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Vanilla Facts – To Eat Or Not To Eat

priyam's picture

Vanilla facts - to eat or not to eatVanilla, the tropical orchid is the second most expensive spice in the world and is highly valued for its unique, delicate flavor and its complex aroma. There are quite a few vanilla facts that are unique and most are unaware of.Vanilla is a native of Mexico and the name ‘vanilla’ is derived from the Spanish word ‘vainilla’ meaning little pod. Read on to know more about the little pods that are used extensively in domestic baking, commercial baking, and perfume manufacture...
















Beneficial Vanilla Facts

Apart from its wonderful flavor, vanilla also has quite a few health benefits.

  • Vanillin is the active component present in vanilla. Vanillin is an antioxidant with proved anti cancer properties. Research studies indicate that vanillin can slow down progress of breast and lung cancer by decreasing the invasion ability of cancer cells. Another derivative of vanillin, bromovanin is actively being considered in new cancer treatments.

  • Vanillin is found to offset the damage caused by formation of peroxynitrate in the brain. Research, investigating the effects of vanillin in people with Alzheimer and Parkinson’s disease is underway.

  • Vanillin has a significant effect on the blood cells of people affected by sickle cell anemia. Research is on to make a new drug with vanillin as a component for treating sickle cell disease.

  • Vanilla has been commonly used as a home remedy from the 17th century for treating sleep difficulties, stomach ulcers, anxiety, depression, tooth decay, fever etc.

  • Vanilla is a popular aphrodisiac even though there is no scientific evidence in support of this.


Vanilla Facts to Reckon With

Vanilla has no known or proven toxicity. It is relatively safe to use in food and as a medicine. Nevertheless, lack of evidence and research in support makes it safer to use vanilla in prescribed quantities. Perform a skin patch test prior to using vanilla oil for aromatherapy.


To Eat or Not To Eat Vanilla

Vanilla is synonymous with baking and cooking across the globe. Vanilla facts indicate that it is relatively safe to use and a flavorful one at that! Go ahead and stock this spice in your kitchen cabinet.


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Anonymous's picture
Lots of information on vanilla... quite interesting!! Thanks for posting.
chockyfoodie's picture
This is very interesting article.
thot4food's picture
I simply love vanilla flavor. Thanks for the grt info
delicious.bites's picture
Never knew about antioxidant vanilini...Good job Priyam! Do share some info on other spices also which we commonly use.
healthyeating's picture
Very informative article. Pls share some info on other herbs and spices as well...
FitGal's picture
Vanilla is my favorite flavor of ice cream and to know that it has so many other benefits as well, I am surely going to involve more of it in my daily diet from now on.
Rashmi Ambadkar's picture
Vanilla the flavour that goes all the way from cakes to ice creams, just love it !!
PriyankaPoddar's picture
vanilla treats sleep difficulties? woooaaaww!! looks like insomniacs can dig into loads of vanilla ice cream for cure :D :P ...jokes apart...informative blog indeed...thanks!
umaima's picture
Vanilla has always helped me get rid of the eggy smell from cake and biscuit batters, I dint know it was beneficial otherwise too. Btw, has anyone tried Vanilla tea?
priyam's picture
Hi Umaima Vanilla tea has a calming effect on one's mind though I havent tried it as yet. Robust black tea is flavored with warm vanilla to create magic...Twinings, Taylors of Harrogate etc have excellent Vanilla Tea.
The.Hungry.Soul's picture
Would true vanilla extract have similar benefits? I usually store vanilla pods in alcohol. Does that alter the health benefits of the bean?
priyam's picture
Hi, Vanilla pods can be stored in alcohol without much loss, though alcohol tends to extract vanilla flavor from the pods.This is the reason why vanilla extracts are made with 35% alcohol.
yummyyum's picture
There could not have been a better remedy for Alzheimer's disease!! I am gonna stock more vanilla pods and use it more frequently. But are there more ways of using it than just flavoring ice-creams, cakes and milk shakes?
vijay's picture
Vanilla pods are a pain to grow obviously, I just like the flavor in my ice cream. Didn't know they look like that lol.
oatmeal's picture
I am just crazy about vanilla and this article on vanilla pod boosted my curiosity to new level. Thanks for such a nice article.
Gourmet.lover's picture
Finally, a whole slew of good reasons to glut on vanilla. Nice post
thot4food's picture
I love the natural flavor of vanilla. But an aphrodisiac? Now that's food for thought indeed!:)
barbecue's picture
now vanilla has got many reasons to be used liberally in scrumptious dishes. good post!
foodietweetie's picture
never thought that a vanilla pod looks like this :) After reading this post i can actually smell the aroma of vanilla. Loves it in ice cream and cakes...but now would regard it as such a beneficial spice as well.
Anonymous's picture
Vanilla, I had always loved the flavors of it. But now I also know about its medicinal values. Thanks for sharing.
foodpsychologist's picture
Hello, thanks for sharing the medicinal benefits of vanilla. I never knew that this much-loved flavoring agent helps in treating so many diseases. BTW, i could not quite understand this statement "Vanillin is found to offset the damage caused by formation of peroxynitrate in the brain." Could you please explain?
priyam's picture
In the brain of people suffering from diseases like alzheimers and Parkinson's, peroxynitrate is formed. This is largely responsible for brain damage in these cases. The antioxidant activity of vanillin does not allow formation of peroxynitrate...and thereby proves useful...
bronzegoddess.bright's picture
vanilla is my favorite bean ever!!
Radzie's picture
Of all flavors I have tasted, vanilla definitely has its charm and no wonder why it is liked by many! However, I never knew Vanilla is a proven home remedy too!
Vanilla Facts – To Eat Or Not To Eat