Cultivated in the United States and Europe, mint leaves have a wonderful flavor along with fresh, summery smell. This herb can be eaten whole, used to add flavor to a cold drink or prepared in a tea. More interesting, mint leaves deliver a lot of health benefits whether in the form of toothpaste, breath mints, or mint chocolate chip ice cream.
Following are 5 health benefits of mint leaves that you may not know about.
1. Contain lots of nutrients
Mint leaves are abundant in vitamins and minerals but low in calories. A 100-gram serving of mint contains only 48 calories while loaded with tons of nutrients such as vitamin C that reduce levels of damaging free radicals in the body, and vitamin A that helps prevent cancer. Apart from vitamins A and C, this herb is packed with vitamin B2, omega-3 fatty acids, phosphorus, oxalic acid, beta carotene, folate, magnesium, calcium, potassium and calcium. In addition, it contains iron, copper and manganese that plays a role in fat and protein metabolism.
2. Stimulate digestion
Along with rich sources of vitamins and minerals that make mint leaves such as power packed herb, mint also helps stimulate digestion. Both mint leaves and mint tea help relax the digestive tract muscles, which soothes the stomach and reduces gas. Besides, mint can relieve nausea and morning sickness during pregnancy.
3. Give you fresh breath
Mint contains natural chemicals that can kill bacteria causing bad breath. Additionally, it is a popular flavoring ingredient for toothpastes and mouthwashes. Therefore, you can chew fresh mint leaves to have fresh breath and white teeth.
4. Prevent cancer
According to some studies, mint leaves are effective in preventing colon cancer, lung cancer and skin cancer. They are used to slow the growth of cancerous tumors in the body.
5. Alleviate cold symptoms
Mint leaves may confer beneficial respiratory effects for cold and flu sufferers. It may alleviate symptoms, including throat and mouth inflammation, coughs associated with colds and sinus infections. Moreover, mint leaves reduce allergy thanks to natural properties that control the growth of different bacteria and fungus in the body.