Health Benefits of Peppermint Candy
While most types of candy provide little in the way of health benefits, peppermint candies may help some conditions and make you feel less guilty about enjoying an occasional sweet. Peppermint candy usually contains sugar, peppermint oil or extract and water. Some peppermint candies contain additional ingredients, such as chocolate or artificial flavorings. To reap the full benefits of peppermint candy, make sure that the candies contain genuine peppermint oil and not artificial flavorings. While many people may enjoy the flavor and sensation of sucking on a peppermint candy, these sweet treats may provide some helpful health benefits.
According to the Cornell Center for Materials Research, peppermint oil contains higher levels of antioxidants than cereals, fruits and vegetables. Antioxidants are substances that may help protect your cells against attacks of free radicals, molecules produced when your body breaks down food. Although artificial flavorings do not provide these benefits, peppermint candies that contain peppermint oil may increase your level of antioxidants.
Peppermint candies that contain the extracted oil may also ease indigestion and abdominal pain. Sucking on a peppermint candy after a meal may decrease heartburn and feelings of bloating. It may also help with nausea due to motion sickness. Try sucking on a piece of peppermint candy at the end of your meals. Take these along on trips to enjoy when your stomach begins to feel queasy from flying or driving.
Help With Irritable Bowel Syndrome
The Discovery News Channel advises that peppermint oil, a substance in most candy canes, may help provide a defense against irritable bowel syndrome. This condition causes abdominal pain and irregular bowel movements. Between 5 and 20 percent of people suffer from this health condition. Check with your doctor if you think you may have irritable bowel syndrome. Your medical doctor can provide a correct diagnosis of this type of bowel condition and provide in-depth information regarding dietary changes that may help, including the use of peppermint oil.
Commonly referred to as bad breath, halitosis can cause an unpleasant taste as well as an odor. While other types of breath mints may help cover up the smell of bad breath, peppermint candies can help destroy the bacteria that cause mouth odors. In addition to fighting the germs that cause bad breath, the oil in peppermint candies may also help prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
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