Across the Indian subcontinent, mint is one of the many commonplace herbs in household kitchens as well as commercial ones. While it is easily available in the market, it is also not unusual for people to grow mint in their kitchen gardens. Commonly known as pudina
, the herb offers a distinct, fresh flavour and finds various uses across cuisines of the subcontinent.
We may be including mint in our diets in more ways than one. From being a humble garnish to being a base ingredient of chutneys, mint leaves find their way onto our plates in various forms. If you are a fan of Indian street food, another way you may be including mint in your diet is through pani puri
. Including pudina
in your diet is not the only way it is available for consumption. Mint, scientifically known as Mentha
, is also available in the form of essential oil.
Benefits of Mint Leaves
Is eating mint good for you? As with several herbs, including mint in your diet in moderation, can prove to have some benefits. Mint leaves are known to be a source of potassium, with 100 gm of mint having about 569 gm of potassium, which is a mineral that may help in regulate heartbeat, synthesize protein, and metabolise carbohydrates. Besides potassium, mint is also a source of Vitamin C as well as Vitamin B6, both of which are essential to the healthy functioning of the human body.
But are there direct benefits to eating mint leaves? Here are some of the benefits you may experience if you include mint in your diet. If you are not a fan of the minty taste, these benefits may help you reconsider.
May help with indigestion
Indigestion can be quite uncomfortable to deal with. Moreover, it can adversely affect your health if it happens frequently. While consulting your doctor may be required in certain cases, you may try consuming mint when dealing with milder indigestion symptoms. Peppermint oil may be helpful in the management of gastrointestinal disorders. However, it may not be ideal to consume peppermint oil directly. Hence, try to include mint leaves in your diet. If your symptoms are painful or chronic, consult your doctor.
May alleviate IBS symptoms
IBS, or Irritable Bowel Syndrome, is a condition affecting the gastrointestinal system. It can lead to constipation, diarrhoea, abdominal pain, changes or irregularity in bowel movements, and more. It may also affect your hunger pattern and eating habits. Dealing with severe IBS may require you to consult your doctor. However, it might help to support your IBS management with lifestyle changes, including dietary changes. Adding mint to your diet may be a small change that helps make a difference.
May help with breastfeeding pain
Sensitive nipples or breasts during the first few days postpartum and the start of breastfeeding are quite common. However, some may experience pain when breastfeeding. It may be an indication of some underlying problem or may need medical attention to ensure that it does not become a bigger problem. Mint is one of the ingredients commonly found in the kitchen that may help you deal with breastfeeding pain. Topical application of mint water or mint gel may help pain relief.
May help with symptoms of cough and cold
It is quite common in several Indian households to rely on home remedies to deal with a bout of cough, cold, and such trifling respiratory issues. Mint is one of the ingredients that is offered to help with minor symptoms. You can drink a warm mint tea to help with decongestion. Several over-the-counter treatment options may also have mint or mint-derived compounds that may help with nasal and chest congestion. If your symptoms are causing discomfort or pain, or have persisted for a few days, it is advisable to check with your doctor.
If you are looking to mask bad breath, you may reach for chewing gums or mouth freshener sprays. If you look closer, you may realise that a lot of these are mint-flavoured. Mint is known to help with masking bad breath, at least temporarily. However, bad breath can be due to several underlying causes, such as bad oral hygiene, gastrointestinal issues, and more. It is ideal to deal with these issues and fix the underlying cause rather than relying on temporary solutions.
Mint is a refreshing flavouring agent to help you elevate your dishes. The benefits it offers also make it quite an important ingredient in your kitchen. However, it is not ideal to rely entirely on home remedies but more serious or chronic symptoms. Consult your doctor to ensure you are getting the right treatment on time.
If you are worried about the costs that arise from extensive treatments, hospitalisations, and more serious health concerns, you should opt for the cashless facility in health insurance
. This may allow you to seek treatment in network hospitals without having to worry about paying upfront for the same.*
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