What is Vanilla Extract?
Most people usually associate this extract with a spice that’s rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Well, vanilla extract is all these and so much more. It’s a popular beverage that is prepared by mixing the vanilla beans with water and ethyl alcohol. The solution is gradually filtered for about 2 days then stored for months before it’s used.
Vanilla extract comes in more than one variety. There is the Madagascar vanilla which is the most common. It accounts for more than 75 percent of all the vanilla found in the market. There is also Mexico and Tahiti vanilla although they are not very common. Vanilla has been used for centuries as a food flavor and a fragrance. Its beautiful unique aroma and pleasant scent provide users with a wide range of health benefits. It is a low-calorie substance that contains no cholesterol. Additionally, it contains no dietary fiber and it has very few traces of protein. To help you understand vanilla extract better, below is a detailed breakdown.
Vanilla Extract Nutrition Facts
The main chemical compound that is found in vanilla is vanillin. However, Vanilla extract also contains vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamine, vitamin B6 and pantothenic acid. All these complex B-Vitamins help to aid the synthesis of enzymes. Besides that, they enhance the rate of metabolism and promote the nervous system. Apart from Vitamins, Vanilla extract has mineral traces of calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, iron, and potassium. 100g of vanilla extract contains the following nutrition facts:
• 12.7g of carbs
• 0g of dietary fiber
• 0.1g of protein
• 0g of cholesterol
Health Benefits of Vanilla Extract
Although this extract is mainly used as a flavoring agent, it has a lot of health benefits. This fragrant can be used with ice creams, cakes, custards, and chocolates. Some of the health benefits of vanilla extract can be seen physically and also internally experienced. They include:
Alleviating Symptoms of Anxiety &. Depression
Reports conducted on various neurological studies show that vanilla extract has a positive impact on depression and anxiety. Its fragrance may be the cause of this. Individuals who suffer from depressive episodes and panic attacks are sometimes advised to sip milk or water containing vanilla extract. The aromatherapy helps to reduce the claustrophobia symptoms.
Note that most syrups designed for coughs use vanilla extract for flavoring. This helps to reduce the bitter taste of the syrup and because it’s a mild anesthetic, it alleviates symptoms of headache and sore throat.
Alleviates Symptoms of Nausea
This extract helps to eliminate the feeling of nausea. The beautiful scent of this food flavor has a calming effect. Simply add a spoonful of the extract in a glass of water and slowly sip it. Vanilla extract is as good as medicine, and it is highly effective.
Promotes Weight Loss
A good diet and thorough exercise can help to promote weight loss. However, vanilla extract has greater weight loss benefits. It is a great appetite suppressor that helps to reduce food cravings. It stimulates the rate of metabolism, leading to a speedy rate of digestion, helping consumers to attain their weight loss goals.
Improves Dental Health
The effect of vanilla is the same as that of eugenols and chili pepper. It has a healthy effect on the central nervous system. Note that capsaicin helps to alleviate pain and eugenols are known to be effective topical anesthetics. Because vanilla has similar properties like them, it helps to reduce the painful effects of toothache.
People have been using it to improve their digestive health. Vanilla is used with herbal tea and it’s a popular remedy that helps to soothe inflammation along the digestive lining. Additionally, it also helps to treat digestive problems such as diarrhea, stomach cramps, and others.
Regulates the Menstrual Cycle
Women with menstrual problems can use this extract to treat it. Vanilla extract can be included as part of a healthy diet to regulate menstrual cycles. It can help to regulate irregular menstrual cycle and alleviate the symptoms of painful menstrual cramps.
Promotes Faster Healing of Wounds
The anti-inflammatory health properties of this extract has a calming effect. It helps to soothe pain on inflamed parts of the skin. Vanilla extract is an effective home remedy for treating wounds. However, it shouldn’t be applied directly to burns and open wounds.
The antioxidant benefits of vanilla extract help to eliminate free radicals from the body. It has more than 200 types of compounds which contain antioxidant properties. Because this extract is antioxidant-rich, they help to effectively eliminate free radicals from the body. The antioxidant properties of vanilla help to eradicate radicals that cause cancer.
Benefits of Vanilla Extract on Hair
This extract does not only have health benefits but it also plays a vital role in hair care. It’s a nutrient-rich organic extract that helps to maintain the health of the hair. It can be used to enhance the appearance and growth of the hair. Some of the hair benefits of this extract include:
Promotes the Growth of Silky Hair
Mixing this extract with other compounds and give your hair a smooth shiny look with a silky appearance. It can be applied with melted shea butter for about 20 minutes before washing it off with a shampoo. It makes the hair manageable by giving it a less sticky and soft texture.
Promotes Rapid Hair Growth
The essential vanilla is known to promote faster hair growth. It should be applied in the scalp as well as the hair strands. Simply apply it and then wrap a towel around the head. Leave it on for 30 minutes before washing it off with shampoo.
Benefits of Vanilla on Skin
The vanilla essence is used with various skin products. Not only is it a good fragrance, but it’s also rich in antioxidants. Vanilla essence is used with skincare products such as creams, butter, lip balm, and lotions. Some of its skin benefits include:
It Promotes Good the Skin Health
The high amounts of vitamin B6, thiamin and niacin help to promote good skin health. The antioxidants that are found in the vanilla extract help to eliminate damage caused by toxins and pollutants.
Its antibacterial property help to reduce the effects of acne.it cleanses the skin and opens the skin pores. By doing so, it helps to eliminate the occurrence of acne and pimples.
It Soothes Skin Burns
For centuries, this liquid extract has been used to treat burns traditionally. The vanilla essential oil or a diluted extract of vanilla is used on burns to alleviate pains and promote quick recovery. Just like wounds and cuts, vanilla should be directly applied to the skin. Besides that, you can use topical treatments which contain extracts of vanilla. Note that it’s always important to talk to your doctor first before using home remedies to treat burns.
Reverses Premature Ageing
This is an antioxidant-rich extract that helps to revere premature aging. Free radicals are usually harmful to the skin. They can cause age spots, wrinkles, and fine lines. This fragrance is used with various skin care products to nourish the skin and make it soft and supple.
Side Effects of Vanilla Extract
Does this extract have any harmful side effects? Just like any type of food, the vanilla extract should be taken or used in moderation. Using it in excess can result in side effects such as itchiness on the skin. People who ingest it in large amounts may end up with stomach discomforts. Those with the Gilbert’s syndrome shouldn’t take vanilla or they should first consult with their healthcare provider.
Tips on Using Vanilla Extract
Note that this extract can be consumed with drinks, used in powder form or mixed with other products. Its excellent flavor, as well as the fragrance, is the reason that is used with foods and cosmetic products. Below are some of the tips of successfully using vanilla extract.
• It should be used in small amounts with foods as a flavoring agent.
• When the vanilla extract is used as a supplement or for medicinal purpose, ensure that you consult with a medical personnel about the dosage.
• You can use it for as long as you want. There is no specific timeframe of using vanilla extract. All you have to do is to take in moderate quantities.
• It doesn’t have sugar or extra calories hence it’s a suitable add-on to foods.
• Vanilla extract is generally expensive and you should only purchase it from authentic sellers.
The aphrodisiac properties of vanilla has seen it being used for centuries. It improves libido in men. Furthermore, this extract helps to induce the feeling of pleasure as well as satiation. Overall, vanilla extract has a wide range of benefits. However, it should only be used in adequate amounts in order for it to be effective. It’s a great extract whose benefits can be witnessed mentally and physically. It refreshes the mind, enhances energy levels in the body, reduces stress and eliminates the risk of numerous diseases.