Vanilla beans come from pods of vanilla plants, an orchid that grows in tropical areas. Since cultivating vanilla is so labor-intensive, it is one of the most expensive spices in the world.
Due to the high cost of vanilla, most ice cream and desserts replace it with a synthetic substitute. While it is less expensive, it does not offer as many health benefits.
This article will discuss the health benefits of vanilla beans and why you should consider adding this spice to your diet!
Vanilla Bean Benefits
People have been using vanilla for medicinal purposes for centuries. However, more scientifically-backed evidence has come to light in recent years, proving the numerous benefits of vanilla.
Researchers have carried out several studies to learn more about the antibacterial properties of vanilla. In one study, they applied vanilla oil to medical devices and found that it reduced the growth of certain kinds of bacteria.
One variety of bacteria that vanilla can kill is Cronobacter, which can cause fatal infections in those with weak immune systems.
Due to these antibacterial properties, vanilla can help you prevent or fight infection.
Vanillin is one of the chemical components in vanilla bean extract. When you consume 200-400 milligrams per day, it can lower your cholesterol. As a result, you are less likely to suffer a heart attack or stroke.
Improves High Blood Pressure
One vanilla bean contains as much as 100 milligrams of potassium, which helps regulate electrolytes, water retention, and heart contractions.
Potassium also relaxes your blood vessels, causing reduced tension and stress in your body. Thus, consuming vanilla is an excellent way to lower your blood pressure.
Supports the Immune System
Vanilla is rich in antioxidants, substances that protect your cells from breaking down. Furthermore, antioxidants stimulate cell growth, which can help you improve your immune system and prevent illness.
In addition, you can consume vanilla when you are sick to speed up your recovery.
In the past, people used vanilla to decrease inflammation. Today, people still use it to relieve arthritis, symptoms of gout, and liver inflammation.
Free radicals can damage cells and lead to cancer. The antioxidants in vanilla strengthen our immune system and prevent cancer by protecting the cells from free radicals.
High in Magnesium
Vanilla is high in magnesium, one of the nutrients that our body needs to function correctly. It helps with muscle and nerve function, blood pressure regulation, blood sugar levels, and protein production.
Rich in Manganese
In recent years, manganese has become more popular as a supplement due to its ability to boost our mood and metabolic function. By consuming a tablespoon of vanilla bean powder, you can supply your body with 30 percent of your daily serving of manganese.
Plant-Based Calcium Source
Calcium is vital for bone health, but it also reduces cortisol, the hormone your body produces due to stress. Too much cortisol can cause depression, anxiety, moodiness, and weight gain.
If you can’t get the recommended amount of calcium due to a dairy intolerance, vanilla bean is a great alternative!
Since vanilla is an aphrodisiac, it enhances hormones associated with happiness and love, such as oxytocin and dopamine. They can help boost your mood and your libido.
The smell of vanilla has a calming effect, which can help those who suffer from anxiety. If you want to try it at home, put a few drops of vanilla oil in your humidifier or diffusor.
Diminishes Sugar Cravings
Vanilla has fewer carbohydrates and calories than sugar, making it a healthy alternative in recipes.
While vanilla isn’t sweet like sugar, it may help curb your craving so you can stick to your diet goals. Putting this simple trick to use can reduce high blood glucose and improve your overall health.
Relieve a Toothache
Vanilla extract contains alcohol, which can numb minor toothaches. If you’d like to try it out, apply a couple of drops of pure vanilla extract to the affected tooth.
How to Get the Benefits of Vanilla Beans
For optimal nutritional benefits, you should purchase whole vanilla beans or vanilla bean powder. We recommend trying Madagascar bourbon vanilla beans.
If you opt for the whole beans, you will need to scrape the powder from the pods. Typically, the powder is more expensive but is much easier to use.
If you cannot buy whole beans or powder, you can still use vanilla extract for aromatherapy. However, it is much more diluted and doesn’t offer the same nutritional value.
Cooking with Vanilla Bean
Once you purchase your vanilla bean powder, it’s time to put it to use in the kitchen! There are infinite possibilities for making vanilla bean foods, but here are some of our favorite ideas.
- Vanilla smoothie
- Homemade Ice Cream
- Protein Shakes
- Energy Bites
- Vanilla Latte
If you don’t have much of a sweet tooth, you may wish to experiment with vanilla in savory recipes. Use it to make a vinegarette dressing, season your meat, or create pasta sauces. The choice is yours!
Enjoy the Benefits of Vanilla
With so many health benefits, it’s hard to resist the delicious and comforting taste of vanilla. Using the best quality vanilla beans, you can ensure that you get the most out of this superfood and its effects.
Did you enjoy this article about the benefits of vanilla beans? If so, be sure to read more of our content!