Vanilla is vital. The United States exported nearly $25 million of vanilla in 2019.
The vanilla bean offers a lot more than economic benefits. There are numerous benefits of vanilla beans, and you should understand what they are.
Where do the health benefits of vanilla come from? What are vanilla bean benefits for mental and physical health? How can you make use of the vanilla bean in your cooking?
Answer these questions and you can use a delicious bean to improve your health. Here is your quick guide.
Vanillin is the main flavor and aroma compound in vanilla beans. Vanillin is found in oils and orchids, though it is most common in vanilla plants. In addition to creating a strong flavor and smell, it has numerous effects on health.
It can act as an antioxidant, helping the body recover from injuries. It can fight cancer cells and reduce inflammation inside the digestive system.
Vanillin is found in prominent doses inside beans, not vanilla bean extract. You can grind beans or eat them whole and receive the full dose of vanillin.
Vanilla beans and extracts contain numerous vitamins. Vitamin B3 helps the body turn food into energy, which can facilitate weight loss and digestion. Vitamin B1 helps cells grow, develop, and reproduce.
Beans do not offer massive doses of vitamins. But they can help you meet your daily needs, especially if you find several vanilla beans uses. Consider sprinkling vanilla beans on top of desserts, including yogurt and pudding.
Minerals come from the soil and water. Your body needs very large amounts of minerals in order to function, especially minerals like calcium and magnesium.
Vanilla beans provide small amounts of these essential minerals. They also offer iron, which your body can use to produce red blood cells.
Potassium allows your nerves to send signals to each other. Vanilla beans contain a few milligrams of potassium, and they complement foods like bananas that offer larger amounts.
Vanillic acid is another chemical compound found in vanilla beans. Vanillin creates it when it oxidizes, meaning that older vanilla beans can contain large amounts of it.
Vanillic acid may have components that help with brain health. A 2021 study found that injections of vanillic acid reduced nerve cell inflammation and signs of Alzheimer’s disease in rats.
It is not clear if these results are applicable to humans. Yet other studies have corroborated its findings, and vanillic acid is a well-known antioxidant. If you have a family history of Alzheimer’s, consider taking some vanilla beans.
Vanilla beans fight off inflammation in several ways. It contains numerous compounds that alleviate cell inflammation, including vanillic acid.
The taste of vanilla can be very soothing. You may feel more relaxed after you eat it, which can ease an upset stomach or sore throat.
Do not drink vanilla extract by itself. There may be artificial ingredients in it that can upset the stomach. The flavor may be a little overpowering when you consume too much of it.
Try consuming vanilla extract or beans with other foods or liquids. At a minimum, stir some vanilla extract into a glass of water.
Vanilla does not contain any harmful sugars. When you stir it into a drink, you may feel like the drink is getting sweeter. Vanilla complements the flavor of many sweeteners, including artificial ones.
This means that you may be able to decrease your sugar intake. You can put a few drops of extract into your cup of coffee and avoid adding sugar to it. This can help with weight loss and bring your blood sugar levels down.
Many people are turned off by the taste of tart fruits and vegetables. But you can add vanilla to them to make them palatable.
You can make a fruit smoothie and then stir in a spoonful of vanilla bean powder. If you want to stop eating ice cream, you can mash up a banana and add crushed vanilla beans to it.
The smell of vanilla is also very soothing. Some aromatherapists advise their clients to light scented candles when they are feeling stressed. Many candles contain vanillin as an active ingredient or offer an artificial vanilla scent.
If you have an anxiety problem, talk to an aromatherapist. Then look into some scented candles and see if there is one to your liking.
You can also try sniffing vanilla extract when you are feeling stressed. Put a few drops on a spoon and hold the spoon close to your nose.
The soothing scent and anti-inflammatory properties of vanilla can help with different respiratory problems. If you have a cough or a stuffy throat, mix some vanilla extract with warm water.
You can spray the mixture toward the back of your throat, or you can drink the mixture. Wait a few hours and see if your symptoms alleviate. You can drink another glass if you don’t experience any relief.
The benefits of vanilla bean may surprise you. Vanillin is vanilla’s taste and aroma compound. It can help the body heal and reduce inflammation.
Vanilla contains small amounts of numerous vitamins and minerals. It also contains chemicals that can help with brain health and digestive inflammation.
You can get creative with vanilla. You can mix it into drinks so you consume less sugar, and you can sprinkle it on fruits. Sniff it to relieve stress, and mix it with water to soothe your sore throat.
Vanilla is just one healthy spice. Learn all about spices by following our coverage.