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10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Mint At Home And How To Do It

10 Reasons Why You Should Grow Mint At Home And How To Do It

Mint: it smells great, it grows fast, it tastes good and it has amazing benefits. Not to mention, growing it in your home will help keep pesky bugs like ants and flies outside. The health benefits of mint leaves are unbelievable!

1. Digestion

Mint is perfect for helping with indigestion. Mint leaves are packed with antioxidants and phytonutrients that are really good for your stomach. The smell of mint alone helps activate the salivary glands that produce digestive enzymes, enzymes that are crucial to digestion. They relax stomach muscles which reduces the chance of stomach spasms and indigestion.

2. Relieves headaches

The refreshing aroma of mint is also a quick and effective remedy for nausea and headaches. It is a naturally soothing substance that can alleviate headaches simply by rubbing mint oil on your forehead and nose.

3. Decongestant

The strong smell from mint can also clear your nose, throat and lungs when you are congested. If you find you cough a lot, the soothing smell is great for clearing out throat, nose and other respiratory channels. Mint also has anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties that can help relieve inflammation along the respiratory tract. Drinking mint tea is perfect for helping you clear your congestion.

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4. Fatigue

A whiff of mint might be all you need to get your brain functioning again because it is a natural stimulant. Smelling mint also helps you feel less stressed and depressed because it relaxes your body and calms your mind. The aroma from mint releases a small amount of serotonin in your brain. So, the next time your brain or mood needs a boost, draw a warm bath and sprinkle fresh mint leaves into the water.

5. Skin care

Not only can mint help with medical issues, it’s also great for clearing up pimples, soothing itchy skin and repelling bugs. You can use it to treat bug bites and stings from mosquitoes, gnats, hornets, wasps and bees. The strong scent also helps keep other bugs away from you.

Mint leaves are full of antioxidants which help give your skin a natural glow. The anti-inflammatroy and anti-bacterial properties found in mint leaves also helps clear up acne.

6. Weight loss

By adding mint to your diet you are helping your body lose weight faster because, as we know, mint is a stimulant that helps stimulate digestive enzymes. These digestive enzymes absorb nutrients from food, but also consume fat and turn it into usable energy, rather than storing fat for later.

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7. Asthma

Since mint helps clear the respiratory tract, regular use is perfect for anyone who suffers from asthma. Mint also contains rosmarinic acid that acts as a powerful antioxidant, which helps to block allergy-producing leukotrienes.

8. Oral care

Because mint has a ton of anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, it is great for your oral health because it stops harmful bacterial growth inside the mouth. It also makes your breath minty fresh! All you have to do is rub a mint leaf directly on your teeth and gums, or chew on the leaves for a few minutes.

9. Cancer

Recent research shows that mint can also prevent certain kinds of cancers because a phytochemical that can be found in mint leaves helps to cut off the blood supply to tumors.

How to grow it

Mint is one of the easiest herbs to grow. They grow on an interesting root systems called runners because they sprout new leaves and plants along their roots as they grow. Although mint plants can be pretty evasive, keeping them in a container away from other plants will help tame them.

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To grow mint, all you need is a water-retaining container that is 12 to 16 inches wide, potting soil and, of course, the mint plant. You can grow mint by cutting a sprig off of an existing plant, or you can buy either a seedling or plant from the nursery. Either way is fine, but growing mint from seed is very difficult.

Place the potted mint plant somewhere it will get ample sunlight, preferably in the kitchen where you will have easy access to it when cooking. You will need to keep the soil damp, so water it frequently and keep it away from drying and heating elements.

When trimming your mint plant, trim from the top to help it grow more leaves on the sides. This will help you get more leaves from your plant. Also, make sure to trim the mint’s flower buds to keep your plant under control.

Once you start harvesting never take more than 1/3 of the leaves so that it doesn’t run out. To dry them out, either hang them from the stems, or lay them flat on a tray. Once the stems and leaves are brittle, you can store the leaves in an airtight container.

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How to use it

mint lemonade

    via PicJumbo

    You can use mint for any number of things. Mint tastes great cooked in dishes with chicken, fish, lamb and other proteins, or you can add it to salads, cooked vegetables and even potatoes. The most refreshing way to consume mint though, is in beverages such as mint tea, cocktails and even lemonade such as a delicious ginger, cucumber and mint lemonade.

    As mentioned above, you can chew it to improve your oral health, sprinkle it in the tub or even rub it on itchy bug bites.

    Featured photo credit: Debs via flickr.com

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    Last Updated on March 25, 2020

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

    When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

    So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

    1. Exercise

    It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

    2. Drink in Moderation

    I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

    3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

    Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

    4. Watch Less Television

    A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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    Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

    5. Eat Less Red Meat

    Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

    If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

    6. Don’t Smoke

    This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

    7. Socialize

    Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

    8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

    Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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    9. Be Optimistic

    Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

    10. Own a Pet

    Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

    11. Drink Coffee

    Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

    12. Eat Less

    Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

    13. Meditate

    Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

    Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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    How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

    14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

    Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

    15. Laugh Often

    Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

    16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

    Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

    17. Cook Your Own Food

    When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

    Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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    18. Eat Mushrooms

    Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

    19. Floss

    Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

    20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

    Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

    Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

    21. Have Sex

    Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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    Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

    Reference

    [1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
    [2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
    [3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
    [4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
    [5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
    [6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
    [7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
    [8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
    [9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
    [10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
    [11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
    [12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
    [14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
    [15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
    [16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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