Vanilla is a spice native to South and Central America and is a member of the Orchidaceae (Orchid) Family.
Vines grows up to 300 feet tall, sprouting small green to yellow coloured flowers which bear six to ten inch-long vanilla bean pods filled with thousands of miniscule black seeds.
Although vanilla is the second most expensive spice (behind saffron), you should make sure that you purchase real vanilla in the form of “pure vanilla bean or extract” and steer clear of “vanilla flavoured” products which are often synthetically produced using toxic man-made chemicals.
- Traditionally used to cure ailments such as toothache, congestion, impotence, hysteria, digestion problems and respiratory pains as well as to increase energy levels in the body. (1)
- Contains many antioxidant compounds in the form of metabolites which have anti-rheumatic, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, antimicrobial, hypoglycaemic, anti-ageing, anticarcinogenic, anticonvulsive properties. (2)
- Vanilla extract, typically cured with alcohol, has a high antioxidant activity as indicated by the significant levels of beta-carotenes present, which suggests that pure vanilla extract is good for food preservation. (3)
- Contains vanillin which is the organic component of vanilla beans that provides the pleasant aroma and sweet taste of vanilla. Vanillin also has ant mutagenic, anti-inflammatory and may also have antidepressant effects in humans. (4)
Make sure that you purchase pure vanilla bean which consists of vanillin as well as several hundred additional naturally occurring compounds which add to its nutritional value.
Vanilla extract contains small doses of alcohol, therefore be weary of the amount used particularly if you buy synthetic vanilla with unregulated levels of ethanol. (5)
Vanilla Nutrition Facts
Serving Size: 100g, extract, raw
|Calories from Fat||6|
|Total Fat||0 g||0%|
|Saturated Fat||0 g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrates||12.65 g||10%|
|Dietary Fibre||0 g||0%|
|Vitamin A 0%||Vitamin C||0%|
|Calcium 1%||Iron||1 %|
*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie intake.
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