Sure, it's delicious in mint juleps and mojitos, but this fragrant herb also packs a powerful nutritional punch. Learn how to use mint to freshen your meals and snacks with these cool tips.
There's more than one reason to finish a meal with mint: Peppermint can soothe stomach discomfort by relaxing muscles in the digestive tract. Plus, its antimicrobial properties can help regulate gut bacteria, making mint an antidote to belly bloat.
Research shows that peppermint tea extract can destroy the bacteria that cause infections such as sinusitis, bronchitis, and walking pneumonia. To brew up these benefits, place a handful of mint leaves in a teapot and gently muddle with the back of a spoon. Fill the pot with hot water, let steep for 5 minutes, and add honey to taste.
Grilling is one of the lightest ways to cook meat, but the high heat can create potentially cancer-causing compounds called heterocyclic amines (HCAs). Mint sauce to the rescue: Scientists from Kansas State University found that marinating steak in mint and other herbs for an hour before grilling can slash HCA formation by up to 88 percent.
Try this flavorful version: Chop 12 fresh mint leaves and combine with 1/2 tsp. each dried rosemary, thyme, and cinnamon; 1/4 tsp. each sea salt and dried oregano; 1 1/2 Tbsp. honey; 1/4 cup lime juice; and 2 Tbsp. olive oil.