Did you know the health benefits of vanilla extract go far beyond the satisfying taste?
Most of us have used vanilla for flavoring, but these health benefits of vanilla extract will make you want it even more!
Vanilla extract is not just a delicious flavoring for our foods. Vanilla is one of the most popular flavors at that.
This popular baking ingredient has health benefits that will make you want to dig it out of the pantry and find a use for it!
Vanilla extract is an ingredient that most of us probably have in our kitchens.
If you like to bake, I’m willing to bet you have vanilla in the cupboard. On the other hand, if you’ve baked before but don’t bake often, you probably have a whole bottle sitting around in your cabinet.
Vanilla extract is a flavoring made from the beans of the vanilla orchid, a tropical vine native to Central and South America.
The extract is usually used to flavor cakes, cookies, ice cream, custards, and other desserts. It is also used to add a unique flavor to drinks, sauces, and other savory dishes.
Vanilla extract is made by extracting the flavor compounds from the vanilla bean using either alcohol or glycerin. The liquid is aged for several months in order to develop the full flavor. The extract is a liquid that ranges in color from light amber to dark brown.
If you’ve ever bought vanilla extract, you’ve probably noticed it’s one of the most expensive spices on the shelf.
The amount of time it takes to make and age pure vanilla extract to perfection is the reason for high prices.
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7 Health Benefits of Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract is an excellent source of antioxidants, and has a number of great benefits for the entire body and our mental health.
It has been shown to reduce inflammation, improve cholesterol levels, increase energy levels, and fight against various diseases and health problems.
The extract may help to improve digestion and may even reduce the risk of certain types of cancer.
Pure vanilla products make a great addition to our diets for overall health.
You can use vanilla extract and vanilla essential oil as topical treatments, food additives, in beauty products, and for aromatherapy!
1. Boosts immunity
Vanilla extract is often used as a natural remedy for boosting immunity. It contains antioxidants and compounds that can help support the body’s natural defenses.
Antioxidants help to protect the body from damage caused by free radicals. As we know, free radicals can weaken the immune system, because they cause oxidative damage.
Vanilla extract also contains small amounts of vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin C, which can help support the immune system.
You can even get beneficial effects from just the aroma of vanilla extract.
The smell can help to reduce stress levels, which can also help to boost immunity.
Lastly, vanilla extract contains vanillin, an anti-inflammatory compound that can help to reduce inflammation and can help to protect the immune system.
2. Improves mood
Vanilla extract is thought to improve mood because of the vanillin it contains.
Vanillin, also mentioned above, is an organic compound that gives off a sweet, aromatic scent. The scent of vanillin has been studied for its potential to reduce anxiety and improve mood.
Research has found that the scent of vanillin can produce an antidepressant-like effect in animals, reducing anxiety levels and improving mood.
The scent of vanillin has also been found to activate the part of the brain responsible for pleasure and reward.
This gives us some indication that the scent of vanillin may be able to improve mood by creating a reward response in the brain – which is thought to be linked to feelings of happiness.
Plus, vanillin has been found to reduce stress hormone levels, which can also help to improve mood.
People with anxiety disorders or other emotional stress or mood disorders may benefit from just smelling vanilla and even more from consuming it.
3. Aids digestion
Vanilla extract can help to soothe digestive issues, such as bloating and cramping.
It’s thought to work by stimulating the production of digestive enzymes and gastric juices. This helps to break down food, stimulate the appetite, and ease digestive discomfort.
Also, those anti-inflammatory properties we already talked about have been found to reduce inflammation and irritation in the digestive tract.
4. Improves skin health
Vanilla extract has been proven to be a beneficial natural skin care product.
The antioxidant properties of vanilla along with the anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties that can help to protect the skin from damage and reduce signs of aging.
The antioxidants in vanilla extract also help to protect the skin from environmental stresses, like sun exposure and pollution.
Vanilla extract can even help to reduce redness and irritation caused by skin conditions such as acne and eczema because of its antioxidants.
The antibacterial properties of vanilla extract can help to keep the skin clean and clear.
Vanilla extract can also help to moisturize the skin, reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles, and even out skin tone.
5. Regulates blood sugar
Vanilla extract is thought to help regulate blood sugar levels because of its active ingredients, vanillin, and eugenol.
Vanillin and eugenol are both compounds that have been found in studies to have an effect on glucose metabolism.
This means if you take it before a meal, vanilla extract can help to slow down the digestion of carbohydrates, giving you a slower and more steady release of glucose into the bloodstream.
This can help to maintain more stable blood sugar levels and reduce the risk of experiencing a sugar spike or crash.
6. Promotes heart health
Those antioxidants that help reduce inflammation and oxidative damage are what protect the heart.
Inflammation is directly linked to an increased risk of heart disease and oxidative stress damages the heart.
Vanilla extract also contains polyphenols, which are compounds that have been linked to a reduced risk of heart disease.
Polyphenols can help to reduce cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and improve blood sugar levels, all of which can help to reduce the risk of heart disease.
7. Treats headaches
Vanilla extract is believed to treat headaches because of its natural analgesic and anti-inflammatory properties.
The vanillin, eugenol, and anethole combination actually acts as a natural and effective pain reliever.
The aroma of vanilla extract has a calming effect that can help reduce stress and tension, which can often be the cause of a headache.
A vanilla extract aroma can also help to increase the levels of endorphins in the brain, which can help to reduce the intensity of a headache.
Imitation Vanilla vs Natural Vanilla
Imitation vanilla extract is an artificial flavoring that is made from synthetic chemicals, including vanillin and ethyl vanillin.
The imitation is much less expensive than pure vanilla extract.
Pure vanilla extract is made by steeping vanilla beans in alcohol and water, and is often labeled as “pure” or “natural”.
The pure vanilla is more expensive than imitation vanilla extract, because it is made with real vanilla beans and has a more robust flavor.
The flavor of pure vanilla extract is more complex, with notes of wood, smoke, and caramel.
If you’re interested in gaining the health benefits of vanilla extract, you’ll need to make sure you get the natural or pure vanilla extract.
There are no nutrients, vitamins, minerals, or other health benefits in synthetic vanillin.
In fact, some studies show that artificial or imitation vanilla extract may trigger allergic reactions, digestive disorders, and migraine headaches.
This goes for a vanilla-like scent when it comes to mood too! You need pure, natural vanilla extract or essential oil to get the benefits, even if you’re just smelling it.
Synthetic vanilla may even make some people feel worse because of its unnatural ingredients.
How to Use Vanilla Extract
Vanilla extract has been used as a natural sweetener for centuries, and it is also a great way to add flavor to desserts.
The extract can be used in baking, as a topping for ice cream, or as an ingredient in smoothies. It can also be added to coffee, tea, and other beverages for a delicious and flavorful twist.
Vanilla extract is a common baking ingredient and is used to add flavor to a variety of desserts and baked goods.
Vanilla extract can be used to flavor coffee, tea, and other beverages.
Vanilla extract can be used to flavor homemade ice cream for a richer and more flavorful treat.
Vanilla extract can also be used to make homemade syrups to add flavor to pancakes and waffles.
Vanilla extract is a common ingredient in glazes and sauces used to finish off desserts like cakes, pies, and donuts.
Vanilla extract can be used to infuse various dishes with a hint of vanilla flavor. Anything from pancakes to oatmeal, rice pudding, dressings, marinades, smoothies, yogurts, and more!
Vanilla extract can also be used as a natural fragrance for home and body products.
Homemade Vanilla Extract
If you can’t find pure vanilla extract, it’s too expensive, or you just like making homemade things, you can make your own extract easily with some patience.
Vodka, vanilla beans (whole beans in the pods of the vanilla plant), and a glass jar with a lid. Use 6 vanilla beans per 8 ounces of alcohol.
1. Split the vanilla beans lengthwise, exposing the seeds.
2. Place the split beans in the glass jar, and fill the jar with vodka, leaving about an inch of room at the top.
3. Seal the lid tightly and give the jar a good shake.
4. Store the jar in a cool, dark place for at least 8 weeks, shaking it every few days.
6. After 8 weeks, your homemade vanilla flavoring is ready to use for all the amazing vanilla benefits! Strain out the beans before using.
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