Health benefits of Mint Leaves

 Health Benefits Of Mint Leaves

The health benefits of mint include the following:
Digestion: Mint is a great appetizer or palate cleanser, and it promotes digestion. It also soothes stomachs in cases of indigestion or inflammation. When your stomach feels sick, drinking a cup of mint tea can give you relief. Also, if you are someone who travels long distances via plane or boat, the menthol oil derived from mint can be very soothing for nausea and related motion sickness.
The aroma of the herb activates the salivary glands in our mouth as well as glands which secrete digestive enzymes, thereby facilitating digestion. These attributes are why mint is extensively
used in the culinary arts. Much of the western world includes mint as a part of appetizers or as an element of palate cleansers, to be eaten before the main course so the food will digest comfortably.

Nausea & Headache: Mint leaves, especially freshly crushed leaves help you deal with nausea and headache. The strong and refreshing aroma of mint is a quick and effective remedy for nausea. Use mint oil or any other product having mint flavor and your stomach issues will be alleviated. In fact, many people keep menthol oil or mint-flavored products with them at all times to avoid nausea. Balms with a mint base or basic mint oil, when rubbed on the forehead and nose, gives quick relief in case of a headache. The herb is a naturally soothing substance, so it can alleviate the inflammation and temperature rise that is often associated with headaches and migraines.

Respiratory Disorders and Coughs: The strong aroma of the herb is very effective in clearing up congestion of the nose, throat, bronchi and lungs, which gives relief from respiratory disorders that often result from asthma and the common cold. As mint cools and soothes the throat, nose and other respiratory channels, it relieves the irritation which causes chronic coughing. This is the main reason why so many balms are based on mint. Unlike the inhalers that are based on aerosols, those with mint as the fundamental component tend to be more effective and eco-friendly as well.
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Asthma: Regular use of mint is very beneficial for asthma patients, as it is a good relaxant and relieves congestion. That being said, using too much mint in this way can also irritate the nose and throat.

Breast Feeding: For many women, breastfeeding is a beautiful part of raising a child, but it can seriously damage your breasts and nipples. Studies have shown that mint oil can reduce the nipple cracks and nipple pain that so often accompany breastfeeding.

Depression and Fatigue: Mint is a natural stimulant, and the smell alone can be enough to charge your batteries and get your brain functioning on a high level again. If you are feeling sluggish, anxious, depressed, or simply exhausted, mint and its derivative essential oils can help. It can be ingested, applied topically in a salve form, or inhaled as a vapor, and all of those techniques can give you a much-needed boost! A popular way to get good results in an easy manner is to put a few drops of mint essential oil or menthol oil on your pillow at night and let it work on your body and mind while you sleep.

Skin Care and Pimples: While mint oil is a good antiseptic and anti-pruritic material, mint juice is an excellent skin cleanser. It soothes skin, and helps to cure infections and itchiness. In addition to being a good way to reduce pimples, it can even relieve some of the symptoms of acne. Its anti-pruritic properties can be used for treating insect bites like those of mosquitoes, honeybees, hornets, wasps, and gnats. The cooling sensation will relieve you of the irritating sensation and the constant urge to scratch, and the anti-inflammatory nature of mint will bring down swelling! In that same vein, mint oil is often a basic component of bug repellent products like citronella candles, because the strong aroma is unappealing to most insects.

Memory Loss: A recent study explored the effects that mint has on alertness, retention, and cognitive function. It found that people who frequently use chewing gum, whose major active ingredient is mint, had higher levels of memory retention and mental alertness than those who did not. The stimulant qualities of mint, once again, have shown yet another reason to pop that stick of gum in your mouth, or chew some leaves when you’re feeling less than brilliant!

Weight Loss: Aside from all the other health benefits of mint, it also can help in your efforts to lose weight in a healthy way! Mint is a stimulant, as we’ve already mentioned, but it also stimulates the digestive enzymes that absorb nutrients from food and consume fat, and turns it into usable energy. Therefore, by adding mint to your diet, you are increasing the amount of fat that is being consumed and put to use, rather than being stored and contributing to your weight gain!

Female Sterility: There are mixed opinions regarding the role of mint in treating this condition. Some argue that prolonged use of menthol may cause sterility, reducing a woman’s ability to conceive by interfering with the production of ova and killing these gametes. This is due to the germicidal and insecticidal properties of the herb, which are beneficial for so many other health concerns. Other research has claimed that men who smoke menthol cigarettes are more likely to suffer from impotency than those who smoke normal cigarettes. It is not certain whether this is due to the tobacco alone or if the mentholated aspect has anything do with it. Another group or researchers suggest that mint may actually be used to treat sterility in females. Suffice to say, a great deal of further research must be done on the effects of mint in both male impotency and female sterility.

Oral Care: Improving the health of a person’s mouth is a well known benefit of mint. Since it has germicidal qualities and quickly freshens breath, it adds to oral health by inhibiting harmful bacterial growth inside the mouth and by cleaning the tongue and teeth. This is why mint used to be rubbed directly on the teeth and gums to refresh the mouth and eliminate dangerous forms of growth. In modern times, for the same reason, mint is one of the most common elements in toothpastes, mouthwashes, and other dental hygiene products. Of course, the easiest way to get these results is to simply chew on the leaves.

Allergies and Hay Fever: Season allergies and hay fever (also known as rhinitis) affect millions of people around the world at certain times of the year. Extracts from mint leaves have been shown to inhibit the release of certain chemicals, which have been known to aggravate severe nasal symptoms that are associated with hay fever and seasonal allergies.

Cancer: Current research shows that certain enzymes that can be found in mint may help prevent and treat cancer.

Other Benefits: Besides its wide industrial use in foods like ice-cream and chocolates, as well as in alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages, cosmetics, medicines, inhalers and breath fresheners, it is also used as a condiment and a decorative item in culinary preparation around the world. Drinks and foods containing mint cool you off in the summer, and it is often included in summer cocktails for a refreshing burst of flavor. It is also a good relaxant.
One peculiar property of mint that seems quite contrary to its traditional cooling and soothing effects is that it induces sweating if consumed during fever, thereby breaking the fever and speeding the rate of recovery. Mint juice can also be applied to heal and soothe burns. It is also beneficial in the treatment of rheumatism. Furthermore, the herb is also said to improve the activity of the brain, although legitimate and consistent research on its neurological impact has yet to be completed.

Benefits of Jaggery

Benefits of Jaggery – nutritional value of Jaggery

The very good benefit of the jaggery is that it is a taste explosion, when comparison to the normal white sugar the taste of jaggery differs more and lifts up the taste buds easily. For example taste the plain white sugar and jaggery one after the another, there is no need to tell you its rich sweet taste.
Purifies blood
Jaggery improves the hemoglobin levels of the blood and even purifies the blood. Taking few grams on each day benefits the health.
It has the cleansing agent
Sweeteners and sugars mostly don’t have the cleansing properties but the jaggery have it. It cleanses various parts of the body such as lungs, stomach, food pipe, intestine system and respiratory tract. It removes the dust present in the overall body and treats the constipation problem with its fiber.
Digestive agent
One of the property of the jaggery which is not known by many people is its digestive property. After having a heavy meal or a general meal take a few grams of jaggery which helps in the proper digestion. Jaggery stimulates the enzymes present in the digestive system and changes itself to acetic acid in the stomach, by which it fastens the digestion. Along with it, the strain present in the digestion will be reduced and goes on in a smooth way. Liver produces the bile to help the digestion, thus it inhibits the bile disorders.
Energy food
When we take the carbohydrate food, the energy will come in the oxidation process. If the carbohydrate is simple then the energy will come up easily. People who are suffering with the fatigue problem and are in need of instant energy, use to take the amounts of sugar and glucose. Due to their simple property they will easily absorbed by the blood stream and offers the instantaneous energy. But doctors suggest that the sudden increase in the sugar levels will affect the internal organs, especially in the diabetics patients. If it is used as a daily diet, it may give rise for the diabetics problem. The sudden increase in the sugar levels may also affect the kidneys and eyes, increases the blood pressure and even promotes for various organ systems related problems. But jaggery is a complex carbohydrate and will be digested easily and releases the energy even after the period of extended time. Jaggery can offer the person warmth and energy for an extended period without harming the internal organs.
Minerals of jaggery
Unlike sugar, jaggery is the source of many minerals, majorly iron along with traces of some mineral salts. Most of the iron present in the jaggery triggers by its processing in iron vessels. Where as some other minerals come directly from the sugar cane juice, as it doesn’t go to the bleaching or refinement process. Therefore, it is a very rich source of minerals for the body health.
Removes toxins
It improves the bowel movement which is further benefiting in the removal of the toxins present in the body.
In some parts of India, low quality jaggery is mixed with tobacco dust in order to use it as a toothpaste.

Good source of energy
Belonging to the same class of carbohydrate as sugar, jaggery is far better than sugar. Sugar, being a carbohydrate packed ingredient, when consumed mixes with the blood instantly resulting in increase of blood sugar. While jaggery acts in a different way. It takes a bit longer time than sugar to mix with the blood. It acts slowly in your body and keeps on supplying energy to your body for a longer period of time than sugar. It also helps in maintaining the blood sugar level as the sugar level isn’t raised immediately right after consumption. The other benefits provided are, reduces weakness in your body and fights fatigue.

Blood purifier
Among all the benefits it provides, one important benefit is that jaggery purifies the blood. It helps in cleansing the blood and remove impurities when consumed in limited quantity on a regular basis.
Cleanses the body
Jaggery is considered as one of the best body and skin cleansing ingredient. The purifying properties present in jaggery help cleanse the body. It effectively purifies your respiratory tract, food pipe, stomach, lungs and intestines. It is recommended to consume jaggery on a regular basis of equal quantity to remove unwanted impurities. People working in highly polluted areas like coal mines and factories must consume jaggery to avoid health complications.
Prevents constipation
Constipation is one very disturbing and irritating problem for a person. Jaggery is a helpful remedy to avoid constipation. It triggers the digestive enzymes, stimulates bowel activities and helps relieve constipation.

Cools the stomach
It helps in sustaining normal body temperature and keeping your stomach cool. It is recommended to drink a solution of jaggery stirred in cold water during summers or whenever you feel uneasy.
Prevents respiratory problems
Jaggery helps in giving relief from chronic respiratory problems like bronchitis and asthma. It is recommended that consuming this natural sweetening ingredient along with sesame seeds for curing respiratory problems like asthma and bronchitis.
Boosts immunity
Jaggery is a natural sweetener consisting antioxidants and minerals such as selenium, zinc, etc. These properties present in jaggery help prevent free radical damage and boosts up the resistance power of your body to fight germs and infections. It also increases the hemoglobin count in your body.
Controls blood pressure
It helps in maintaining the acid levels in your body. The presence of potassium and sodium helps control the blood pressure levels in your body. Jaggery keeps your blood pressure and blood sugar level under control.
Detoxes the liver
If you want a complete detoxification for your body then start consuming jaggery on a daily basis. It helps in cleansing your liver and remove harmful toxins from your body.
Weight loss
It may seem astonishing but jaggery is pretty effective when it comes to weight loss. Jaggery, being an ingredient which is rich in antioxidants and minerals like potassium helps in increasing metabolism rate in your body and building muscles. It also balances the electrolytes in your body. Many people suffer from water retention, which can be reduced with the help of jaggery due to the presence of potassium in it. It plays an important role in reducing the overall body weight, so if you want to get a balanced structure and remove those unwanted extra weight from your body then include jaggery in your daily diet.
Treats flu-like symptoms
You can fight symptoms of cold and cough with the help of jaggery. The thing you need to do is that mix 2 tablespoon of jaggery to a glass of lukewarm water. Stir well before consuming it. You can also consume jaggery with tea. Replace sugar with jaggery to obtain the benefits of this natural sweetener.
daily basis. Jaggery helps in the release of endorphins which relaxes your body and prevents PMS.
Prevents anemia
It is an ingredient which is rich in folate and iron. These jaggery properties help prevent anemia by keeping the RBC (Red Blood Cells) count normal in your body. It is very much useful for pregnant women.
Boosts intestinal health
Due to the high magnesium content present in jaggery, it helps in boosting up the intestinal strength. You obtain at least 16 mg of magnesium with every 10 gram of jaggery. This 10 gram of jaggery delivers 4% of the required amount of magnesium by your body on a daily basis.
Relieves joint pain
When you consume 1 tablespoon of jaggery stirred in a glass of milk, it helps you strengthen the bones and prevent joint problems. So, if you are suffering from joint pains and weak bone structure then you should start consuming jaggery with a glass of milk.

sugar types and uses

Types of Sugar

White Sugar

There are many different types of granulated sugar. Some of these are used only by the food industry and professional bakers and are not available in the supermarket. The types of granulated sugars differ in crystal size. Each crystal size provides unique functional characteristics that make the sugar appropriate for a specific food’s special need.

White sugar“Regular” or white sugar, extra fine or fine sugar

“Regular” or white sugar, as it is known to consumers, is the sugar found in every home’s sugar bowl, and most commonly used in home food preparation. White sugar is the sugar called for in most cookbook recipes. The food industry stipulates “regular” sugar to be “extra fine” or “fine” because small crystals are ideal for bulk handling and not susceptible to caking.

Fruit Sugar

Fruit sugar is slightly finer than “regular” sugar and is used in dry mixes such as gelatin and pudding desserts, and powdered drinks. Fruit sugar has a more uniform small crystal size than “regular” sugar. The uniformity of crystal size prevents separation or settling of larger crystals to the bottom of the box, an important quality in dry mixes.

Bakers Special Sugar

The crystal size of Bakers Special is even finer than that of fruit sugar. As its name suggests, it was developed specially for the baking industry. Bakers Special is used for sugaring doughnuts and cookies, as well as in some commercial cake recipes to create a fine crumb texture.

Superfine, ultrafine, or bar sugar

This sugar’s crystal size is the finest of all the types of granulated white sugar. It is ideal for delicately textured cakes and meringues, as well as for sweetening fruits and iced-drinks since it dissolves easily. In England, a sugar very similar to superfine sugar is known as caster or castor, named after the type of shaker in which it is often packaged.

Confectioners or powdered sugar

This sugar is granulated sugar ground to a smooth powder and then sifted. It contains about 3% cornstarch to prevent caking. Powdered sugar is ground into three different degrees of fineness. The confectioners sugar available in supermarkets – 10X – is the finest of the three and is used in icings, confections and whipping cream. The other two types of powdered sugar are used by industrial bakers.

Coarse sugar

As its name implies, the crystal size of coarse sugar is larger than that of “regular” sugar. Coarse sugar is recovered when molasses-rich, sugar syrups high in sucrose are allowed to crystallize. The large crystal size of coarse sugar makes it highly resistant to color change or inversion (natural breakdown to fructose and glucose) at cooking and baking temperatures. These characteristics are important in making fondants, confections and liquors.
Sanding sugar
Another large crystal sugar, sanding sugar, is used mainly in the baking and confectionery industries as a sprinkle on top of baked goods. The large crystals reflect light and give the product a sparkling appearance.

Brown Sugar

Turbinado sugarTurbinado sugar

This sugar is raw sugar which has been partially processed, where only the surface molasses has been washed off. It has a blond color and mild brown sugar flavor, and is often used in tea and other beverages.

Evaporated Cane Juice

Evaporated Cane Juice is the common name for the food-grade cane based sweetener produced directly from milled cane using a single-crystallization process. The filtered, clarified juice is evaporated into syrup, crystallized and cured. This free flowing sweetener has a light golden color and retains a hint of molasses flavor because there is no further processing.

Brown sugar (light and dark)

Brown sugar retains some of the surface molasses syrup, which imparts a characteristic pleasurable flavor. Dark brown sugar has a deeper color and stronger molasses flavor than light brown sugar. Lighter types are generally used in baking and making butterscotch, condiments and glazes. The rich, full flavor of dark brown sugar makes it good for gingerbread, mincemeat, baked beans, and other full flavored foods.
Brown sugar tends to clump because it contains more moisture than white sugar.

Muscovado or Barbados sugar

Muscovado sugar, a British specialty brown sugar, is very dark brown and has a particularly strong molasses flavor. The crystals are slightly coarser and stickier in texture than “regular” brown sugar.

Free-flowing brown sugars

These sugars are specialty products produced by a co-crystallization process. The process yields fine, powder-like brown sugar that is less moist than “regular” brown sugar. Since it is less moist, it does not clump and is free-flowing like white sugar.

Demerara sugar

Popular in England, Demerara sugar is a light brown sugar with large golden crystals, which are slightly sticky from the adhering molasses. It is often used in tea, coffee, or on top of hot cereals.

Liquid Sugar

Liquid sugars

There are several types of liquid sugar. Liquid sugar (sucrose) is white granulated sugar that has been dissolved in water before it is used. Liquid sugar is ideal for products whose recipes first require sugar to be dissolved. Amber liquid sugar is darker in color and can be used in foods where brown color is desired.

Invert sugar

Sucrose can be split into its two component sugars (glucose and fructose). This process is called inversion, and the product is called invert sugar. Commercial invert sugar is a liquid product that contains equal amounts of glucose and fructose. Because fructose is sweeter than either glucose or sucrose, invert sugar is sweeter than white sugar. Commercial liquid invert sugars are prepared as different mixtures of sucrose and invert sugar. For example total invert sugar is half glucose and half fructose, while 50% invert sugar (half of the sucrose has been inverted) is one-half sucrose, one-quarter glucose and one-quarter fructose. Invert sugar is used mainly by food manufacturers to retard the crystallization of sugar and to retain moisture in the packaged food. Which particular invert sugar is used is determined by which function – retarding crystallization or retaining moisture – is required.
Home cooks make invert sugar whenever a recipe calls for a sugar to be boiled gently in a mixture of water and lemon juice.