4 Fresh Uses for Vanilla


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Great for more than just cakes

by Leslie Barrie

Hunger buster

Take a whiff of vanilla extract right before digging into any delectable meal, and you might just eat less of it. That’s because smelling a satisfyingly rich scent (like, you guessed it, vanilla) can trick your brain into thinking you’ve eaten more than you actually have, says Alan Hirsch, MD, founder of the Smell and Taste Treatment and Research Foundation.

"If you smell a delicious aroma before you take a bite of something indulgent, you’ll lose the sensory excitement earlier," he explains. "This cues your body to feel content sooner, so you’ll eat less."

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