8 Benefits of Vanilla for Your Health and Cooking

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Vanilla is America’s second-favorite flavor which is why we love adding it to sweet and savory dishes.

A major bonus is this tasty ingredient is jam-packed with health benefits. Perhaps you’re eager to whip up meals with a dash of vanilla but you’re not sure whether it’s healthy and which ingredients compliment it.

Sounds familiar? Luckily, we’re here to help. Here are the eight benefits of vanilla along with our favorite recipes.

  1. Promotes Good Skin

One of the top vanilla benefits is how it promotes good skin. Because it has antibacterial properties, use vanilla to cleanse your skin as it reduces the risk of pimples and acne.

Vanilla is also antioxidant-rich so it reverses skin damage and slows down signs of aging. Goodbye wrinkles!

  1. Offers Pain Relief 

Vanilla is a popular form of pain relief. This is because vanilla contains vanilloid activators that absorb your body’s supply of Substance P. Note that conditions like arthritis have high levels of this which results in more discomfort.

To reap these pain-relieving benefits, you could steam tea with Madagascar vanilla beans, remove them after several minutes, then enjoy.

  1. Improves Your Mental Health

Vanilla extract helps those suffering from depression or anxiety especially its fragrance. This is because vanilla has anti-inflammatory properties that can affect your brain.

When you’re stressed, your body triggers pro-inflammatory cytokines and when there’s a surge, you become anxious or depressed. So start cooking vanilla to reduce inflammation as it’ll calm you.

  1. Aids Weight Loss 

If you want to lose weight, add some vanilla to your life. Vanilla is known for its natural appetite-suppressing qualities so you’re not constantly craving your next meal. Plus, vanilla lowers cholesterol so your metabolism runs more efficiently.

  1. Antioxidant 

Vanilla contains 200 antioxidants so it’s fantastic for fighting free radicals in your body. This means you’re at a lower risk of suffering a stroke, heart disease, and cancer. Simply add vanilla extract to your smoothies and enjoy these benefits.

  1. Ease Respiratory Problems

If you’ve got a cough or a respiratory infection, bring out the vanilla extract.

Vanilla offers an anesthetic effect while the antibacterial properties reduce inflammation. So mix a pinch with boiling water and you’re sorted!

  1. Stops Sugar Cravings

Swap out sugar for vanilla as it has fewer calories and carbs. Plus, vanilla can reduce sky-high glucose levels so your heart stays healthy. Or, to cut out sugar completely, light a vanilla-scented candle and your cravings will disappear.

  1. Eases Toothache

Instead of using painkillers, use vanilla to ease any dental pain. Vanilla extract is famous for this because the alcohol numbs while the antioxidants offer healing effects. To do this remedy, put several drops onto a cotton ball and apply it to the affected area.

Our Favorite Recipes With Vanilla 

Not sure how to cook with vanilla? Don’t worry, we’ve compiled a list of easy recipes so you can enjoy the health benefits. For example:

Vanilla and Fruit Smoothie

For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2 cups unsweetened frozen fruit

Directions

  1. Throw your ingredients into a blender and turn it on. Wait until the mixture is smooth and slowly add water if it’s still thick.
  2. Serve or enjoy immediately.

Vanilla Almond Steel-Cut Oatmeal

To enjoy this delicious breakfast, you’ll need:

  • 1 cup steel-cut oatmeal
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Sliced almonds
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup

Directions

  1. Add oatmeal, milk, water, vanilla extract, and salt into a saucepan.
  2. Bring to boil and stir occasionally. After two minutes, reduce to medium-low heat to simmer the oatmeal (with the lid on) for 30 minutes.
  3. Remove from heat and serve. Then top with the almonds and drizzle maple syrup. If there are any leftovers, store them in the refrigerator and reheat them in a microwave.

Butternut Squash and Vanilla Soup

You’ll need:

  • 2 tablespoons virgin olive oil
  • 2 yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 4 pounds butternut squash, cut into chunks
  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Salt
  • Ground pepper

Directions

  1. Heat the olive oil in a soup put then add the sliced onion. Cook on medium-high heat for five minutes, regularly stirring the onions until they’re soft.
  2. Add the squash, season with salt and pepper, and cook for 10 minutes. Occasionally stir.
  3. Pour in hot water or vegetable stock to cover the mixture and bring to a simmer. Lower the heat to medium, cover with a lid, and cook for 20 minutes.
  4. Add the vanilla extract and cook for 10 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready once the squash is tender.
  5. Puree the soup using a blender.
  6. Season to taste and serve.

Lobster Supreme Pasta

You’ll need:

  • 4 cups vegetable stock
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons cake flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • 3 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup whipped cream
  • 1 1/2 pounds cooked fresh or thawed frozen lobster meat
  • Parsley
  • Cheese
  • Pasta of your choice

Directions

  1. Mix the stock, wine, vanilla extract, garlic, leek, bay leaves, paprika, and salt into a large pot. Simmer for one hour then strain through a fine-mesh strainer.
  2. Place the butter into a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and vanilla extract. Cook for three minutes and continue to whisk. Add the strained mixture, still whisking, and then leave for 20 minutes.
  3. Add the lobster and cook until it’s heated through.
  4. Place cooked pasta into a serving bowl and spoon the lobster sauce over it. Garnish with parsley and cheese.

Those Are the Benefits of Vanilla 

Hopefully, after reading this article, you now know the benefits of vanilla.

Vanilla is fantastic for reducing inflammation, pain relief, and easing anxiety or depression. You can reap these benefits through aromatherapy or by enjoying savory dishes like soup or pasta. Enjoy!

Did you find this article helpful? Great! Then check out our other food-related posts.

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