Fresh fruits and vegetables are considered core components of a healthy, balanced diet, yet fresh herbs are just as important for providing nutrition and a whole array of health benefits.
Mint is a rich source of antioxidants, and can be found in a number of foods and drinks, including herbal teas, soups and salads. Making an effort to get a regular dose of this fresh smelling herb could bring several positive changes to your lifestyle.
See below for some of the potential health benefits of mint and how to add it to your favourite foods.
Possible health benefits
- Allergies – The antioxidant known as rosmarinic acid that is found in mint has been linked to relief from seasonal allergies.
- Common cold – Mint contains menthol, which is a natural decongestant that helps to break up mucus and phlegm. Mint can also help to soothe sore throats – especially when combined with tea.
- Indigestion – The soothing and calming benefits of mint herb can aid digestion, helping to relieve stomach upsets.
- IBS – Many people with IBS will be treated with peppermint oil which helps to alleviate symptoms such as abdominal pain and discomfort.
- Skin – When applied topically in oil, lotion or ointment form, mint provides a cooling sensation, and helps to reduce swelling caused by insect bites, rashes and other reactions.
How to use mint
There are several ways in which the mint herb can be added to your diet:
- Curry – Mint is commonly used to flavour Middle Eastern dishes, so when you’re making a curry add some finely chopped mint leaves to spruce it up.
- Lamb – Mint is a traditional accompaniment to lamb, so for a more modern twist you could try infusing the meat with mint and garlic and then roasting on the BBQ.
- Vegetable salads and soups – Why not give your vegetable salads and soups a minty zest? You could try a pea and mint soup recipe or add chopped mint to a feta cheese, asparagus and spinach salad dish.
- Water – Adding mint leaves and cucumber to your water will provide a refreshing treat.