Mint is often used to add flavor to food. On top of its usefulness in improving taste in meals, it also offers many health benefits. Its medicinal properties make it a truly remarkable herb that needs to be present in every home.
Often, spices are used to add flavor food, yet some are mostly warned against due to their toxicity. Well, it’s great news alternatives like mint leaves allow you to make yummier meals due to their unique, pleasant taste. Cooking with a fresh mint offers your body antioxidant qualities and a wide range of health benefits. This article will break down all mint benefits and any useful information about it.
What are the nutritional facts of mints?
Mint contains the following nutrients;
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
One tablespoon of fresh peppermint has;
- Sugar-0 grams
- Fiber-less than 1 gram
- Carbohydrates-0 grams
- Fat-0 grams
Health benefits of mints
Boosts immune system
Mint leaves are rich in calcium, phosphorus, and vitamins A and C, which help to improve the immune system. These nutrients protect your cells from damages and reduce the chances of chronic illnesses.
Excellent remedy for common cold
Fluctuating seasons affect our overall health, and most individuals are affected by cold weather. If you’re one of those who struggle with a serious cold, try mint, and cold season will stop being your nightmare. Drinking water with mint will clear irritating congestion on your nose, throat, and lungs and improve your breathing. Also, its bacterial quality helps to treat irritation that accompanies coughing.
Heals morning sickness and nausea
Mint heals nausea by activating enzymes needed to beat this condition associated with morning sickness. It’s a great remedy for pregnant women who experience morning sickness frequently.
It helps with asthma and allergies
Mint leaves have powerful antioxidants and an anti-inflammatory agent, rosmarinic, which work together to block any allergy-producing compounds. It’s also an important remedy for individuals with asthma.
Improves your skin
Its antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties will soothe and calm your skin. It’ll help you treat skin conditions due to its high levels of salicylic acid, which combats blemishes and acne.
Treats stomach issues
Indigestion is one of the main issues that lead to stomach discomfort. Mint leaves help to relieve indigestion and reduce inflammation in the stomach.
Helps you manage stress
Mint releases a calming aroma which can serve as aromatherapy to manage stress. It can relax your brain and calm your mind. Also, it has adaptogenic qualities, which help regulate cortisol levels and strengthen resilience to stress.
Improves your oral health
You’ll notice most toothpaste have mint in their ingredient lists, and this is for a reason. That’s because mint’s antibacterial properties make it powerful enough to stop the growth of bacteria and clear plaque formation in your teeth. Moreover, it beats bad breath and keeps your teeth and mouth naturally healthy.
How does mint look like?
Mint is a perennial herb identified with strong fragrant leaves and pink, purple, or white flowers. There are different types of mint, and they are more than 600 with distinct flavors and appearances. It’s impossible to try all those types of mints. So, we’ll focus on the most popular varieties, which include;
Freshmint leaves mint-this type of mint is available in most grocery stores. It’s available in bottles or dried varieties and can last up to three years if stored in a freezer.
Basil mint-it has a basil fragrance and heart-shaped leaves
Watermint-it’s mostly grown near water bodies and a great choice for making balms to cure sore muscles.
Field/corn mint-this wild mint is grown almost in all corners of the world. Once it’s extracted, it’s used in cough medicines, cigarettes, foods, and drinks.
Spearmint-this is a popular mint type whose fresh flavor is felt in tea, essential oils, and chewing gums.
Chocolate mint-this type of mint can be grown outdoors or indoors. It introduces a good chocolate taste in meals.
Lemon mint-it has a citrus taste. It’s a healthy alternative for anyone trying to cut down their sugar intake and an excellent option to flavor your hot or iced teas.
Orange mint-it has a strong citrusy taste making a perfect additional hint to cocktails, tarts, and salads.
Grapefruit mint-fitness enthusiasts can have a refreshing grapefruit mint drink after a vigorous workout. It’s also popular in fruity desserts.
Pineapple mint-with this type of mint, you can make drinks and garnishes and enjoy whatever you prepare in the kitchen.
Apple mint-use apple mint to create a tasty drink as a treat for your taste buds or add in greek yogurt as a healthier and low-fat dressing option for your salads.
Ginger mint-it’s used to add extra flavor to drinks and dishes. It has a light spicy aftertaste and a hint of ginger.
Other types of mints include;
- Curly mint
- Licorice mint
- Banana mint
Are there any risks of mint?
Like most herbs, mint too can affect some individuals. Doctors claim mint is a strong trigger for Gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD). Hence, individuals with this condition should not use mint. Also, consuming large doses of peppermint oil is toxic. It’s important you only use the recommended amount. It’s not advisable to apply mint oil to a small child’s face because it may lead to spasms that inhibit breathing. For safety, consult your doctor if your medications could negatively interact with mint leaves or mint products.
How to enjoy mint leaves
You can have fun with mint leaves by adding them into these recipes;
- Vegetable side dishes like peas
- Bean salad
- Squash soup
- Lettuce salad
- Chicken or lamb dishes
- Pork chops
Mint leaves are not useful for fresh breath only. You can explore more and go beyond chewing mint gums by incorporating mint leaves into your favorite recipes. Mints are beneficial in many ways. It’s exciting to know there are different types of mints, with each having its unique taste that allows you to use it differently on your preferred application. The nutritional profile of mint varies across varieties. Still, you can be sure all varieties have enough nutrients to keep your body in its best condition. Manufacturers love it for toothpaste, candy gums, and beauty products. What about you, where do you prefer to use your mint?