FOOD, NUTRITION 4th April 2016

Get Minted: 5 Reasons you need Mint in your life

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Today, I want to kick things off with a thank you to the people who have helped me this past weekend. To Ryan, thank you for making a trip across the country to help me and for reminding me I should never settle for less. To Ola, thank you for giving up your weekend and looking out for me like that. To Alex, thank you for your enthusiasm and kindness throughout the process, even though I must have changed the plan twenty times. It is not lost on me that in a city where people have plenty of acquaintances, it’s hard to find real friends. I feel truly blessed and fortunate to have the people that I do in my life. 

Emo moment over, let’s jump into this weeks post about a wonderful plant you need in your life: Mint. Produced by mother nature herself, Mint (scientific name Mentha) traces its routes back to Europe and Asia. It has been used for centuries starting with the Ancient Greeks and Romans who used Mint leaves to relieve pain. Since then, Mint has been used in natural medicine to alleviate indigestion. It comes in several varieties: Spearmint, Peppermint and even Water Mint. The Mint plant is one of the easiest to grow and can be grown both indoors and outdoors, making it very popular. So popular in fact that Mint is a regular on the bar scene, where it loves to take a seat on the countertop next to lemon and lime. But let’s not get sidetracked to the bar just yet. Here is why you need Mint in your life:

  1. Indigestion and IBS: Mint is known to help muscles in the stomach relax thereby relieving cramps and gas and alleviating Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Enteric-coated peppermint oil capsules or mint tea after meals is recommended for maximum results.
  2. Anticancer: Mint is made up of a compound known as Peryllyl alcohol, which according to a 2012 study published by the journal “Biochimie”, was found to potentially inhibit prostate cancer cell growth by destabilizing its DNA structure. Likewise, researchers for the journal “Current Cancer Drug Targets’’ found that Mint may also prevent Liver Cancer by blocking the action of cancer-causing substances in the Liver. In both cases, further studies are required to confirm these preliminary findings.
  3. Allergies: Mint contains high levels of Rosmarinic acid, an antioxidant that suppresses free radicals and thereby reduces allergy symptoms. It is an anti-inflammatory which according to one study reduced skin inflammation within five hours. Keeping some peppermint oil in your medicine cabinet will come in handy as we approach mosquito season.
  4. Boosts immunity: Mint leaves are packed with nutrients such as calcium, phosphorous, vitamins C, D, E and small amounts of vitamin B complex. All these compounds put together improve the body’s immune system. For my gym rats out there, you put your body through oxidative stress each time you workout, so why not mix Mint leaves into your water, it looks and taste’s good too.
  5. Beats stress and depression: In aromatherapy mint extract is used to beat stress and rejuvenate the mind. Breathing in     the fumes of mint helps relax the body and calm the mind, freeing it of stress. It releases a small amount of serotonin in   the brain that also helps beat depression. If you are feeling low, add a little mint leaves or mint extract to your bath         water, or use mint extract on a vaporizer to get some relief.

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And there you have it, five solid benefits of Mint.  Make it a regular in your life…. and no,  Junior Mints are not included!

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Disclaimer: This is a collection of information gathered, I am not providing medical advice, please consult your doctor for any questions / concerns.