Mint is a herb that is vastly underappreciated, as not only does it taste great, but it is also crammed full of nutritional health properties in the process. When people think of mint, generally they think of mint sauce, chewing gum, toothpaste, and of course, a cheeky Mojito. Mint leaves, however, have so much more to offer.
Not only does mint go incredibly well with chocolate (just try our new mint flavoured protein chocolate), but it also helps nourish your body and warn off all kinds of dangerous diseases and ailments. Other than helping to keep your breath minty fresh, and working as a fantastic condiment with lamb, here’s a look at a few surprising health facts associated with fresh mint leaves.
#1 Aids Digestion
If you often struggle with digestive issues such as indigestion, fresh mint is absolutely ideal. Mint is packed full of natural menthol oils, which have been found to soothe the stomach and to assist with the digestive process. When we inhale the aroma of fresh mint, salivary glands are activated in our mouths, which helps initiate the first stages of the digestive process, before we even take a bite.
On top of that, however, when consumed, the body secretes specialist digestive enzymes, which instantly get to work on digesting your food, breaking it down quicker, and extracting the nutrients from it. Mint therefore not only helps you to digest and break down your food, it also helps you to extract more nutrients from what you consume.
#2 Boosts Immunity
Mint leaves are also very beneficial for people who suffer from poor immunity, or who are perhaps trying to warn off an illness or disease. Mint is crammed full of powerful antioxidants and potent phytonutrients, which have been proven to strengthen immunity and help increase T cell counts. The stronger our immune systems become, generally the healthier we become. Mint leaves also contain plenty of vitamins, which again, strengthen and boost the immune system.
#3 Promotes Healthy Skin
We all want to look and feel our absolute best, but did you know that mint is one of the most beneficial herbs for the skin? Fresh mint leaves, as mentioned, are full of antioxidants which keep skin cells healthy and hydrated, which gives the skin a healthy glow and helps it to look plump and full. What’s more, mint leaves are also loaded full of salicylic acid, which fights off blemishes and helps keep the pores clear, which helps prevent spots and pimples. In short, if you want the healthy and youthful skin, fresh mint is ideal.
#4 Oral Hygiene
Not only does fresh mint give you minty fresh breath, it also helps to promote oral hygiene in the process. You see, fresh mint is packed full of antibacterial compounds which destroy harmful bacteria living in the mouth. Bacteria thrives in warm, moist, dark places, so the mouth is literally a breeding ground for bacteria. Many forms of bacteria found in the mouth can attack your teeth and gums, plus they can cause bad breath, so by eliminating them, you automatically have a healthier mouth.
#5 Potential Anti-Cancer Benefits
Not only does mint contain powerful vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that boost immunity, it also contains a compound that has shown great potential in regards to cancer. This phytochemical is known as perillyl alcohol, which functions as a powerful antioxidant. Though more research is still required, early indications show that this one phytochemical can potentially help prevent numerous forms of cancer. Studies have found that Perillyl alcohol can trigger the death of cancerous tumour cells via the inhibition of Ras Oncoproteins in the cells.