You want to live the healthiest life you possibly can, right? That includes sleeping well, reducing stress, and of course, eating foods that are good for you. Mint can help you with all of the above, making it an essential part of your daily routine!
While it’s not recommended to eat mint ice cream every day (as great as that would be), you still want to think about how to get more mint into your world. You’ll be glad you did!
Is Mint Good for You?
Mint is actually really good for you! It’s a great source of vitamin A and C and also contains antioxidants, which can get rid of damaging bacteria that may cause you to get sick.
That’s not even the half of all the benefits of mint and peppermint oil! As you will see, there are also many other perks for making minty goodness part of your lifestyle.
What Are the Health Benefits of Eating Mint Leaves?
Mint leaves have all the same benefits as peppermint oil, but also have a ton of nutritional value. There are many reasons you should make this plant part of your diet!
The following are all benefits of eating mint leaves:
- Reduces your appetite
- Eases indigestion
- Stops hiccups
- Improves eyesight
- Stronger bones
- Better sleep
- Boosts immune system
Reduces Your Appetite
If you’re trying to lose weight, mint leaves can help you suppress cravings. Add a few leaves or sprigs to healthy meals like salads, grilled chicken, and veggies. You can also drink a nice mug of hot mint tea!
Maybe you ate a little too much at dinner and are feeling a little bloated. You can ease these tummy troubles by chewing on a mint leaf or two. Sucking on breath mints also works well!
No kidding, you can mix mint leaves with water to stop hiccups in their tracks. This is because mint contains an ingredient called menthol that releases a cooling effect in your throat.
Mint leaves are a great source of vitamins A and C, which are proven to help with your eyesight. It’s way less expensive than frequent trips to the optometrist!
Spearmint in particular is a great source of manganese, which helps contribute to stronger bones. This is valuable since your skeleton helps protect your organs and keeps your muscles healthy.
A cup of mint tea before bed, or a few mint leaves as a late-night snack, can help you get good sleep. The flavor causes you to feel less stressed and more relaxed, which makes hitting the hay way easier!
Boosts Immune System
Stop calling in sick! By eating mint leaves, you’re also giving your immune system a little boost. This is due to the antioxidant properties that are found inside of mint leaves, which effectively get rid of most bacteria.
Let’s circle back to the last item on this list – boosts immune system. Mint leaves have been used medicinally for thousands of years, starting in ancient Egypt and being part of natural remedies to this day. This plant helps with headaches, nausea, stress, asthma, and even fighting the common cold.*
*DISCLAIMER: This information is based on research and is not a medically professional opinion. Experts suggest that mint leaves may help with these medical concerns, but it’s not a cure. If you have questions, speak directly to a medical professional.
Are Breath Mints Good for You?
You can get many of the same benefits from sucking on a breath mint as you would from eating mint leaves or using peppermint oil. Breath mints can freshen your breath, boost your concentration, and help with an upset stomach.
While breath mints may not be as good for you as mint leaves or peppermint oil, they’re definitely not bad for you, either! This is especially true if they’re made with no artificial flavors or ingredients.
How Can You Use Peppermint Oil?
Peppermint oil can make your home and body smell good. It can also be used for a ton of everyday uses such as:
- Reduce itching
- Increase energy and focus
- Get rid of mice and bugs
- Bathroom cleaner
- Treat sunburns
- Clear skin
- Promote hair growth
- Ease motion sickness
- Help sore muscles
Peppermint oil can be used as an anti-inflammatory and antiseptic and may even help protect your liver from diseases and damage. You can also rub peppermint oil on your temples to ease headaches and use it to relieve stomach pain or nausea.*
The cooling properties in peppermint oil can help your skin feel less itchy. Put a little bit on a soft washcloth with some petroleum jelly and dab it onto dry or flaky skin. This is also a great natural remedy for bug bites, hives, or poison ivy exposure.
If you don’t have one yet, you should consider getting an oil diffuser. Sprinkling in a few drops of peppermint oil can help clear up your sinuses. You can also sip peppermint tea to help ease coughing.
Increase Energy & Focus
Do you have a case of the Mondays? The scent of peppermint is said to make you feel more alert, focused, and energized. It can be all it takes to boost your creativity!
Sometimes we all need a spa day! You can use peppermint oil to make a sweet-smelling moisturizing cream or even a foot soak. Just mix in some shea butter, and you’re good to go!
Keep it fresh with peppermint hand soap! This is especially great to have in your kitchen and bathrooms around the holidays. You can even make a few bottles from scratch and use them as stuffing stockers!
Get Rid of Mice & Bugs
The last thing you want is creepy crawlies in your house. Spray a few spritzes of peppermint oil to keep mice and bugs outside where they belong. This also works by crushing up peppermint Altoids and leaving the crumbs in rodent or pest-filled areas.
A good bottle of peppermint oil will be your best friend while scrubbing the bathroom. You can use it for the floors, shower, sink, and the toilet! The best part is it works as both a cleaner and a deodorant.
That pool party was a little too fun, and now you look like a lobster. Soothe your burns with a bit of peppermint oil mixed with lavender oil and aloe vera.
Peppermint oil has antibacterial properties, which means it can help with blemishes and acne. Combine two drops of eucalyptus oil with five drops of peppermint oil, dilute it with one tablespoon of tamanu oil, and dab it directly to the troublesome areas. Let it absorb overnight and you should be good to go!
Promote Hair Growth
It can take forever for your hair to grow! Luckily, you can mix two drops of peppermint oil with a diluted essential oil known as a carrier oil. Rub it into your hair, leave it on for 5 minutes, and then wash with your regular shampoo and conditioner.
Ease Motion Sickness
You can conquer that huge roller coaster or that cruise to the Bahamas! Rub a small amount of diluted peppermint oil onto the inside of your wrists, and you should feel less motion sickness.
Help Sore Muscles
After a serious workout session, drink plenty of water and apply peppermint oil to your sore muscles. Make sure to dilute the oil first using a carrier oil, like jojoba or olive oil. Healthline recommends mixing 6 drops of the peppermint oil with 6 teaspoons of the carrier oil.
The list above features lesser known uses for peppermint oil, but don’t forget about the delicious taste! You can use food-safe oils to make drinks, desserts, breath mints, and candy.
*DISCLAIMER: This information is based on research and is not a medically professional opinion. Experts suggest that peppermint oil may help with these medical concerns, but it’s not a cure. If you have questions, speak directly to a medical professional.
Does Peppermint Make You Smarter?
Studies have found that consuming peppermint, or mint in general, can not only increase your focus and energy, but also your memory retention and cognitive functions.
Let’s take a look at a few studies that prove peppermint is effective at boosting your brainpower!
The Washington Post reported that many schools were encouraging their students to eat peppermint candy before a big test. This came as the result of a 2007 study conducted by the University of Cincinnati.
Results: The students who ate peppermint candy ended up with a better grade on their tests. This is because peppermint boosts your focus by increasing the amount of oxygen flowing to your brain.
In 2008, two professors from Northumbria University and one from Swinburne University of Technology conducted a study that compared the effects of peppermint aroma, ylang-ylang aroma, and no aroma whatsoever. 144 volunteers were observed and put through a series of cognitive tests.
Results: The smell of peppermint was found to enhance the memory of the volunteers. They were also more alert during the various tests they were asked to perform.
Bryan Raudenbush and Phillip R. Zoladz, professors at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia, conducted an experiment in an effort to promote safe driving. They exposed 39 participants to a peppermint aroma to see if it would help keep their road rage at bay.
Results: The participants who were exposed to peppermint, either through oils or chewing gum, had better visual-motor response. It also helped the drivers with their reasoning, problem-solving, judgement, and attention span. Auto insurance companies should start promoting with custom mints!
Research is still being done about the effects of peppermint, but it’s safe to say, it can certainly give your brain a little boost! Keep a few candies or an oil diffuser at your desk, and you’ll be ready to tackle your next big project.
What Happens if You Eat Too Much Peppermint Candy?
Too much of anything isn’t good for you, and that sentiment holds true for peppermint candy and other minty treats. Menthol is one ingredient found in this flavor, and the National Poison Control Center warns that too much could be toxic to your system.
The experts have these warnings about eating too much peppermint or mint:
- May cause burning if you rub your eyes
- Has been found to irritate those with sensitive stomachs
- Should be eaten in moderation if you are pregnant
- Presents a choking hazard to young children
- Oral health risk if the mint contains a lot of sugar
You shouldn’t rub your eyes after eating peppermint or spearmint as it could cause irritation. Make sure to thoroughly wash your hands first.
Harvard Health Publishing notes that you should limit how much mint you eat if you have a sensitive stomach. This would include those with acid reflex or gastrointestinal tract issues.
Are you having a baby? The American Academy of Family Physician advises that you moderate your exposure to peppermint and peppermint oil.
Since mints and peppermints are usually small, they could present a choking hazard to young children. Keep the candy out of reach, or even better, in a sealed container.
Oral Health Risks
Sugary mints are not approved by the American Dental Association. In fact, they recommend you aim to consume no more than 50 grams of sugar every day, which is less than 3 pieces of peppermint candy.
Are Chocolate Mints Good for You?
Chocolate mints can be good for your health, especially if they’re made with dark chocolate. This type of chocolate is full of nutrients, and like mint, is considered one of the best sources of antioxidants.
Are you stuck on what to get someone as a gift? Go with dark chocolate mints! They’re not only a sweet treat, but they can also be good for you, too.
Why Do We Love Mint?
Mint is not only tasty, but it also has a pleasant aroma. That’s on top of all the health perks associated with mint, from reducing stress to improving sleep.
This simple plant, whether it’s spearmint, peppermint, or one of the other many types of mint out there, has a ton of uses and is insanely easy to grow in your garden. What’s not to love?
The Bottom Line
When consumed in moderation, there are a ton of health perks associated with peppermint oil and minty foods and treats. All it takes is a few mint leaves, and maybe a good oil diffuser, and you’ll be well on your way to a healthier lifestyle!
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