Mint is a superfood because it is a nutrient-rich food that is beneficial for health and well-being.
In terms of nutrition, mint is a very healthy food with lots of health benefits including being anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, digestive, sleep-inducing and it can also help support mood as well as relieve nausea.
In addition to all those things, many studies have shown that consuming peppermint tea is associated with a reduced risk of the four most common cancers – breast cancer, prostate cancer, lung cancer, and colon cancer. Plus mint has 7 times more antioxidants than apples or blueberries.
Mint is a good source of Vitamin A and C and helps fight the common cold. The Menthol in mint has similar properties to menthol or camphor and is used as an inhalant, topically applied to provide relief from minor aches and pains such as sore muscles, headache, certain types of coughs, nausea, etc. It also stimulates the nervous system that causes you to feel refreshed.
Mint is anti-inflammatory with properties identical to that of ibuprofen or aspirin making it able to reduce pain associated with toothaches or menstrual cramps among others.
It can be made into herbal tea which has many benefits including aiding digestion because the release of volatile oils stimulates the digestive tract causing mild contractions.
Mint is a versatile herb that’s used around the world for its many benefits: it calms an upset stomach, protects your teeth from bacteria, helps you stay awake and alert, and cures headaches.
It goes great in tea but it has, even more, uses as an ingredient (vegetarian dishes such as chickpea or dal made with mint leaves). Just because the plant is small doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be taken seriously – if you haven’t already started using this magical herb I recommend trying out one of these recipes to start.
Mint is a superfood because it tastes good and has a lot of antioxidants.
Its extract, which is hot water extract from the leaves, contains more antioxidants than that found in regular green tea extract supplements.
Mint also contains rosmarinic acid, an antioxidant thought to be beneficial in preventing cancer and coronary disease. The smell of mint has been proven to help reduce anxiety levels and relieve tension headaches too.
And even if you don’t like the taste… try growing mint for its other great attributes- studies have shown that plants produce their own volatile organic compounds (VOCs) equal to or greater than what we use in commercial products such as laundry detergents, or glue solvents.
Mint also has potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and chromium – four nutrients that help regulate blood sugar levels already on the high end in people with diabetes. In addition to these perks, mint can ward off bad bacteria from developing in the mouth while fighting cavities at the same time.
What is a superfood?
Some people define superfoods as a food pattern composed of a varied range of nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory, and cell-protective phytonutrients.
Superfoods are foods that provide a large number of vitamins, minerals, and essential fatty acids that lead to better health. Eating these foods regularly can help prevent illness, boost your immune system, and keep you feeling fit.
Superfoods are foods that provide high amounts of nutrients per calorie, including vitamins, minerals, antioxidants. Superfoods promote weight loss and healthy living. They contain nutrients that prevent the development of chronic diseases such as diabetes, cancer, and heart disease.
Typical superfood examples include blueberries, coconut oil, nuts (almonds), avocados.
On the other hand- genetically modified food crops grown with toxic pesticides produce fewer nutrients than unmodified food crops grown with organic pesticides– so technically they’re not “super” because of their lower nutrient count. It’s also worth noting that some foods look like “superfoods” on paper but don’t provide many micronutrients per calorie.
Superfoods have been known to combat fatigue, improve memory, and even promote a sense of well-being. Some common examples are kale, goji berries, cocoa buttermilk powder, green tea extract capsules without fillers or additives, mesquite powder/molasses/liquids for flavoring sweets, and baked goods.
What is mint?
Mint plants are green plants that generally grow into oblong shapes. They come either above or below the ground and can be found naturally in all sorts of soils with a pH place of 5 to 7 however they do best when planted in humus-rich soil. The leaves are dark green may have purple tints on them with lighter speckles here and there.
Common varieties are peppermint, chocolate mint, ginger mints, and apple mint. You can tell what type it is by looking at the color or even taste if you crush one leaf against your tongue for example peppermint tastes like peppermint because its oil contains menthol which has a cooling effect whereas ginger would have more heat.
Mint is an herbaceous plant in the family Lamiaceae, native to most of Europe, North Africa, and the Middle East. It’s used in cooking with lamb dishes for flavor.
Mint was introduced to America by Europeans who prized it for use in making medicines. Mint oil is a potent antiseptic that has been used since ancient times to discourage bacterial growth on cuts and wounds.
The Greeks made mint sponges with vinegar which were good for digestive problems because they are flavored only faintly with vinegar but rather strongly through their pleasing aroma when they are placed under one’s nose at nausea or stomach upset.
Mint was used as far back as the 16th century BC in ancient Egypt where it was stuffed into small pots and used for mouth freshness. About 2,000 years ago it moved to Greece, where physicians recommend that soldiers carry the plant during the battle for preventing fatigue caused by monotony.
It then traveled to Rome, Britain, and France where people could be seen sucking on mint leaves after meals because they believed it improved digestion. In America, around the 1900s women wore a “mint suit” jacket accessed with matching belts to hold a slender shape.
Mint is a herb in the genus Mentha of the Lamiaceae family, which consists of over half of the world’s mint species.
Mint leaves are often used in cooking with lamb dishes, often added to rice dishes or sauces.
Mint has many healing properties associated with it. For example, people who are suffering from headaches are told to rub their temples with fresh peppermint or spearmint leaves. Painful menstrual cycles can sometimes be alleviated by drinking tea made from this plant.
Chemical composition of mint:
The mint chemical composition includes menthol, methyl salicylate, rosmarinic acid, and linoleic acid.
Menthol is a naturally occurring organic compound that has a strong taste and smell associated with peppermint and other plants in the Mentha genus.
Methyl salicylate is chemically a salicylic acid derivative. It mostly occurs as white to yellow crystals or powder with a camphor-like odor.
Rosmarinic acid is an unsaturated hydroxycinnamic acid found in many species of flowering plants, especially those belonging to the Labiatae family (known as the mint family).
Linoleic acid can be natural or man-made- it’s normally red-orange.
Mint leaves nutritional value per 100g:
Mint leaves contain 1096 mg of potassium, which is approximately 22% of the RDA and 35% more than broccoli on a per 100g basis. The fat content in 100 grams is 8g, and calories are 7 as opposed to broccoli at 45 calories.
Mint leaves are an excellent source of dietary fiber, providing over 10% of the daily value in one cup (about 5 grams). A serving also has 15 calories and 0 grams of fat, making mint an excellent choice in salads, dressings – even desserts.
Fresh mint leaves are thought to contain about 4.8 grams of protein, 10.7 grams of carbohydrate, 43.1 milligrams of calcium, 0.4 milligrams of copper, 0.2 percent iron, and other essential minerals per 100 grams weight fresh plant material.
Other components include vitamins A and K as well as antioxidants which provide possible anti-cancer properties for suppressing colon cancer through inhibiting the formation of blood vessels that support tumor growth.
How to use mint leaves in cooking:
Mint leaves can be used in cooking for both their flavor and their health benefits. One way to use mint is by making a mint sauce to accompany fish or lamb dishes. The leaves are also delicious when chopped finely and mixed with sour cream, chives, garlic, salt, and pepper as a dip for bread, potatoes, or pakoras (a fried Indian snack).
Mint tea can be made by steeping dried or fresh whole leaf tea bags in boiling water for 10 minutes. For an extra burst of flavor try adding sugar syrup to the hot tea just before serving.
Mint is often used to balance the earthy flavors of legumes and root vegetables. For example, adding fresh mint after cooking lentils can help disguise some of its harsh flavors while accentuating the milder flavors of carrot or squash cooked alongside it.
Likewise, fresh mint can bring out subtle tones in winter squash during preparation by infusing it into butter for use as a sauce just before serving.
Is mint good for you?
Mint is good for you if you take it in moderation. It has been used as a lasting breath freshener for centuries. The Romans drank mint tea to help soothe stomach aches, and since ancient times mint has been considered a necessary component of many dishes for its flavor and ability to kill food-borne germs due to its high levels of thyme oil that has natural antibacterial properties.
Mint is also helpful with bloating or indigestion if it is chewed just before a meal, which will increase the production of digestive juices in your mouth and stomach, stimulating bowel movements and making you feel relieved.
Mint is well known for its benefits in soothing an upset stomach and alleviating nausea, and it has also been shown to be able to help stop migraines and ease muscle aches. Peppermint is best known for its medicinal purposes, but menthol may provide relief from allergies.
There are lots of claims to the health benefits that mint leaves offer. In India, the herb peppermint is traditionally used by practitioners of Ayurveda – a system of traditional Indian medicine – as an aid for digestive ailments such as indigestion from overeating or emotional trigger foods like cheese or chocolate.
This use has been adopted in Western medicine treatments with a few studies showing efficacy in treating functional abdominal pain syndrome.
Health benefits of mint leaves:
Adding a little bit of mint to your tea not only tastes great but also has some health benefits that can help you out. Mint contains menthol and other chemical compounds which might improve blood circulation, prevent tooth decay and gingivitis, relieve nausea and stomach cramps. It’s also thought to decrease inflammation and ease headaches by lessening the congestion in the nasal passages.
Mint may improve irritable bowel syndrome:
Many studies suggest that peppermint oil may help people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) improve their symptoms. Many people who try peppermint oil find it to be safe and well-tolerated, but there’s only limited research to back up these therapeutic claims. More research is needed before recommending it as a treatment for IBS or other medical conditions.
Irritabe bowel syndrome (IBS) is a condition in which the large intestine becomes inflamed. This inflammation can cause swelling or changes in motility, leading to abdominal pain or discomfort. More than one-quarter of patients with this disorder also experience constipation and/or diarrhea (mostly diarrhea).
Painful cramps, gas, bloating, and sometimes discharge are signs that you may have IBS. Patients often get these symptoms after eating sugar, dairy products, or wheat products. Sometimes people report worse symptoms when they anticipate what kind of foods they will eat next.
IBS affects between 10% – 15% of the population around the world at some point in their lives; though for many sufferers it’s not constant
The menthol in mint increases the sensitivity of the anal and intestinal area. It’s a common alternative to more invasive treatments for people who suffer from irritable bowel syndrome.
Menthol is known for its numbing and cooling effect when applied topically, but when inhaled in concentrated form, it can cause irritation in your airways and air sacs that leads to coughing followed by relief permanently called cough suppression.
Menthol has been shown to reduce visceral hypersensitivity through a series of mechanisms: it inhibits acid and pepsin secretion and modifies gastrointestinal motility and smooth muscle contractility.
Menthol is also known for blocking pain perception in the abdomen, thereby reducing spasms and cramps. It also reduces inflammation in the colon by inhibiting harmful actions on mast cells (cells that contain inflammatory molecules like histamine). This means less inflammation leading to reduced irritable bowel syndrome symptoms.
Recent clinical trials have shown a significant alleviation in the severity of irritable bowel syndrome symptoms with very little residual effect on healthy subjects. This is an excellent compound for those who wish to use natural pharmaceuticals as it is entirely side-effect-free and has been proven to be extremely cost-effective.
Mint may help relieve indigestion:
Mint is also known for soothing digestive distress, so it can help with nausea, vomiting, stomach aches, and cramps.
Mint has many of the same properties as apple cider vinegar, which is very well-known for calming an upset tummy. It reduces indigestion by relieving the muscle spasms that can contribute to acid reflux or indigestion. Along the way, it’s also providing some beneficial bacteria that contribute to good digestion overall.
A little bit of water-soaked fresh mint leaves in your tea – especially right before bed – might help you sleep through the night with no gas or burping.
Indigestion is an unpleasant sensation after eating such as stomach pain, nausea, and heartburn.
One of the most common causes of indigestion is leaving food in the stomach for too long because peristaltic movements in the digestive tract have stopped or slowed down. This leaves indigestible material to be present in your stomach and intestines for a prolonged period.
Another cause of indigestion can be when vomiting, diarrhea, or gas clear out food before it is fully digested and absorbed into the body’s system. Sometimes this process clears out everything that’s been eaten but if enough nutrients aren’t absorbed by their target cells they will accumulate within cells and eventually damage them with oxidants.
Regular consumption of mint could improve brain function:
Mint improves brain function because of its fragrance.
Mint is a popular herb with powerful health benefits, including mental stimulation and increased concentration. The smell of mint stimulates the olfactory and thalamic pathways and releases more beta waves in the brain cortex.
This can lead to greater clarity and an improved sense of awareness while relieving some symptoms that might be associated with depression or anxiety.
People often use this herb as a natural remedy for headaches, colds, nausea, insomnia, stomach disorders such as gas and bloating, menstrual cramps, and bacterial vaginosis. Mint also tastes great when added to foods such as green beans or mixed into drinks like iced tea.
Mint has been shown to improve cognitive performance and increase the focus of brain cells. The mechanisms by which mint increases cognitive performance and focus are unclear at this time.
However, mint is believed to work by increasing the amount of oxygen in the blood and activating certain receptors (Purinergic receptors) that control brain activity and mental states.
Therefore it is likely that mint improves brain function by enhancing metabolic efficiency within neurons, improving neuronal synapse transmission, or augmenting synaptic functionality- all of which could theoretically lead to an improvement in cognition.
There is evidence that there is a link between the consumption of mint and improved brain function, especially during certain tasks such as memory tasks, problem-solving or analytical work. Mint has been shown to improve the performance on these types of tasks by speeding up task completion and increasing attention span.
Studies also indicate that eating two ounces of green tea and one ounce of combined fresh peppermint leaves and fresh spearmint leaves for 30 minutes resulted in an improvement in cognitive performance on complex computer-based cognitive tests The study looked at 100 volunteers who were given snacks containing either peppermint or spearmint extract before engaging with an office-related cognitive test requiring working memory, and selective attention.
In one study, two groups were asked to complete a word-finding task using a list of ten words that were either complicated or non-complicated words.
More test subjects from the group that used peppermint oil made more correct responses for each complicated word on average than the group who did not use peppermint.
Indeed, during a performance on these uncomplicated tasks, there were no differences in performance between the two groups.
Consequently, it is thought that this improvement was because peppermint helped with the retention and retrieval of memories stored in neuronal networks located within olfactory regions of the cortex responsible for language processing and production activities imagery.
Mint may reduce breastfeeding pain:
Mint has been used for centuries to help with a number of digestive and pain-relief issues, including breastfeeding pain.
A simple way to relieve aching nipples is by taking a break from nursing for ten minutes every two hours. Naptime is an excellent time for this interruption because little ones won’t notice that they haven’t drunk much milk when they wake up.
Another idea is to apply some peppermint oil directly on the nipple before nursing so it can be absorbed in the fatty layers close to your skin. Continued use should cause less pain when lactating becomes more established after three months.
The effects of peppermint go beyond soothing feelings: its antibacterial and antimicrobial properties may also prevent infection and nipple cracks post-childbirth.
It is possible that peppermint may help with breast engorgement (swelling of the breast tissue), which can cause post-partum pain.
Mints contain menthol, an organic compound that causes a cooling sensation when it comes in contact with skin or tongue tissue. Cooling at the skin surface has been linked to creating a soothing tactile stimulus for potential use for cold therapy.
Studies have shown peppermint relieves inflammation and muscle spasms – two factors that are believed to be associated with engorgement. Menthol can reduce swelling on over-engorged breasts by blocking the release of histamines. Users report reduced soreness and nipple cracks as well as increased milk secretion.
Mint masks bad breath:
Mint masks bad breath by temporarily killing the oral bacteria that cause it. It is related to peppermint, which was traditionally used as a painkiller for stomach pains or nausea due to its natural oil component menthol.
This same natural oils component has the effect on oral bacteria of temporary paralysis. However, anything you eat gets passed through your body so if you have bad breath from something you ate some time ago it won’t help with that problem.
I would point out that there are some really good home remedies for bad breath depending on the source of the issue – some people need more fiber in their diets, others may need different toothpaste, mouthwash, or gum.
Side effects of mint leaves:
Side effects of mint leaves include tiredness, heartburn, confusion, or rapid breathing. Major problems from using too much mint include fever and seizures.
Mint can have a whole host of issues. For people with an underlying heart condition, mint could increase the risk of abnormal heart rhythms or even trigger a fatal cardiac arrest.
It could also aggravate bronchitis symptoms. And if you are using dental devices without cutting back on mint chewing, cavities are more likely to form where your teeth and gums meet.
On top of those possible side effects, allergic reactions can include inflammation and swelling in the mouth as well as breathing difficulties or asthma symptoms such as wheezing and coughing, especially for those who suffer from pollen allergies during pollen season (springtime).
Too much mint can give you gastrointestinal distress because it doesn’t digest well when eaten raw. It may also cause an upset stomach or nausea in some people. If mint is rubbed on the skin, too much of its essential oils may remain on the skin, causing contact dermatitis in susceptible individuals.
Excessive consumption of peppermint tea has been associated with heartburn and other esophageal reflux problems in some people, although no clear evidence connects high amounts of peppermint tea to this effect in general or digestive disease.
Some have also reported dry mouth after drinking peppermint tea, triggered by an intense sensation that draws water away from the mouth through osmosis—symptoms are relieved by rinsing out one’s mouth.
In mint, you have a plant that reduces inflammation from the liver and gall bladder. This will help to flush out all of those old, nasty toxins that have been fermenting in your guts for years – which not only tastes awful but also promotes the production of free radicals. Try adding fresh mint to various spas baths or even just drinking a glass of diluted green tea with chopped-up chilled mint leaves.
Notice how refreshed you feel afterward? That’s because your entire lymphatic system has been purged through the mouth canal thanks to the menthol kick from this herb. Mint is so refreshing, it makes every other part of your body feel good too – especially after those groggy nights where you couldn’t sleep well.