As the summer draws near, and we face the prospect of bathing suit weather, who doesn’t need a little help when it comes to losing, or at least not gaining – a few extra pounds? Well did you know that there is a great weight loss aid right under your nose in the refreshing scent of peppermint!
Now, that does not mean it’s time to start scarfing down on Candy Canes or Mocha Mint Lattes, but mint is a well-known diet tool. It’s been shown to calm cravings, and a little mint tea can soothe your tummy after over indulging.
The Proof is in the Pudding
Maybe not in the pudding exactly, but in the air for sure! Research suggests that a whiff of peppermint may help you shed those unwanted pounds. A study at Wheeling Jesuit University in West Virginia tracked 27 adults for 10 days and found that those who wafted peppermint oil under their nose every two hours ate between 300 – 400 calories less per days than those who did not.
According to study creator Bryan Raudenbush, Ph.D., “the scent or consumption of peppermint increases brain activity in the area that controls alertness.” Raudenbush believes that by staying alert, and avoiding a drop in attention and energy this way, the “sniffers” steered clear of reaching for sugary snacks for a return of energy and a brain boost.
Dr. William N. Dember of the University of Cincinnati ran a study that echoed Raudenbush’s results. Dr. Dember concluded, “mental alertness and focus could be increased by 28 percent through the inhalation of peppermint oil.”
Raudenbush also concluded that in addition to increasing alertness and reducing fatigue, peppermint increases “satiety,” or that sense of fullness and satisfaction after eating.
Many similar studies to Raudenbush’s and Dember’s have shown that peppermint, whether inhaled as in their studies, or ingested by chewing peppermint leaves, will help curb appetite and cravings. However, almost all of the studies agree that, sniffed or chewed, it should be pure and natural peppermint, not the artificial stuff, and if chewed, eaten in food recipes, or drank as tea, preferably organic peppermint that is free of chemical fertilizers and pesticides.
Mint has been used in folk medicine for centuries, and there is now significant amounts of modern research that has confirmed many of this aromatic plant’s purported health benefits, particularly as it relates to diet, satiety and weight loss.
So go ahead chew on some peppermint, it will help you lose weight, and who knows, that sexy new body might make you that much more kissable – and at least your breath will also be nice and minty fresh!