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Health Benefits of Peppermint, One of Nature's Top Antioxidant Foods

Most people are familiar with the flavor of peppermint - it's the plant that gives the candy of the same name its cool burst of flavor. What most people don't know, however, is that peppermint is an herb with a very high concentration of antioxidants. The health benefits of peppermint are primarily due to its antioxidant content.

It's a little-known fact that herbs (and spices) have far greater concentrations of antioxidants than any common fruit or vegetable source. Herbs also contain a particularly wide variety of antioxidants as well, making them one of the top antioxidant foods around.

Peppermint is an excellent source of antioxidants like vitamin C and beta carotene, which is converted to vitamin A in the body. Peppermint is also a very good source of fiber, iron, calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, vitamin B2 and omega 3 fats.

Specific Health Benefits of Peppermint

The health benefits of peppermint include an ability to relieve symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, including indigestion, dyspepsia, and muscle spasms in your colon. These healing benefits of peppermint are apparently related to its natural muscle-relaxing properties, probably due to the menthol contained in peppermint.

Peppermint contains phytonutrients that have been shown to stop the growth of pancreatic, mammary, and liver tumors. Peppermint has also been shown to protect against cancer formation in the colon, skin, and lungs.

Essential oil of peppermint has also be found to inhibit the growth of many different bacteria and certain types of fungus as well.

Peppermint contains the substance rosmarinic acid, which has several actions that are beneficial in asthma. In addition to its antioxidant abilities in neutralizing free radicals, rosmarinic acid has been shown to reduce inflammation.

Recommendations for Herbs and Spices

It's not enough for you to use herbs and spices periodically to get the full antioxidant benefits of spices; you must consume larger quantities on a daily basis. Once you discover all of the health benefits of spices, you'll want to get more than the small bottles you see at the supermarket. Those won't go very far and will cost much more by the pound than if you buy in bulk. The health benefits of peppermint are also available in essential oil, capsules, tea and liquid extracts.


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