Who would have thought that for their sweet and deliciously flavored extract, vanilla beans would actually have one of the most unappealing looks? At first sight, these beans resemble elongated beans that look as if they would have been under the sun a bit too much. However, their blackened appearance does not prevent people from using their extract as a flavoring agent for a wide variety of dishes. Better yet, the extract contained within these beans has been noted to possess several medicinal properties that aid us in more ways than one. Given below are some of the more noted health benefits of vanilla extract.
Helps you Lose Weight
If sugar contains plenty of calories that can make you gain weight, plenty of artificial sweeteners out there pack in nearly the same amount of calories. Vanilla extract, however, is low on the calorie count and can be used as an effective substitute for sugar in almost everything. The only downside to this is that natural vanilla extract is expensive while the synthetic variety doesn’t help you too much in losing weight.
Helps you Fight Nausea
Studies have revealed that sniffing on vanilla extract can curb nausea and its symptoms to an extent. An alternative is to add a few drops of vanilla extract to a glass of water and sip the concoction slowly. In addition to calming the stomach, the scent of the extract would soothe the body and mind, thereby helping you cope well with nausea.
Helps Enlighten your Mind
Feeling stressed out? Try smelling the fumes of vanilla extract for a while. You will instantly feel better. Vanilla extract (and other herbs belonging to the same family) contains potent anti-depressant and sedative properties that help stimulate the production of certain neurotransmitters that can soothe the mind. Vanilla extract also contains sleep-inducing properties that would help you combat stress and other mind related disorders arising out of conditions like sleeplessness or insomnia.
Helps in Eradicating Free Radicals from your Body
Oxidation is a natural process in the body that unfortunately results in the release of certain free radicals and toxins that need to be flushed out immediately. Failure to do so will usually result in a variety of health related ailments, including weight gain, bacterial infections and skin disorders etc. Vanilla extract contains a substance called vanillin, which is known to possess mild antioxidant properties that help remove these free radicals from the body, thereby protecting it from a variety of bacterial and fungal infections among other disorders. Vanillin also contains anti-inflammatory properties that help treat a variety of inflammatory disorders in the body.
Provides your body Wholesome Nutrition
The good thing about vanilla extract is that is has a little bit of every mineral in it. In addition to containing healthy amounts of B Vitamins (B-1 to B-6) that help improve body metabolism and energy production, vanilla extract contains small amounts of magnesium, calcium, manganese, zinc, potassium and iron, all of which are necessary for healthy bone, muscle and tissue development.