Can You Eat Mint Leaves?

Can You Eat Mint Leaves?

Mint leaves are also called Mentha and belong in the family Lamiaceae. There are 14-20 mint leaves that people use as herbs. People use both dried and fresh mint across the world in their meals and for other purposes. The consumption of mint leaves has been there since the 13th century as mint grows wild in abandoned plantations and woodland areas.

Can you eat mint leaves? Yes. You can add mint leaves into your diet, water, and smoothies. Mint leaves are healthy and are used as herbs, in food as an ingredient, and as medicinal plants.

Mint leaves come in either green or blue color. The most common type are; peppermint, spearmint, water mint, field mint, basil mint, woolly mint, Pineapple mint, and curly mint.

Are Mint Leaves Bad For You?

No. Mint leaves are good for you. They contain vitamin A that is good for your eye health, and help in night vision. Mint leaves also contain antioxidants that help protect your cells from free radicals and keep your body healthy. You can also use mint leaves to relieve your upset stomach and digestive issues.

However, mint leaves can affect some people that have gastroesophageal reflux diseases(GERD). The leaves can trigger acid reflux, leading to severe heartburns, vomiting, pain, and other symptoms. As they say, prevention is better than cure. People with GERD should avoid mint leaves or consult their doctor before consuming.

Mint leaves and oils are also not recommended for babies. Infants are sensitive, and you should be cautious in introducing oils and a new diet. Mint leaves can cause breathing problems and skin irritation for babies. The side effects can be severe for your child, which may require medical attention.

What is the Nutritional Value of Mint Leaves?

Using mint ingredients in your meals helps to replace unhealthy spices that are sugary and salty. Also, mint supplements provide you with nutrients that help to keep your body healthy.

A 2 tablespoon (3.2 grams) serving of fresh peppermint contains:

  • 2.21 of calories
  • 0.12 grams of protein
  • 0.48 grams of carbohydrates
  • 0.03 grams of fat
  • 0.26 grams of fiber

Mint leaves are also rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, irons, and vitamin A. These minerals help your body develop, stay healthy and play various functions. 

How Can You Use Mint Leaves?

You can use both fresh and dried mint leaves as it has a heavenly feeling by adding the it into your recipes to give that amazing flavor. Dried mint leaves can be added to your stews and sauces when it is about to simmer. Apart from taste, mint is exceptionally healthy. So, if you happen to have mint in excess, don’t throw them away.

First, you can add mint leaves to your smoothies and yogurt together with strawberries. They mix pretty well and make your smoothie delicious. You can also add the leaves to your tea, which will leave you with a refreshing feeling and aid indigestion.

You can sprinkle fresh mint into your salad recipes that will give you a wow feeling. In addition, you can freeze mint leaves into your ice cubes and make mint ice cubes. So, you can add the cubes while taking water, juice and when having your favorite drink.

What are the Benefits of Mint Leaves?

Mint leaves are rich in nutrients and minerals that are critical for your overall health. Peppermint contains menthol compounds that help alleviate irritable bowel syndrome and minimize digestive issues like stomach pains, gas, and bloating.

You can use peppermint oils to relieve cold symptoms as it contains menthol compounds. Menthol ointments aid in improving nasal congestions helps to improve your airflow and breathing. It’s a home remedy that you can use as a quick fixer for treating your cold and flu.

Chewing on fresh mint leaves and drinking tea with mint will help kill bacteria that cause bad breath. Also, mint-flavored chewing gums can help prevent bad breath and give you the confidence you need around people. Having foul breath can be embarrassing.

The aroma of mint leaves can help lower feelings of frustration, anxiety, and fatigue. The smell of mint leaves makes you feel fresh and relieved. Peppermint oil also helps in fixing indigestion problems. Adding the oil to your meals will improve your digestion process and minimize the discomfort associated with a digestive issue. 

Applying mint ointments oil can help relieve the pain that breastfeeding mothers experience when their nipples crack. You should therefore ensure that you keep some mint leaves, whether dried or fresh, around you. They are healthy and good for your health.

Final Thoughts

  • Mint leaves are aromatic herbs that belong in the family Lamiaceae. There are many mint types, but the common ones are peppermint, spearmint, pineapple mint, curries mint, and catmint. 
  • You can eat mint leaves by adding them to your meal. They are healthy and have a heavenly flavor. 
  • Mint leaves can be bad for people with GERD. They can trigger symptoms such as vomiting, heartburn, and pain. It’s, therefore, advisable to avoid the use of mint.
  • It would be best if you did not use mint with your child. Babies can experience breathing difficulties and skin irritability. It’s, therefore, suitable to use baby-friendly products that pose no harm.
  • Mint leaves are rich in nutrients and minerals that your body needs. They contain iron, potassium, magnesium, vitamin C and A.
  • There are various ways that you can use dried and fresh mint leaves. You can add to your salad recipes, stews and sauces, as an ointment to relieve pain and for your smoothies.
  • You can use mint leaves to treat bad breath either by chewing or drinking tea with mint that will kill bacteria that cause bad breath. Mint ointments can also help to relieve pain for breastfeeding mothers. They help treat cracked nipples and ease the discomfort and pain that it causes.
  • Mint leaves can also help to relieve cold and flu symptoms. The menthol compounds aid in reducing congestion. The leaves also help to prevent digestion issues like gas and bloating.
  • Adding mint leaves to your diet is healthy and also makes your dishes and beverages delicious.