Yes, Mint is Paleo!
It’s Mint for your Diet…
Mint or mentha is a plant from the family Lamiaceae together with oregano and thyme. It is has a warm, fresh, aromatic, sweet flavor with a cool aftertaste. Its leaf colors vary from dark green to pale yellow. The fresh or dried leaf of the mint plant is the source of the mint herb. Fresh mint herb is usually preferred than the dried one. Mint is often used in beverages, teas, jellies, syrups, candies, desserts and ice creams. It is also popular in Middle Eastern cuisines especially on lamb dishes.
Apart from its culinary uses, mint has been traditionally used as remedy to treat stomach, head and chest pains, nausea, depression, asthma, skin problems and IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). The oil of mint is used for flavorings in breath fresheners, antiseptic mouthwash, toothpaste and aromatherapy. Mint obtained its aroma and taste from the substance menthol L-carvone and pulegone.
Nutritional Profile of Mint
Fresh mint contains significant amounts of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants that can contribute to the overall health of the body. Mint is rich in vitamins A and C, fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and potassium. It also has one of the highest antioxidant capacities among any food. All these nutrients are essential for the body parts to function correctly and achieve optimum health.
Powerful Health Benefits of Mint
Although mint is an herb and herbs only make up small part of one’s diet, there is plethora of reasons to consume mint. Besides its nutritional value, it comes with remarkable benefits.
Mint like other herbs is rich in antioxidants. Peppermint for example has rosmarinic acids which can help prevent and treat certain diseases.
Mint especially peppermint acts as carminative. This means that it can help ease gas and other associated symptoms. It helps in the efficient secretion of bile and relaxes the muscles in the digestive tract, hence, easier digestion. Mint is also an effective treatment for IBS. The menthol in mint can help protect the stomach lining, preventing gastric ulcers.
Menthol is a natural aromatic decongestant that helps relieve respiratory disorders such as congestion and asthma. It has a cooling effect that eases sore throat. Mint is also an expectorant that aids in the elimination of mucus from the airways, lungs and trachea.
The antioxidant rosmarinic acid eliminates free radicals that causes allergy. It has anti-inflammatory effects that can relieve seasonal allergy.
The enzymes found in mint may help in the prevention and treatment of certain cancers. An example is peryllyl alcohol that inhibits growth of cancer cells.
Mint has been traditionally used to treat acne. It acts as an antiseptic that soothes the skin and helps cure infection and itching. The calming and cooling effect of mint is helpful in reducing pimples and insect bites.
Nausea and Headache
The strong and refreshing aroma of mint makes it a good remedy for nausea and headache. Mint has a natural soothing substance that can alleviate inflammation associated with headaches and migraines.
Mint has been used as a breath freshener and as ingredient in toothpaste, mouthwash and other dental products. This is because of its antimicrobial properties that restrain bacterial growth inside the mouth and cleans the teeth and tongue.
Other Names for Mint
What Experts Say About Mint
“As for its health benefits, peppermint oil was more effective than placebo at treating irritable bowel syndrome, a meta-analysis of the clinical literature found, and it was equally effective as pharmaceutical treatments.” – Mark Sisson
“Berries, plums, almonds, mint (especially peppermint), and cacao are also exceptionally potent sources of antioxidants.” – Loren Cordain
All you ever wanted to know about Mint and Paleo
Mark’s Daily Apple. 6 Common Herbs and Why You Should Eat Them (Hint: They Don’t Just Taste Good)
Paleo Porn. Is Mint Paleo?
The Paleo Diet. Ultimate Antioxidant Paleo Breakfast Bowl
Organic Facts. Health Benefits of Mint
Medical News Today. Mint: Health Benefits, Uses and Risks
Healthy Juicing. Health Benefits of Mint Leaves
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