5 Health Benefits of Vanilla You Probably Didn't Know About

Posted by Andrew Lekashman on

Vanilla is also known as the “queen of spices” and for good reason. Did you know that vanilla has more than 85 different compounds, some of which have health benefits? The most common type of vanilla extract is made from the vanilla bean. It's usually a combination of the vanilla beans' essential oils and sugar. Vanilla is a type of orchid native to Central America which produces a seed pod that is used as a flavoring. However, there are other plant varieties of vanilla, such as the Mexican or "chocolate" vanilla plant, which has a stronger and more complex smell and taste.

However, when you extract the vanillin from the bean, you get a much higher nutritional content. To make vanilla extract, the pods are dried, fermented and then aged. In this process, vanillin is produced. This is what gives vanilla its strong, rich taste. If you're looking for some other delicious ways to incorporate vanilla into your diet, read on. You might be surprised at what you learn.

Health Benefits of Vanilla

Rich in Antioxidants - A study conducted on the antioxidant content in vanilla showed that the spice has a much higher antioxidant level than some other spices that are widely used in the kitchen. This makes it a very healthy spice to have in your kitchen

Helps With Digestion - Vanilla is high in fiber and has been shown to help with digestion. This makes it a great addition to any weight-loss diet since it can help keep you regular and curb hunger pangs.

May Help With Depression and Anxiety - Vanilla has been shown to have some antidepressant and anti-anxiety properties. This makes it a useful tool for managing the symptoms of mild mood disorders. And if you have severe mood disorders, you should always consult with your doctor before adding any new food to your diet.

It’s Rich in Potassium - Another benefit of vanilla is that it is rich in potassium. This makes it a great choice for people with high blood pressure as it can help lower their levels.

1. Boost Mood

Do you ever feel down or blue? Vanilla's antidepressant properties might be the perfect addition to your diet. It contains a substance called vanillin, which has been shown to significantly affect serotonin levels in the brain. Studies have found that vanilla extract can significantly improve mood and decrease feelings of stress and anxiety when ingested daily. This might be because vanilla contains a chemical called coumarin that has similar effects on the brain as some antidepressants, without the side effects.

Vanilla is a well-known mood booster, which is why it’s often used in aromatherapy. It also works on a physical level by boosting serotonin levels in the brain. This neurotransmitter is responsible for boosting your mood and even helps regulate sleep. Some studies have even found that vanilla extract can be even more effective at boosting serotonin levels than antidepressants! This is why vanilla is the perfect treat to enjoy after a long day. It can help you unwind and relax, making you feel better overall. This can also be helpful if you have anxiety or if you’re dealing with PMS symptoms; a whiff of vanilla can help ease your mood and make you feel better.

2. Improve Brain Performance

Vanilla is packed with antioxidants that can help prevent or delay cognitive decline as you age. This can be especially beneficial for those who suffer from Alzheimer’s disease or other forms of dementia. More research is required to find out exactly how much vanilla is needed for these benefits but for now, you can enjoy the taste of vanilla and its health benefits! Vanilla’s antioxidants also have benefits for your memory and mental performance. Studies have shown that consuming vanilla is linked to a boost in both short-term and long-term memory. 

If you're looking to improve your brain performance and focus, vanilla might be a nice addition to your diet. It's been shown to help improve brain function and increase concentration. One study found that people who were given vanilla improved their brain function significantly after just four weeks.

3. Protect Vision

Studies have shown that consuming vanilla extract can help prevent vision deterioration and even promote healthy vision. For those who use eye drops to relieve dry eyes, vanilla extract can be added to the solution to help reduce irritation and burning. Vanilla contains antioxidants that are beneficial for your eyes. These antioxidants help prevent oxidative damage, which can cause vision problems like macular degeneration. They can also keep your eyes healthy and protect them from degenerating at an earlier age.

While little research has been done on the impact of vanilla on your eyes,  some evidence suggests vanilla helps decrease eye strain, making reading and other tasks easier on your eyes. Furthermore, vanilla may increase your eyes' resistance to infection.

4. Increase Skin Elasticity

One of the most interesting health benefits of vanilla is its ability to increase skin elasticity when added to a skincare regimen. The ingredient vanillin is a natural preservative that has been proven to increase skin elasticity by 5.5%. This means that it can help those with sagging and wrinkled skin that comes from aging. If you want to look younger, it's worth adding vanilla to your skincare regimen!

As you age, wrinkles and fine lines are bound to happen. But the great thing about vanilla is that it can increase your skin’s elasticity, which can help prevent wrinkles and other signs of aging. There are a few ways to do this, including adding vanilla extract to your skincare products. You can also make a homemade face mask with vanilla, which is also a great way to exfoliate your skin. Healthy, smooth skin is a sign of youthfulness, but when you get older, your skin loses its ability to retain moisture and becomes more fragile. Vanilla can help prevent this by increasing your skin’s elasticity and promoting healthy skin cell production.

5. Support Overall Health

There are many other possible health benefits of vanilla, besides those listed above: It might help with bowel health due to its laxative properties; it may reduce bloating and gas in those who suffer from chronic farts. Vanilla may also protect the liver due to its antioxidant properties. It can also help with blood sugar control in those with type 2 diabetes. It has anti-inflammatory properties, making it a good choice for those with joint pain. Finally, it may have anti-carcinogenic properties, preventing colon and pancreatic cancer if consumed regularly.

Promotes weight loss: The antioxidants found in vanilla can help boost your metabolism and prevent fat storage.

Protects against infections: Vanilla contains antimicrobial properties that can help prevent infections, especially in cuts and scrapes.

Helps with allergies: Vanilla can help relieve your allergies by reducing inflammation and promoting relaxation.

Protects against diabetes: Vanilla’s antioxidants can help reduce your risk of diabetes and regulate blood sugar levels.

Strengthens bones: Vanilla contains Vitamin K, which is essential for bone health.

Final Thoughts

Vanilla may be a common spice, but it’s also more than that. It contains many nutrients that can promote health and prevent disease. It can also be used to improve the taste of many different foods and beverages! If you’re interested in adding vanilla into your diet, then now is the time to start. With all of these benefits, it’s a wonder why more people don’t use it more often. But luckily, there are plenty of ways to use vanilla, both in foods and beverages.

If you're looking for some other delicious ways to incorporate vanilla into your diet, check out these delicious recipes: 

Vanilla Lemonade - This is one of the most popular drinks made with vanilla. It's great for reducing bloating and gas in those with digestive issues. 

Vanilla Ice Cream - Vanilla ice cream is a classic dessert that is delicious and healthy at the same time. 

Vanilla Waffles - Vanilla waffles are delicious and nowhere near as boring as they sound. 

Vanilla Oatmeal - Vanilla oatmeal is a great breakfast choice because you can add almost anything to it. 

Vanilla Smoothies - Vanilla smoothies are a delicious and refreshing way to consume vanilla.

You'll find vanilla in many of our Vitality Blends along with a range of other beneficial mushrooms and other ingredients. 

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