thoughts from a future registered dietitian

Mint

Mint

Today’s going to be great! You’ve got this! Keep your head held high!

…In case you needed some encourage-MINT 😉

Everything about mint – taste, sensation, aroma – is revitalizing. It not only provides fresh breath, it helps combat the common cold, improve cognitive function and eliminate nausea. I get motion sickness very often no matter the mode of transportation. Thankfully, mint in any form immediately subsides my symptoms. When that’s not working I’ll pop a ginger chew. I’ll even do a combination of the two when possible. 😀

You can easily grow mint at home in your backyard or indoors (in a bright, sunny spot). Something I learned quickly is that mint needs lots of space and water to thrive. If you want to use the freshly grown mint for tea, cut stem close to the soil, hang to dry and then store in an airtight jar to preserve nutrients. Tea is my favorite way to reap the benefits mint!

Health Benefits

Combats Common Cold: Mint has a combination of antioxidants and vitamin B that benefit the immune system and help tame symptoms of a common cold. The menthol in mint helps relax muscles and open airways which alleviates congestion and coughing. The cooling properties of mint soothe a sore throat and kill the pesky bacteria that contribute to bad breath.
Improves Gastrointestinal Function: Consumed whole or as an oil, mint has soothing effects on our entire digestive system. Specifically, it aids with symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and dyspepsia, also known as indigestion. Mint has a relaxing effect on muscles in the small intestines which decreases IBS symptoms. This antispasmodic activity also helps with indigestion.
Eliminates Nausea: Research has shown that mint can significantly reduce the sensation of nausea. This seems to be true whether it’s consumed whole, as an oil or in the form of tea. Mint can be taken as a preventative or at the onset of feeling queasy. (I always pack little peppermints when I’m traveling, just in case!).
Boosts Memory: Clinical studies have demonstrated that inhalation of peppermint oil can improve memory and alertness. Next time you’re working on a project that requires focus, add a few drops of peppermint oil to your diffuser for increased acuity!

Recipe

Peppermint leaves are distinct in their shape, taste and texture. As I mentioned, I usually enjoy the cool flavor of mint in my beverages. Occasionally, I’ll request mint [syrup] in my coffee – so refreshing! I also love it chopped up with fresh fruit, berries and in healthy these homemade spring rolls!

Minty Spring Rolls
1 Package of Spring Roll Wrappers
1 C. Julienned Peppers, variety of colors
1 C. Julienned Carrots
1 C. Julienned Red Cabbage
1/2 C. Fresh Cilantro Leaves
1/4 C. Fresh Mint (chopped)

Directions:
1. Prepare veggies accordingly.
2. Soak 1-2 wrappers in cold water (per instructions on package).
3. When soft, take one wrapper out of water and top with a little of each ingredient (including herbs). Place ingredients near center of circle.
4. Wrap together: Fold each side in towards the center, slightly covering ingredients. After folding sides in, pull the open section nearest you up and over the center ingredients making sure that sides remain tucked. Roll entire wrap, pushing away from you.
5. Repeat! I ate these with a spicy peanut sauce, but you could always use the leftover mint to make a fresh dipping sauce.