There is nothing plain about the incredible, complex superfood goodness that the aromatic and delicious vanilla bean imparts to everyone who eats it. And with vanilla being the second most asked for flavor choice after chocolate, that’s a lot of people.
History of the Vanilla Bean
The Mayans, who were the first to use vanilla, valued it as a flavoring and an ingredient with health benefits and aphrodisiac powers. Maybe it was for all these reasons the bean was brought to Europe from Mexico in the mid-sixteenth century, where it became a cooking sensation.
How Vanilla Beans Grow
Vanilla beans are actually the pods of the only fruited orchid, the tropical South American climbing V. planifolia., which opens its flowers for just one day in order to be pollinated by the Melapona bees and hummingbirds. The unripe, light yellow colored beans 5–8 inches long are quickly blanched and then sun-dried for 2–3 weeks until they become shriveled and turn a dark-brown. Only then are they ready for market as whole beans, powder, or as an extract. Properly processed beans can remain potent for as long as 4 years.
Health Benefits of Vanilla
The health benefits from vanilla are awesome. Vanilla extract and vanillic acid are powerful antioxidants that protect the liver and can curb inflammation. They have small amounts of potassium, magnesium copper, riboflavin (Vitamin B2), niacin ( Vitamin B3), and calcium — all necessary elements for a balanced metabolism and healthy physiology.
Vanilla Supports Relaxation
But the most important role vanilla may play in humans is the promotion of optimal serotonin and dopamine levels through its magnesium content, which can enhance brain function and support healthy mood balance. Serotonin is the “feed and breed” hormone. Don't be surprised to find vanilla in 'relaxing' essential oil blends or night-time facial creams. It's truly a potent relaxer.
Our Vanilla MUD dairy free ice cream uses only certified non-GMO vanilla bean extract from Madagascar, where the best vanilla beans grow. So relax, kick off your shoes and a lid. Of course, our chocolate MUD uses the best cacao beans in the world. Both are delicious! Cool beans.
The above information is for educational purposes only, and gathered from a variety of different sources. It should not be construed as medical advice, or as an endorsement of any particular product. Your healthcare provider is your best source for medical and nutritional direction, and should be consulted on any health decision you make.
© 2019 Eat MUD