Today is #NationalMojitoDay: This pandemic probably has had some wanting to just have a drink! Although Mojitos are tasty to some, this post will be more about the benefits of one of the ingredients…#Mint!
Mint is the name for over a dozen plant species, including peppermint and spearmint, that belong to the genus Mentha.
These plants are particularly known for the cooling sensation they impart. They can be added to foods in both fresh and dried forms. While eating the plant offers some health benefits, research shows that several of mint’s health benefits come from applying it to the skin, inhaling its aroma or taking it as a capsule.
- Rich in nutrients: Although not typically consumed in large quantities, mint contains fair amounts of several nutrients and is an especially good source of vitamin A and antioxidants.
- May Improve Irritable Bowel Syndrome: IBS is a common digestive disorder. Several studies have shown that taking peppermint oil capsules improved the symptoms of IBS patients.
- May Help Relieve Indigestion: Several studies have shown that peppermint oil can speed up how quickly food moves through the stomach, relieving digestive symptoms associated with indigestion.
- Could Improve Brain Function: Some studies show that smelling the aroma of peppermint oil may improve memory and alertness, while other studies show no effect. More research is needed to further understand the effects of mint on brain function.
- May Decrease Breastfeeding Pain: Applying mint essential oils in various forms appears to be effective in preventing and treating nipple cracks and pain typically associated with breastfeeding.
- Subjectively Improves Cold Symptoms: Although menthol does not function as a nasal decongestant, it can provide some relief to cold and flu symptoms by subjectively improving breathing through the nose.
- May Mask Bad Breath: Breath mints and chewing gum can mask foul smells for a couple hours but aren’t an optimal long-term solution for bad breath. Peppermint tea and chewing on mint leaves may be more beneficial in reducing bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Easy to Add to Your Diet: Mint can easily be added to your diet, though most of the research showing health benefits involved taking it as a capsule, applying it to the skin or inhaling it via aromatherapy.