4 Super Spices: Health Benefits of Ginger, Cinnamon and More (Page 5)

4. Vanilla

Pictured Recipe: Vanilla-Pomegranate Parfait

4. Vanilla

There’s plenty to love about the flavor that vanilla adds to baked goods. Sniffing that delicious aroma can also help put the brakes on your sweet tooth. Overweight individuals who wore a vanilla-scented patch on the back of their hands for four weeks cut their intake of sweet foods in half (like sugary drinks and high-calorie desserts) while people in the study who wore a lemon-scented patch or no patch showed no change in eating habits. "Vanilla helps offset the pleasure derived from sweet foods," says Catherine Collins, R.D., lead study author and principal dietitian with St. Georges Hospital in London. To get a similar effect and to help you avoid overindulging on holiday sweets, light a vanilla-scented candle in your kitchen or wear a vanilla-infused body spray or perfume.

Next Slideshow: 8 of the World's Healthiest Spices »

Get a full year of EatingWell magazine.
World Wide Web Health Award Winner Web Award Winner World Wide Web Health Award Winner Interactive Media Award Winner