Juicing fruits and vegetables is becoming an increasingly popular way to get nutrients and improve health. With so many different options for produce to juice, it can get overwhelming trying to figure out what combinations make nutritious and tasty juices. Mint is a versatile herb that can add flavor to many juices. But is mint actually good for juicing? Here is a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of using mint in juices.
Pros of Juicing with Mint
There are several benefits that make mint a great addition to homemade juices:
Mint contains a variety of important nutrients:
- Vitamin A – This fat soluble vitamin supports eye health and immune function.
- Vitamin C – Mint is high in immune-boosting vitamin C. Just 1/4 cup provides 12% of the RDI.
- Iron – Important for circulation and enzyme production, mint provides a modest amount of iron.
- Manganese – This trace mineral is needed for bone health and metabolism. Mint is a good source.
- Folate – Mint also contains folate, a B vitamin that helps make DNA and prevents birth defects.
Adding mint to your juices helps boost your intake of these essential nutrients.
In addition to traditional nutrients, mint contains beneficial plant compounds like:
- Flavonoids – Antioxidant compounds that reduce inflammation.
- Tannins – These polyphenols have anti-cancer effects.
- Terpenes – Mint oil is a rich source of terpenes that protect cells.
Juicing mint helps you take advantage of its phytonutrient content.
Unlike some other herbs, mint contains a small amount of fiber. Each 1/4 cup of leaves has:
|Total Fiber||1 gram|
|Soluble Fiber||0.5 grams|
Adding mint to juice provides a fiber boost that improves digestion and heart health.
Mint has medicinal properties that can relax digestive muscles and improve symptoms of conditions like IBS. Drinking mint juice can aid digestion.
All juices help meet daily fluid requirements. Adding mint to your juice takes advantage of its hydrating effects.
Mint has a recognizable cool, refreshing taste. It helps mask bitter flavors in green juices and adds a fresh complexity.
Cons of Juicing with Mint
Despite its benefits, there are a few downsides to juicing with mint:
Lower Nutrient Juice
While mint does contain some nutrients, it is not nearly as packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants as fruits and veggies. Using a lot of mint results in a less nutrient-dense juice.
The aromatic oils in mint give it an assertive flavor. A little goes a long way in juice blends. Too much mint can be overpowering and leave a numbing, tingling sensation in the mouth.
For people taking certain medications, large amounts of mint may cause unwanted side effects. Menthol in mint can affect how the liver processes drugs.
Rarely, mint can cause allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. Symptoms like skin irritation, headache, and breathing problems may occur.
While it can also relieve these symptoms, mint may worsen heartburn, nausea, and vomiting in some cases. It may relax the esophageal sphincter.
Best Practices for Juicing with Mint
Now that you know the pros and cons, here are some tips for safely enjoying mint juice:
Add just a few mint leaves or a splash of extract. Too much can make juice unpalatable.
Balance Strong Flavors
Pair mint with sweet fruits like apple or citrus to balance the intensity.
Use Young Leaves
Older mint leaves can be bitter. Use the newest growth for a better flavor.
The fibrous stems can get stuck and clog your juicer. Strip leaves from stems before juicing.
Avoid large amounts of mint if taking drugs metabolized by the liver. Check with your doctor.
If sensitive or prone to acid reflux, start with a small amount of mint juice and increase slowly.
How Much Mint to Use
Wondering exactly how much mint to add to juice? Here are suggested ratios:
|Juice Size||Amount of Mint|
|8 oz||2-4 leaves or 1/4 tsp extract|
|16 oz||4-8 leaves or 1/2 tsp extract|
|32 oz||8-12 leaves or 3/4 tsp extract|
Start on the low end and adjust to your taste preferences. Using fresh leaves provides better flavor than dried mint.
Delicious Mint Juice Recipes
Mint combines tastefully with many fruits and veggies. Here are a few mint juice ideas:
Watermelon Mint Juice
Watermelon and mint are a classic summertime pair. This sweet juice is refreshing chilled on a hot day.
Citrus Mint Juice
For an immunity boost, combine mint with vitamin C-rich orange and grapefruit juice.
Green Mint Juice
Mask the bitterness of leafy greens like kale or spinach with some fresh mint. Cucumber adds hydration.
Carrot Apple Mint Juice
Carrots and apples both contain fiber that works well with mint. Ginger adds a little kick.
Beet Mint Juice
Mint balances out the earthy taste of beets. Lemon brightens up this ruby-red juice.
Potential Health Benefits
Drinking mint juice may provide the following benefits:
- Improves digestion
- Relieves nausea and motion sickness
- Fights bacteria and viruses
- Supports heart health
- Boosts immunity
- Aids detoxification
- Freshens breath
The nutrients, antioxidants, and phytochemicals in mint all contribute to these health-promoting effects.
Mint offers a tasty way to spice up fruit and vegetable juices. The unique health components in mint provide benefits ranging from improved digestion to enhanced immunity. However, mint juice may not be appropriate for everyone. Those with allergies, medications, or acid reflux should exercise caution.
When used in moderation, mint adds pleasant flavor and nutrition to juices without overpowering other produce. Follow suggested guidelines for amounts to include in your drinks. Pair mint with sweet fruits and strong-flavored vegetables for balanced juices you can enjoy.
Drinking mint juice provides antioxidants and plant compounds that help support good health. But always remember that juicing should not replace eating whole fruits and vegetables which provide valuable fiber. Enjoy mint juice alongside other healthy practices like regular exercise and good nutrition.