Saffron Health Benefits
Saffron is a very popular spice around the world. It has been used for hundreds of years in Asia, Africa and Europe. In most cases, people use it in cooking to spice up their dishes, but a growing number of men and women are using it for medicinal purposes.
Why is Saffron good for you?
The list of health benefits associated with saffron is very long and that’s why we will focus on the most important ones.
It turns out that this popular spice is packed with antioxidants. These compounds are good for us because they keep the body safe from the activity of free radicals. On the other hand, free radicals are compounds that are actually byproducts of the things that enter our bodies. If we don’t eat food rich in antioxidants and we don’t detoxify our bodies, the free radicals will accumulate in different body parts and lead to the emergence of different diseases and health issues. Thanks to saffron you can prevent and fight off existing free radicals.
Another reason why you should consider taking saffron is the fact that this spice has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. With the help of these properties, saffron can improve cardiovascular health in people of all ages. It also lowers inflammation in the lungs.
3. Memory improving
There is more than one scientific study that has confirmed that saffron is very helpful in taking care of mental impairment, especially the one caused by aging. It can fight off memory loss, enhance cognitive function and even fight Parkinson’s disease.
4. Helps anxiety and stress sufferers
Many people are using saffron as a way to fight stress. This spice is rich in carotenoids, compounds that can improve the work of the immune system and eventually reduce the stress levels. In addition, saffron also supports dopamine synthesis. As a result of that, people can expect stabilization of their mood, reduction of stress and elimination of anxiety.
5. Helps against depression
Using pharmaceutical depressants is one way to treat depression. However, many people are avoiding these drugs because they come with a myriad of side effects. You can’t expect side effects from saffron, but you can definitely use it as an efficient natural antidepressant. Saffron is rich in alfa-crocin and safranal, compounds that can manage depression.
6. Eye sight improving
Although there are just a few studies focused on the relation between saffron consumption and eyesight, the initial results are promising. It looks like saffron is a great option for those who want to slow down or eliminate vision loss that comes as a result of the natural process of aging. It can also help people with macular degeneration.
Saffron Nutritional Facts
The health benefits of saffron we have mentioned above and all the other health benefits linked to this amazing spice would not be possible without the specific nutritional profile of saffron.
According to the research, saffron contains over 150 volatile compounds. This is a long list of compounds and that’s why we will highlight a few of them that are providing most of the health benefits related to saffron.
First and foremost, it is good to know that saffron includes a few essential oils, but safranal is by far the most interesting one. This is the oil that has a direct impact on the specific flavor of this spice. Some other oils found in saffron are geraniol, limonene, linalool, and borneol.
Another compound found in saffron that is worth mentioning is alpha-crocin. This is actually an active carotenoid compound which is responsible for the specific yellow-golden color of the pistils. Beta-carotenes, lycopene, and zeaxanthin are some other carotenoids found in saffron.
The taste of saffron, on the other hand, comes from picrocrocin, a precursor of safranal. One ounce of saffron comes with more than 4 times of the daily recommended value of manganese. It is also a good source of iron and magnesium as well as selenium and zinc. But, saffron is not rich only in minerals, it also contains vitamins. Some of the vitamins that saffron contains are vitamin C, folic acid, vitamin A, niacin, and riboflavin.
Daily doses of saffron
Despite the fact that saffron is great for our health and an excellent spice too, it is highly recommended to take it responsibly. Taking too much saffron on a daily basis can lead to side effects, something that you can expect from any other spice if you take it in high amounts. According to experts, taking 30 mg a day is the maximum amount of saffron adults should take.