Health

Saffron: 11 Amezing health benefits of Saffron

Saffron is the dried piece of a purple flower known as “saffron crocus”. Did you know that saffron is the most expensive spice in the world?

This is because of the way it’s harvested. Saffron is added to food as a flavor and color enhancer.

But it also has lots of health benefits. In this article, we’ll be discussing the health benefits of saffron.

From providing antioxidants to elevating mood.

From reducing PMS symptoms to increasing sexual drive, we’ll be talking about all of these AND more…

Powerful antioxidant

Most of us are aware of how important antioxidants are!

These molecules protect your cells against notorious free radicals, and prevent your body from illnesses.

Like many spices, saffron has antioxidant properties.

This is thanks to its many plant compounds. Pigments like crocin and crocetin give saffron it’s characteristic red color.

These act as strong antioxidants and protect brain cells against progressive damage.

They also improve inflammation. Both pigments have many other important functions.

We’ll talk about those later though.

Saffron contains another compound called safranal, which also acts as an antioxidant.

This compound is responsible for saffron’s distinct taste and fragrance.

Studies suggest that safranal can protect rain cells against damage caused by free radicals.

Saffron’s flower petals contain an antioxidant called kaempferol, which holds several health benefits, including reduced inflammation.

Which drinks do you prefer for your antioxidants?

Which is your favorite drink so far?

Blueberry juice, red wine, and kale smoothies are a few good ones!

Prevent cancer

No one ever wants to be diagnosed with this awful disease!

But a spice like saffron can help fight cancer, as it’s rich in antioxidants.

Laboratory studies have found that crocin can help to kill colon cancer cells.

It also slows down the growth of skin, bone marrow, lung, breast, cervix, and prostate cancer.

Hang on, there’s more! Researches also suggest that saffron helps to increase the sensitivity of cancerous cells towards chemotherapy drugs.

You can prepare a plain saffron tea just by steeping a few saffron threads in hot water.

Don’t go overboard though.

Saffron has a strong and bitter taste!

Reduce PMS symptoms

Ladies, when you suddenly have acne on your face, start experiencing headaches and abdominal bloating, crave sweets, and have increased anxiety, you might be PMSing!

This is an indication that your period is round the corner.

PMS symptoms are normal unless they start messing with your daily life.

This is a sign you need to treat it. You just need to add one spice to your kitchen rack…

Saffron! It can help treat PMS symptoms.

In a study, it was found that women between the ages of 20 to 45 who took 30 milligrams of saffron, each day had fewer symptoms.

What if I said that just by smelling saffron, You could feel better?

Hard to believe, right! Research suggests that women who smelled saffron for about 20 minutes had lower levels of cortisol and anxiety, which helps to reduce PMS symptoms.

Boosts mood and treats depression

Depression feels like a burden all the time.

But luckily, saffron can help brighten this gloomy period.

This is why it’s also nicknamed the “Sunshine spice”!

Saffron supplements are more effective in treating mild to moderate depression.

Studies suggest taking 30 mg of saffron could produce similar effects to antidepressant drugs.

For a delicious treat, try cooking ‘Biryani’, Indian style rice with saffron, bay leaves, cinnamon, cloves, and caramelized onions.

It’s really good.

There are many foods with aphrodisiac properties that help to boost libido, and saffron is one of them!

Saffron may help to increase the function of both in males and females.

Researchers noted that an intake of 30 mg of saffron remarkably improved dysfunction in men.

Additionally, women on antidepressants took 30 milligrams daily for four weeks.

By the end, they also had increased drive in the bedroom.

Aids in weight loss

Snacking is very common, especially during your Netflix binges!

But this habit might make you gain some unwanted weight.

Studies suggest that saffron can help reduce snacking by suppressing your appetite.

This is because saffron elevates your mood, and reduces your desire to snack.

It was found in a study that women who took saffron supplements snacked less, and lost more weight.

Another study reported that taking saffron extract notably reduced appetite, waist circumference and total fat mass.

Maintain heart health

Among the many health benefits of saffron, it also plays a role in maintaining heart health.

Research suggests that saffron’s antioxidant properties may help in reducing blood cholesterol, and triglyceride levels.

This will further prevent blockage of blood vessels and arteries.

But wait, there’s more!

Saffron also showed the ability to lower blood pressure, and maintain overall heart health.

Helps to fight seasonal illness

Saffron is a magical spice when it comes to curing seasonal sickness!

Being high in antioxidants, saffron is a perfect remedy for cold, cough, and fever.

The warm nature of this spice helps relieve all the discomfort caused by flu and fever.

Saffron helps to boost immunity, which is extremely important during the pandemic.

The easiest way to get saffron is through saffron tea!

There are many variants of this, and you can prepare whichever you prefer.

Here I’ll be giving you two simple recipes…

For the first one, boil water in a pan, and add a pinch of saffron, one cinnamon stick, one teaspoon of grated ginger, a few drops of lemon juice, and sugar or honey, as per your preference.

Let it simmer for 5 minutes, strain, and enjoy!

The second one is an Indian-style “Chai”! For 2 cups, take 1 cup of water in a pan.

Add about 10 to 12 saffron threads, half a a teaspoon of cardamom powder, and 1 teaspoon of tea leaves and sugar.

Boil and then add 1 cup of milk. Let it boil for a few minutes and then strain it.

Enjoy this hot saffron tea in cozy winter evenings, or when you’re feeling unwell!

Improves memory in adults with Alzheimer’s

Saffron’s antioxidant properties help in protecting you against several brain disorders.

Crocin, a compound in saffron, helps to reduce inflammation in the brain.

Saffron may help improve symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease due to its memory-enhancing properties, and anti-inflammatory effects.

Supports healthy skin Between all the expensive salon treatments, and fancy cosmetics, all you need is this a magical space!

Evidence suggests that saffron was used by kings and queens hundreds of years ago for maintaining healthy skin.

Saffron has several science-backed skin benefits.

It protects against UV radiation

fights inflammation, reduces hyperpigmentation, and supports wound healing.

Not just the dried saffron, but saffron oil also has properties that improve the skin! Look for saffron-based skin care products, or try a DIY mask!

Just crush 3 strands of saffron and mix them with 1 tablespoon of honey, then apply the a mixture to your skin.

After 10 minutes, rinse and pat it dry.

Remember to always do a patch test before!

Lowers blood sugar

Saffron is a wonder spice as it helps to maintain blood sugar levels.

Studies suggest that saffron lowers blood sugar, and raises insulin sensitivity as well.

Improves eyesight in adults

Here’s good news for people suffering with age-related Macular Degeneration (AMD)!

Saffron, being rich in antioxidants, may improve eyesight in adults with AMD as it provides protection against free radical damage.

This will allow you to see better over time.

That’s a pretty big relief, especially if you’re older.

Knowing the benefits of spicy food will encourage you to incorporate them into your diet.

Sources:

https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26468457/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23638289/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23497863/
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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24761112/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26798587/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24848002/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/21242071/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/15707766/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22552758/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23280545/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20579522/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29391933/
https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/23074606/
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https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8118646/
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https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19110531/

Himal Rijal

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