One of the world’s most expensive spices, saffron is derived from the stigma of a crocus flower. Considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, saffron adds a distinct flavor and bright yellow color to foods. In addition to adding flavor and color to foods, saffron also contains an impressive variety of plant compounds that act as antioxidants — protective molecules that protect your cells against free radicals and oxidative stress.
Health Benefits of Saffron:
1. Powerhouse of Antioxidant
Saffron is an unusually powerful natural antioxidant, including crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol. Unlike many spices that lose their benefits upon exposure to heat or light, Saffron’s deep red pigments remain intact even after it is cooked, dried, or brewed into tea. This means your body can enjoy the antioxidant benefits of saffron all year long.
Saffron is known to deliver many health benefits, including antioxidant properties. It contains two compounds, crocin, and crocetin, which contribute to the flower’s vibrant orange hue. Saffron also contains a third compound called safranal, which gives saffron its distinct taste and aroma. Research shows that it may help improve your mood, memory, and learning ability, as well as protect your brain cells against oxidative stress.
2. Mood Booster and Treat Depressive Symptoms
If you are feeling blue, saffron could be just the spice to help brighten your day. In a review of five studies, saffron supplements were significantly more effective than placebos at treating symptoms of mild-to-moderate depression. As little as 15 mg. The spice’s perks are not limited to your mind; red saffron may boost skin health, too.
Saffron might improve your mood—leaving you with a bit more sunshine in your day. In a review of five studies, saffron supplements were significantly more effective than placebos at treating symptoms of mild-to-moderate depression.
Saffron comes from a dried flower that is typically used in cooking and has a strong bitter taste. However, the most exciting discovery regarding saffron was its ability to reduce depressive symptoms. For instance, a double-blind study involving 40 people diagnosed with mild depression discovered that 30 mg of saffron daily was just as effective as Fluoxetine (brand name Prozac), Imipramine, and Citalopram. In fact, not only did 30 mg of saffron have fewer side effects compared to these brand-name medications, but it also worked faster at reducing depressive symptoms.
Scientists have determined that saffron may produce mild antidepressant effects in people who are experiencing mild-to-moderate depression.
3. Helps you with Cancer-Fighting Properties
Saffron is a spice that has been used in cooking for centuries. You have heard that saffron has plenty of culinary uses, but did you know it may also have health benefits? Saffron is high in antioxidants, which help neutralize harmful free radicals. Free radical damage has been linked to chronic diseases, such as cancer. Thanks to its antioxidants, saffron may help guard against cancerous growths. But remember – saffron is very strong in flavor, so use only a pinch. Also called “red gold,” Saffron’s high antioxidant content may help prevent damage caused by free radicals, which are linked to chronic diseases such as cancer. Saffron has been shown to help with memory and fatigue, ease anxiety and depression, and may improve sleep quality.
Saffron may have cancer-fighting properties. In a test-tube study, saffron and its compounds have been shown to stop the growth of colon cancer cells or suppress their growth, while leaving normal cells unharmed.
Crocin, the main antioxidant in saffron, may fight cancer in several ways, suggests a recent study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry. The spice has been used for thousands of years to treat medical conditions — particularly stomach pain, fever, and inflammation.
Saffron has been used in India and other parts of Asia for centuries to enhance and flavor food. It is also used as a traditional medicine for a variety of health problems, including indigestion, diarrhea, Crohn’s disease, anemia, depression, anxiety, and even menstrual cramps. And recent research studies have suggested that saffron may have anticancer properties.
4. Reduce the Symptoms of PMS
Saffron is more than just an expensive culinary spice. This yellow flower contributes to the spice bouquet of paella, but it is more than just flavor. Safranal, one of the two key components of saffron, has been found to improve symptoms in patients experiencing PMS.
Saffron is an herb that helps with symptoms related to premenstrual syndrome (PMS). These symptoms include irritability, headaches, cravings, and pain. Some women find that changing their routine during their periods—including exercise, diet, stress levels, and sleep times—helps they feel better.
Studies have shown that saffron taken daily can help with symptoms. A typical dose is 30 mg per day of saffron extract. One brand of saffron extract containing this amount of saffron has been shown to improve symptoms for six months or more.
5. Act as an Aphrodisiac
Saffron’s vibrant color is the result of a substance called crocin. Saffron produces a substance called crocin, which has been linked to a number of health benefits, including acting as an antidepressant. Studies have shown it may also help lower bad cholesterol and may even have aphrodisiac qualities.
Saffron is classified as an herb, so it is generally considered to be safer than prescription drugs. For instance, taking 30 mg of saffron daily over four weeks significantly improved erectile function over placebo in men with antidepressant-related erectile dysfunction. Furthermore, when used as a treatment for mild anxiety symptoms it was as effective as certain prescription drugs such as diazepam (Valium) and buspirone.
Saffron contains antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. In addition, saffron has been used in some men to enhance sexual health.
Women with low sexual desire due to antidepressant use experienced improved sex-related pain and increased sexual desire and lubrication after taking saffron supplementation of 30 mg daily for four weeks, compared to a placebo.
6. Helps in Reducing Appetite and Aid Weight Loss
Saffron is a spice derived from the stigma of the Crocus sativus flower. Rich in vitamin B2 and iron, this spice has been used for centuries as a seasoning and for medicinal purposes. Research suggests that saffron may help prevent snacking by reducing appetite, making it an effective tool to support weight loss.
In fact, women taking saffron supplements in one eight-week study felt significantly fuller, snacked less frequently, and lost significantly more weight than women in the placebo group.
Research has shown that daily use of saffron may have a positive effect on your weight by reducing appetite, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and total fat mass. In a separate study, saffron also helped with high cholesterol.
Preliminary research indicates that saffron may reduce appetite and aid weight loss. Scientists are uncertain of the mechanism by which saffron performs this task, but one theory suggests that it elevates mood, leading to a reduction in eating.
7. Potential Health Benefits of Saffron
Saffron is widely known for its golden yellow color and distinctive flavor. But Saffron’s health benefits may extend well beyond flavor and color: Animal and test-tube studies indicate that saffron may lower the risk of heart disease, thanks to its antioxidant properties and ability to reduce blood cholesterol and prevent blood vessels and arteries from clogging. Other potential health benefits include relief from nausea, depression, and migraine headaches.
May lower blood sugar levels: Saffron may lower blood sugar levels and raise insulin sensitivity — as seen in test-tube studies and mice with diabetes.
This spice is believed to have antioxidant properties, although research is limited in this area. Some evidence suggests that saffron may improve eyesight in adults with age-related macular degeneration (AMD). More research is needed in this area, and further evidence of Saffron’s effects on other health conditions is limited and inconclusive.
For an aromatic, spicy addition to both Savory and sweet dishes, consider adding saffron. The health benefits of saffron may include improved cognition in adults with Alzheimer’s disease, although more research is needed to confirm this finding.
8. Add to Your Diet Easily
No matter what your age, adding saffron to your diet can work wonders for your health. Not only does it make almost any savoury dish taste better, recent research suggests that saffron can also lower your risk of blood clotting and dissolve the clusters of platelets that contribute to heart attacks.
Saffron is a spice derived from the crocus plant and has been used for thousands of years. The health benefits of saffron range from boosting your immune system to alleviating depression and promoting overall health and wellness. You can easily add saffron powder or threads to your diet, and you’ll start feeling better almost instantly
Easy to add to your diet, the tiny threads of the saffron crocus offer a variety of health benefits, from aiding in weight loss to improving the immune system. In fact, saffron has been used for generations in traditional medicine. In addition to being eaten whole, saffron is also available in supplement form.
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