.
You can also get a small bottle of peppermint essential oil to fight those pesky cold and flu symptoms! It can be applied topically (to the skin) to ease pains such as headaches, muscle aches, joint pain, and even itching. You can also apply a bit under the nose or simply smell it to clear the nasal passages.
CURES BAD BREATH
Finally, as mentioned above, mint is often used to flavor chewing gum, toothpaste, and mouthwash. This is because it’s a great way to mask bad breath germs. That minty fresh flavor can help us feel confident when talking to a CEO or maybe a new love interest. While it hasn’t been confirmed that mint can kill bad breath bacteria, it is a great way to mask any bad breath you may have, helping to improve your confidence.
Peppermint oil is a common essential oil for a reason! If you have a diffuser, add a few drops of mint oil for more cold and cough treatments. It can also reduce pain, improve mental function, and reduce stress!
The International Journal of Neuroscience performed a study in which participants were exposed to peppermint aroma and essential oil. Participants experienced enhanced memory, increased alertness, reduced stress and anxiety, and increased processing speeds, according to the study.
This Coconut Cream Mousse Clean Eating Minty Comfort in a Cup!
While this list is not exhaustive, these are some great reasons to start incorporating mint into your daily diet/lifestyle. Much research has been done on this plant and will continue to be done as more benefits are discovered.
Whether you prefer mint for its cooling taste or for its health benefits (or both!), it’s safe to say mint can and should be used in anyone’s daily habits to help aid in their overall health.
Let me know in the comments what your FAVORITE way to consume or use mint is!