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Natural Awakenings South Central Pennsylvania

Incorporate Mint for Heart Health

Mar 07, 2017 03:05PM

According to the American Heart Association, cardiovascular diseases and stroke cause one in three women’s deaths each year; 80 percent of which could be prevented by lifestyle changes and education. Making lifestyle changes can be a seemingly daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be. Maintaining a healthy heart is multifaceted, but incorporating small changes, such as using herbs like mint in our diet more frequently, could aid in heart health goals.

A study published in International Immunopharmacology revealed that menthol, a substance derived from mint, significantly lowers total cholesterol numbers. Flavoring dishes and drinks with herbs like mint can also impact heart health, because it decreases the use of salt, sugar and fat. Mint is commonly used in both hot and cold teas, but can also be a star in smoothies or even water. Pair mint with protein, particularly lamb, or mix it into a salad with dried fruit and nuts.  Mint can also make for a tasty addition in grain recipes like couscous or a lovely garnish on mixed fruit.

Store leftover mint in a large Mason jar filled with an inch of water at the bottom. Cover leafy tops with a plastic bag, seal with a rubber band and place it in the refrigerator. This tender herb will usually keep for two weeks.

Shanna Shultz, RD, LDN, is an in-store nutritionist at the Giant Food Store at 2300 Linglestown Rd., in, Harrisburg, which is holding a free nutrition class, Mint Spectacular, at 5:30 p.m., March 7. To register, call 717-545-0489.

October 2019