Benefits of Adding Saffron to Food
December 6, 2022
December 6, 2022
Saffron, commonly known as Kesar, comes from the stigma and style of the flower Crocus Sativus also known as the Saffron Crocus. It is one of the most expensive spices globally and an essential part of culinary heritage. Saffron is used in many dishes to enhance the colour and the taste of the food and for its medicinal properties. It also has antioxidants that help protect body cells against oxidative stress and benefit during nervous system disorders.
Besides its aroma and flavour, saffron is highly-priced because it has various medicinal and health benefits and contains several vitamins and minerals like vitamin A, B, C and niacin. In addition, it has calcium, copper, magnesium and zinc. Saffron helps in boosting memory, acts as an antidepressant, causes relief in premenstrual syndrome (PMS) etc. People also use saffron because it offers some potential benefits for heart disease.
Saffron contains several vitamins and minerals, which are very beneficial for health. It also contains protein in small quantities. According to the USDA, 100 grams of saffron contains:
Saffron has multiple health benefits. It contains vitamins, minerals and protein and is high in nutritional value. In addition, its nutritive properties are beneficial for treating various health conditions. Some of the health benefits of saffron are:
Saffron has potent antioxidants. The primary antioxidants present in saffron are picrocrocin, crocin, and safranal. These are beneficial for health because they help relieve oxidative stress in the body. A study also shows that antioxidant components crocin, crocetin and safranal in saffron can help prevent and treat cancer. In addition, they help in weight loss, reducing inflammation, maintaining a good appetite, and act as an antidepressant.
A study suggests that saffron can help reduce Premenstrual Syndrome Symptoms. PMS or Premenstrual Syndrome is an emotional, physical and behavioural symptom many women feel days before their menstrual cycle. It occurs a week or two before the periods.
Saffron is effective in women aged between 20 and 45 for reducing PMS symptoms. For example, taking 30mg of saffron shows significant relief in the premenstrual syndrome system. Not only this, but saffron’s aroma can also help reduce stress and anxiety during periods.
Saffron is called ‘sunshine spice’ because of its beautiful bright yellow colour. A study proves that saffron is effective in improving mood. Therefore, saffron extracts help improve depressive symptoms in individuals and may increase resilience against stress-related issues. In addition, research shows that saffron supplements were more effective than placebo and similar antidepressants when treating depressive symptoms in individuals. However, you should consult your healthcare professional before taking saffron or any other antidepressant.
Saffron effectively treats mild-to-moderate Alzheimer’s disease because it has antioxidant and anti-amyloid genetic properties. Therefore, experts believe that saffron is effective and safe to consume in Alzheimer’s. A study also proves that saffron can help treat mild to moderate Alzheimer’s Disease. In addition, Alzheimer’s patients who took 30mg of saffron showed more improvement than those who took a placebo.
A study proves that saffron tea has antioxidants that can reduce the risk of heart or cardiovascular diseases. In addition, flavonoids and lycopene found in saffron give added protection against the risk of heart diseases. Furthermore, saffron is rich in minerals that help prevent different cardiac problems. These minerals and nutrients help strengthen the blood circulatory system, which reduces the risk of heart diseases.
According to a study, saffron is beneficial for treating obesity. Again, the antioxidant properties of saffron enable it to act against obesity and other metabolic diseases. Saffron extracts work as an anti-obesity herbal medication because it helps decrease calorie intake by blocking dietary fat digestion and also help in suppressing the food intake by increasing the feeling of fullness/satiety.
The antioxidant, anti-microbial properties of saffron make it an excellent remedy for various skin issues. For example, a study suggests that saffron helps depigment and repair the skin. Another study indicates that saffron is also effective in protecting the skin against harmful UV rays. In addition, saffron acts as a better antisolar agent than homosalate. Homosalate is an organic compound used in some sunscreens. However, it is valid only when you use it in equal concentrations. Therefore, many brands use saffron in their sunscreens, lotions, anti-spot, moisturisers, and anti-ageing products.
When used as an add-on to the food or spice, saffron adds colour, aroma and taste to dishes. Hence, people use it in dishes like curry, pulao, biriyani and even milk and tea. Besides enhancing the flavour, saffron can improve the quality of the food with its medicinal properties.
It is one of the easiest and healthiest ways to use saffron. You need to follow simple steps to make an elixir.
A common way of adding saffron to dishes is by steeping it in water like tea. To make saffron tea, follow the given steps.
Recipes like kheer, risotto, and biryani have enough liquid to bring out the aromatic flavours of saffron. Hence, they do not need additional preparation before adding saffron to them. Instead, a pinch of saffron tossed in the recipe brings out the best flavours. In addition, the key to bringing out the subtle flavours of saffron is adding it early on and allowing it to get cooked with the liquid.
Saffron has high vitamin content, and an active compound called crocin which helps in reducing hyperpigmentation. In addition, saffron has vitamins B1, B2, B3, B6 and B9, which help soothe inflammation, redness and acne. Here is an easy way to use it.
Saffron is suitable as a skin-lightening agent because it contains a high level of vitamin C. The abundance of vitamin C in saffron helps promote collagen in the skin and reduces dark spots. You can use it by making a paste with some water and turmeric powder.
If appropriately used, saffron can bring a fantastic aroma to your food. In addition, it also adds medicinal value to your foods. Like any dried spice, saffron needs hydration to draw out its exquisite flavours and colour. Here are some healthy recipes using saffron:
Saffron is safe to use and possibly has no significant side effects when used in small quantities or in moderation. However, excess consumption can cause some severe side effects on health. Below are some of the common side effects of saffron:
Saffron is a valuable spice or herb that people use in various ways. It is a nutrient-rich ingredient with many antioxidant properties, vitamins, minerals, and other medicinal properties. Hence, it is very beneficial for health. Furthermore, research studies claim that saffron can benefit from various diseases like Alzheimer’s, Cancer, Anxiety, depression, PMS, etc. However, before you take saffron for any of these diseases, it is crucial to consult your health care professional. Furthermore, like any other food/spice, saffron also has side effects. So it is best to use it in moderation.
A. Saffron is a beneficial spice loaded with antioxidants, vitamins and minerals. Saffron has many medicinal properties that act against health-related issues like reducing the Premenstrual Syndrome system (PMS), anxiety, heart disease, cancer, libido, weight loss etc. In addition, the antioxidants in saffron are very healthy for the body and the mind. So, when you consume saffron in moderation, it benefits your body.
A. No, saffron does not make you high. If you use saffron for medicinal purposes or eat it as a spice in food in a moderate amount, it doesn’t have any side effect. However, consuming saffron in large amounts (5 grams or more) can cause drowsiness or nausea.
A. If consumed in moderation, it is safe to take saffron daily. A moderate consumption would not lead to any side effects. However, if you use it in excess, it can lead to side effects. For example, consuming more than 5 grams of saffron can be toxic and lead to allergic reactions, nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, bad stomach, headache etc
A. People use saffron for various purposes, and it works differently for different health problems. For example, saffron starts working within one week for depression and anxiety issues. And if it is taken daily with water, it works quickly in promoting good hair growth and glowing skin.
A. There are many benefits of drinking milk with saffron. Some of them include:
A. Several studies demonstrate the role of saffron as an anti-depressant. However, you should not decide on the exact dose without consulting a healthcare professional. Although some studies suggest that 20mg to 40mg per day can be helpful, it should depend on the patient’s condition. Hence, it is best to start with 1.5g of saffron per day. Then, you can gradually increase the dose if you do not experience any adverse effects.
A. Drinking saffron milk every day offers a lot of benefits. Saffron milk has high medical properties, which will help you get glowing skin, improved digestion, thick hair growth, sound sleep etc. Enhanced immunity is also one of the benefits of drinking saffron milk daily. In addition, milk contains calcium that is healthy for the bones.
A. Yes, saffron helps in whitening skin tone to some extent. It is due to the active compounds in saffron like crocin that help reduce hyperpigmentation from the skin. Some studies also suggest that saffron can reduce melanin production in the skin. You can either apply saffron soaked in milk directly to your face or drink it daily for better results. However, consult a doctor before oral consumption if you have a medical condition or are on blood thinners.
A. Various studies prove that saffron is an effective treatment for anxiety. In addition, natural compounds in saffron like crocin, crocetin, picrocrocin, and safranal are traditionally ailments to treat anxiety and depressive symptoms.