Today let's talk about "Peppermint" since Christmas is associated with candy canes.
This peppermint flavored treat was first made to be a part of Christmas around 1670 when a choirmaster at Cologne Cathedral, Germany handed this candy out to children at their living Nativity.
Candy canes didn't come to the U.S, until 1847 when a German-Swedish immigrant decorated a small blue spruce with paper ornaments and candy canes in Wooster, Ohio.
This was the start of something big. And today Bryan, Ohio is considered the candy cane capital of the world since it's home to the Spangles Candy Co., one of the largest manufacturers of candy canes.
So why do we think of peppermint and candy canes this time of year???
Well . . . mint leaves leave a cool sensation in the mouth and Christmas is associated with snow and ice, this seems to make sense as the flavor of snow.
The white of the cane has been known to represent the purity of Jesus Christ and the red stripes are for the blood He shed when He died on the cross. And the peppermint flavor representing the hyssop plant that was used for purifying the Bible.
And that peppermint flavor is in everything from cookies to pies, to fudge, ice cream, brownies and cheesecake.
But what exactly are the benefits of this Christmas flavor???
Now mind you . . . I'm not talking about all the sugar added to this little mint . . .
I'm just talking about the mint itself.
Peppermint is an excellent anti-inflammatory agent, especially if we're eating foods that don't agree with our tummy. It works well for indigestion.
Peppermint also has a calming effect and is used to treat flatulence, menstrual pain, diarrhea, nausea, depression-related anxiety, muscle and nerve pain, the common cold, indigestion and IBS.
It helps relieve and ease gas and bloating. It helps relieve tension headaches and migraines, freshen your breath, relieve clogged sinuses, improve energy, fight bacterial infections, improve sleep and curb food cravings.
And did you know that peppermint tea is good for weight loss? It curbs unwanted hunger craving and boost digestion.
You see . . . this minty little tea can actually help the stomach process fat, ensuring even high-fat foods like burgers and steak are digested quickly, which can help relieve bloating.
Now, that doesn't mean you can go out and eat bad . . . but it can be a helper this time of year due to all the yummy goodies out there temping us.
Side Note: Even though peppermint helps with indigestion bloating and gas . . . it should "not" be used for "acid reflux" because mint can trigger this discomfort due to relaxing the "lower esophageal sphincter". This is the small rubber band like muscle that connects the bottom of the esophagus to the stomach. And if this band of muscles is relaxed . . . they will allow stomach acid to find its way up the esophagus if too much peppermint is consumed.
So think about adding a little mint to your holiday season for great taste and a little relief for the stomach.
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