Vanilla is an aromatic spice that is used in baking, in the production of confectionery, marinating meat, in sauces, broths, etc.

Vanilla is often added to confectionery dishes, for example in the preparation of chocolate cakes, sweets, etc. This spice is obtained from plants belonging to the genus Orchids.

They are widespread in the equatorial, tropical and subtropical climate zones and more precisely in Mexico, Central America and the territory of the Caribbean islands.

Vanilla blooms with light green flowers that are quite large in size. The flowers in the flowering period form a very pleasant and sweet aroma.

Vanilla fruits are oblong in shape and look like small brown pods with a large number of seeds inside.

Vanilla has the property of blooming for only one day and its flowers can be pollinated by only a few types of insects, and for this reason this spice is one of the most expensive in flower.

Nutritional value

Natural vanilla is quite high in calories. 100 grams of vanilla pods contain approximately 290 kilocalories. Vanilla sugar is even more caloric, there are 398 kilocalories in 100 grams of it.

But this should not scare people who are trying to control their weight, because vanilla is used in very small amounts and therefore has no way of influencing weight.

Synthetic vanilla is not so caloric, 100 grams of it has a total of 88 kilocalories. However, it is preferable to use natural rather than synthetic vanilla.

At present, the composition of vanilla has not been fully studied. It is known that in 100 grams of this spice there are 1.3 grams of proteins, 0.1 grams of fat, 12.5 grams of carbohydrates.

Vanilla is also a source of such macro- and microelements as manganese, potassium, magnesium, calcium, zinc, iron, and in small quantities there are also B vitamins.

This sweet spice has been found to contain the substance glucovanillin, as well as resins, tanning substances, essential oils, which include anise alcohol, anise aldehyde and anise acid.

Useful properties

The fruits of the plant that are ripe are used as a spice, and the oily liquid inside them has a sweet and rich aroma and is used to extract vanilla essential oil .

Vanilla has the property of suppressing the growth of cancer cells.

The polyphenol vanillin can even destroy the malignant cells of the cervix. It turns out that if an abnormal cell is treated with this substance, it soon dies.

Other studies have also been conducted with the polyphenol vanillin, but on animals. Mice that had mammary gland cancer were given an aqueous solution of this polyphenol for a long time, after which the number of cancer cells significantly decreased in the laboratory animals.

Application of vanilla in sickle cell anemia

This spice shows very good results in the fight against sickle cell anemia. The polyphenol vanillin, which is extracted from vanilla, prevents the formation of sickled erythrocytes.

These cells can become the cause of lack of oxygen to some tissues and other complications.

In addition, the aroma of vanilla has the ability to calm and relax in a state of overexcitement, relieves the feeling of anxiety.

This spice neutralizes the effects of excessive alcohol consumption and has even been described as causing aversion to alcoholic beverages.

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