Mint (Mentha) is a genus of plants in the family Lamiaceae (mint family). Being one of the most popular ancient herbs grown throughout the world, mint has been used since ancient times for its aroma and medicinal properties. When it’s added to food, mint will give such uniquely nice taste and smell.
Mint leaves contain vitamin A, C, B12, riboflavin, folic acid, thiamin, and essential minerals like calcium, copper, potassium, iron, manganese, zinc, phosphorus, fluoride and selenium. Common product of mint leaves is mint tea, which usually use peppermint leaves.
Mint tea is made by boiling infusing peppermint leaves in boiling water. Peppermint is a hybrid of water mint (Mentha aquatica) and spearmint (Mentha spicata) which are both found in wild. Peppermint tea is caffeine free. It can help induce sleep and will improve the quality of sleep, thus giving a feeling of freshness. This sweet-smelled tea also promotes brain health.
Being an useful herbal medicine, mint leaves is good for people with diabetes. Diabetesis is a disease that occurs blood glucose level in your body is too high. Blood glucose, or also called as blood sugar, is your main source of energy and it comes from the food you consume. Insulin is a hormone made by the pancreas. It helps glucose from food to get into your cells to be used for energy.
But, sometimes your body doesn’t produce enough—or any—insulin or doesn’t use it well. This condition allow glucose to stays in your blood and doesn’t get into your cells. Over time, this excessive glucose in your blood can cause health problems. There some types of diabetes but the most common types are type 1, type 2, and gestational diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is when your body does not make insulin. Your immune system attacks and crashes the cells in your pancreas which produce insulin.
To stay alive, patients of type 1 diabetes need to take insulin every day. Type 2, the most common type of diabetes, is when your body does not make or use insulin well. People with age of 45 or older, who have a family history of diabetes, or are overweight are more likely to develop type 2 diabetes.
Mint leaves bring many benefits for diabetes by relieving the symptoms of indigestion, bloating and nerve complications. To get clear about the benefits of mint leaves for diabetes, check down below.
1. Mint leaves lower blood glucose levels
Since mint has menthol, it is known to be helpful in lowering blood glucose levels. It’s very simple and easy to have a peppermint tea. First, you just need to heat water until it reaches boiling point. Next, pour it into your teapot over the peppermint leaves and then allow the tea to steep for about 5 to 10 minutes.
Take a note that patients should not consume too much peppermint tea as it can interfere with the medicines taken. It may also interfere with iron absorption if taken together with foods or supplements that contain iron. A source suggests that someone with diabetes should drink 3 cups of peppermint tea on a regular basis for eight weeks to get the benefits. However, after that 8 weeks ou should skip the daily consumption for few days.
2. Mint leaves improve digestion
How does poor digestion relate to diabetes? According to American Physiological Reviews, both the metabolism of sugars and fats are destructed in diabetes. People with diabetes have problem digesting fats. Hence, indigestion and stomach pain are the common symptoms. Mint may be helpful for people with diabetics since it helps improve the flow of bile. When fatty meals are consumed, it helps in digestion.
To consume mint tea for digestion health, you can simply put a teaspoon of dried organic peppermint leaves into a teapot with a filter or a french press. Steep it in very hot water for about two minutes. The longer you steep your tea, the stronger the cup of tea will be. The longer steeping time will also give more taste. If you want a simpler way to have peppermint tea, you can just use mint tea bags. Mint tea bags are obviously convenient and easy. We can take it while traveling and to work.
So, if you feel you’re more likely a simple person, using teabags than the loose leaf tea is worth the little extra. Try to look for unbleached tea bags if possible for your peppermint tea. You don’t want any chemicals to get into your body, do you? Those chemicals used in bleaching paper products are not the type of compounds you want in your body.
3. Mint leaves ease bloating
Another common symptom in people with diabetes is gatroparesis. This condition occurs as there are times when their gut motility is slow. As an impact, the food that was eaten stays longer in the stomach, get subjected to fermentation and promotes bacterial overgrowth. Fermented food and intestinal bacteria are the reasons for excessive gas.
This excessive gas leads to bloating, flatulence and some abdominal cramps. The consumption of peppermint tea can reduce the symptoms. Peppermint has relaxant and antispasmodic properties which can improve the passage of both food and swallowed air through the digestive tract. This allows them to go through smoothly without pain or discomfort. If you’re intending to relieve bloating or intestinal pain caused by digestive problems, four minutes or more steeping time is recommended.
See also: Health Benefits of Spearmint Gum
Those are benefits of mint leaves for diabetes that you probably don’t know but you should. Since this plant is easy to grow, you can plant it home.
True peppermint plant aren’t grown from cuttings as plants grown from seeds. If you have your own true peppermint plant you can pick around a dozen blemish free leavesand wash them.
Crush them up with your fingers or a spoon to get more of their beneficial oils. Next, place them in a french press or teapot with a filter. Steep with very hot but not boiling water for a bit longer than with dried peppermint. Let it sit for about 5 minutes before you enjoy your tea.
See also: Benefits of Mint Leaves and Lemon Water