As one of the most expensive spices on the plant, second only to saffron, Vanilla is perhaps one of the world’s most-loved flavors. In this post, we look into the many properties of vanilla beans, including the nutritional benefits, and a summary of the healthiest way to consume them.
Are Vanilla Beans Good for you?
In a nutshell, yes. Vanilla beans are considered to be nutritional powerhouses. Derived from the only fruit-bearing orchid that has ever existed, they are sold in many forms and offer a myriad of benefits to those who consume them.
Vanilla beans can be purchased in whole form, powdered form, vanilla extract, or vanilla bean paste. As you would expect, the healthiest option is always going to come in the purest form.
The Nutritional Benefits of Vanilla Beans
In order to extract the greatest benefits of the vanilla bean, you will need to buy whole vanilla beans and scrape out the “seeds” or “caviar”. This is where all the vanilla goodness is stored.
Regardless of which you choose, you can look forward to the following nutritional benefits.
1 – Potassium
One large whole vanilla bean contains 100 milligrams of potassium. This mineral is an essential part of your diet, and it can help maintain good blood pressure levels, support healthy water regulation, and helps to balance electrolytes in the body.
2 - Magnesium
This is another body-essential mineral. It can help with a person’s over health as it helps with energy products and relaxation and it is naturally found in vanilla beans. Just like potassium, it is good for blood pressure and it can also support the maintenance of blood sugar levels too.
3 – Manganese
This mineral is known to help maintain a balanced and healthy mood. It also helps with the overall functioning of the nervous system. One vanilla bean or a single tablespoon of vanilla bean powder equates to 30% of your recommended daily dosage.
4 – Calcium
For the health-conscious consumer, the more calcium one can get without needing to eat dairy products, the better. Calcium is good for bone health, and it can also help to reduce the levels of cortisol (stress hormone) in the body too. An excess of cortisol is thought to contribute to anxiety, weight gain, moodiness, and anxiety. As such, the need to have a good level of calcium is key.
5 – High Antioxidant Contents
Antioxidants help to protect the cells in your body against toxins and free radicals. The Vanilla bean has a high level of antioxidants which can help to repair your body from the damages caused by free radicals. Antioxidants have also been linked scientifically to a lower risk of various diseases, such as diabetes and cancer. In addition, they can promote better skin, reduce the effects of aging, and it also delivers anti-inflammatory properties.
As you can see, not only do vanilla beans contain powerful antioxidants, but they also have other highly beneficial properties that provide whole-body benefits.
If you’re considering buying vanilla beans, take a quick look at this post we’ve put together that explains the differences between Grade A and Grade B vanilla beans. You can also visit our recipes blog to get inspiration and ideas for some of the ways you can use vanilla beans and or even try making your own homemade vanilla extract.