Vanilla, which is extracted from the aromatic vanilla orchid can bring in rich flavors to your food. Though in terms of nutrition, vanilla does not have much to offer, it can improve the taste of even the blandest of dishes.
Vanilla Plant – The Most Flavorful Orchid
Vanilla sticks, or seed pods, are derived from an orchid plant which can be easily potted indoors. The plant was first found in 16th century by Aztec Indians. The vanilla plant is an air plant, which ideally grows in the wet and humid rainforests. The vanilla fruit grows in pods of leaves that grow in zigzag patterns around the trunk of the tree. The pods blossom into flowers and produce seed pods, which are used to get vanilla extract. Tissue propagation is often used to cultivate vanilla plant beds and get seed pods for commercial use. In the right weather conditions, these plants can also be grown at home.
Calories in Vanilla – Some Nutritional Facts
There are 599 calories in vanilla, in a single serving of 208 g. These calories are not associated with fat and cholesterol, as vanilla does not contain any. However, vanilla does contain about 26 g of carbohydrates, which are responsible for the calories in vanilla. Fortunately, vanilla extract is consumed in very small quantities. In such small quantities, the consumed calories in vanilla are also very less. Besides, since there are no fats and cholesterol in vanilla, you do not have to worry about that as well. Vanilla flavored foods can be consumed by weight watchers without having to worry about the calories in vanilla.
Vanilla Nutrition – More than Just Flavor
The extracts from the vanilla plant are used to flavor foods, drinks, chocolates, cosmetics and even candles. There are 0 fibers and 0 proteins in vanilla, but it does contain traces of calcium, sodium and iron. These trace amounts are nowhere near the daily requirements, and when consumed in such small quantities, the nutrients are not of much value. In a serving of 208 g of vanilla, there is about 19 mg of sodium and 26 g of carbohydrates. In this serving, you also get 2% of your daily requirements of calcium and 1% of your daily requirement of iron, based on a 2000 calorie diet. All in all, there is not much to be talked about when it comes to vanilla nutrition.