Mint always adds a refreshing flavor to meals, juices and smoothies but did you know that mint is rich in antioxidants that can help prevent the development and spread of cancer, keep breath fresh or even provide allergy relief?
Here’s a closer look at why mint is healthy for us.
The health benefits of mint
A variety of mints exist under the “mint” category. The most common are peppermint and spearmint, types that all share the same health benefits for the most part.
Peppermint, for example, can relive gas and stomach issues related to having excess gas. It can even help prevent more serious conditions; its strong antioxidant, perillyl alcohol, has been shown to play a role in fighting cancer.
Peppermint’s rosmarinic acid is also known to combat free radicals, help reduce inflammation and provide relief from asthma. Want more? There’s a lot to be learned about the many health benefits of peppermint, so read more here.
Spearmint, like peppermint, can provide relief from asthma but it also is believed to help ease headaches, reduce fatigue and help you manage stress due to its essential oil, menthol. However, its menthol content is less than peppermint (0.5% compared to the 40% in peppermint), making its flavor significantly more subtle.
If digestion is a problem, mint to the rescue! It aids in digestion, easing the process especially when it comes to helping the breakdown of fats.
Plus, it tastes delicious in recipes like avocado cabbage wraps!
Lesser known facts about mint
Next time you use fresh mint, know that there’s more to it than the fact that it can freshen breath and help reduce inflammation. There are some interesting factoids about mint, so here goes:
– Around the world, mint is used to clear the air in many homes and temples
– Mint is considered a welcoming symbol and often given to guests as tea. This is frequently done in the Middle East.
– Greek mythology says that the mint was originally a nymph named Minthe. Minthe was turned into a plant by Persephone, who was jealous of her husband’s attraction to Minthe.
– The Romans felt that eating mint would boost intelligence. Additionally, they thought that the scent of it was able to prevent people from becoming angry. Ambassadors even kept mint springs in their pockets.
So go ahead and start eating more mint today. Maybe you’ll crank out those crossword puzzles a lot faster, maybe you won’t. But one thing is certain: your foods will be tastier and your health will thank you for it!
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