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Monday, August 24, 2015

Muffins with Mom – 5 Benefits of peppermint

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Have you ever discovered something about yourself by accident? I just discovered that I am considered an old person. It happened while I was attending a friend’s bridal shower (not the becoming old part, but the discovery that I am old).
Usually it’s my teens who help me make life discovers, but this time it was the teen niece of a friend. We standing at the candy table during the shower, stuffing our goodie bags with assorted candies. There were Starbursts, M & M’s, Kisses, white mints and peppermints, to name a few.
After gathering my share of chocolates, I topped my bag off with a handful of red and white peppermints. It was then that I tuned into the conversation between my friend’s niece and one of her other aunt’s
Aunt: “What kind of candy do you want?”
Niece: “I’ll have some of the mints, the white ones, not the other ones. Those are for old people.”
I put a twist tie on my goodie bag and carried my old person candy to my seat. I couldn’t help but chuckle as I remembered when I also thought peppermints were the candy of choice for old people. As a young girl, whenever I complained of a dry mouth or sore throat, my grandmother had a peppermint on hand.
In my near old age, I still find peppermints soothing. In fact, I have discovered that there are health benefits to peppermints. Here are 5 benefits of peppermints.
1.      Tames stomach problems – peppermints are not a cure all, but they have been said to aid with problems .com) as nausea, menstrual cramps and irritable bowel syndrome. An Italian study found that symptoms of IBS were significantly reduced among 75% of patients who took peppermint oil capsules for a month (huffingtonpost).

2.      May relieve a stuffy nose – one of the biggest ingredients in peppermint is menthol. This minty smell is found in many of the over-the-counter cold remedies. There’s not much evidence that sniffing peppermint actually clears the nasal passages, but it seems to trick the brain that there are benefits.

3.      Eases tension headaches – most often tension headaches are brought on by stress and anxiety. A study (1996) showed that rubbing a peppermint oil solution on the forehead and temples, eased headache pain after 15 minutes.

4.      Curbs cravings – in a study in 2011, people were asked to smell peppermint oil every two hours. They reported not feeling as hungry as people who did not get a whiff of the oil.

5.      Peppermint could boost concentration – research conducted by Wheeling Jesuit University linked smelling peppermint to greater alertness, motivation and performance.
Although you do not have to eat peppermints to reap the health benefits, I will still continue to let the sweet treat line the bottom of my purse; or fill my candy jar. According to the guidelines of a teen, I am an old person, so I am allowed to eat peppermints without further judgment.
Have you made any discoveries about yourself lately?


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