January 7

Saffron: Benefits, Nutritional Value, Side Effects & Ways to Use

By Fitness Blog

January 7, 2022


Saffron: Benefits, Nutritional Value, Side Effects & Ways to Use HealthifyMe Blog HealthifyMe Blog - The definitive guide to weight loss, fitness and living a healthier life.

Saffron is the golden-coloured and pungent stigmas of the autumn crocus. It is dried and used to flavour meals and dye to color meals and different merchandise. It has a strong and unique aroma and a bitter style. Saffron is an costly spice with a historic culinary significance. The perennial plant belongs to the Iridaceae household. However, the title saffron comes from the Arabic phrase Zaffran.

Saffron’s exorbitant price is because of the laborious activity of harvesting. First, farmers separate the fragile strands from every flower manually. Then, they warmth and treatment the threads to reinforce their flavour. The additional labour quantities to the price and advantages of saffron. Hence, additionally it is often called the king of spices.

It takes round 36,000 flowers to yield 1 pound of dried threads or stigmas. Over 200,000 dried stigmas yield 500 grams of pure saffron. Saffron cultivation occurs below particular weather conditions in Iran, India, and southern Europe. The advantages of saffron are numerous. 

Predominantly, saffron is a pure seasoning and flavouring spice for delicacies. Furthermore, folks use it as a preservative, pure colouring agent and key ingredient in lots of cuisines. Also, many individuals use it as pharmaceutical and conventional drugs.

As a end result, saffron refines a wide selection of cuisines worldwide. For instance, it is a wonderful addition to the Spanish Paella, Indian Pulao, Iranian stew dishes, seafood and dessert recipes. It can be a key ingredient in particular French recipes. Also, different celebrated dishes are Iranian steamed saffron rice with tahdig, Persian almond cake, and Indian recipes with saffron syrup.

Nutritional Properties of Saffron

Saffron has all kinds of plant compounds that act as antioxidants. Major saffron antioxidants embody crocin, crocetin, safranal and kemperanol. As per studies, they shield your cells towards each free radicals and oxidative stress. 

Crocin and crocetin are carotenoid pigments. They are color giving pigment for saffron. Both the compounds have antidepressant properties. Safranal provides saffron its distinctive style and aroma.

Saffron accommodates the next vitamins per 100 grams.

  • Calcium- 111 milligrams 
  • Iron- 11.1 mg
  • Potassium- 1724mg
  • Total fat- 6 g
  • Cholesterol- 0 gm
  • Sodium- 148
  • Potassium- 1724 mg
  • Dietary fibre- 3.9mg
  • Protein- 11gm

Vitamins and Minerals (Required Daily Intake)  

  • Iron- 61%
  • Vitamin C- 134%
  • Vitamin B6- 50%
  • Magnesium- 66%
  • Calcium- 11%

Health Benefits of Saffron

Saffron has a powerful aroma and a lovely color. Ayurveda celebrates saffron as a pure sedative and expectorant. It is a wealthy supply of antioxidants with quite a few well being advantages. 

Moreover, saffron performs a significant function in asthmatic therapy. It is an emmenagogue and apoptogenic agent. Hence together with pure immunity boosters like saffron in your day by day eating regimen might assist. Saffron is a storehouse of carminative, diaphoretic and aphrodisiac properties.

In historic instances, folks used saffron in opioid preparations as an analgesic or painkiller. Studies state that saffron elevates temper, combat oxidative stress. Saffron is mostly secure to devour throughout all ages inside the prescribed doses.

Saffron accommodates the next pigments:  

  • Crocin
  • Crocetin
  • Picrococin
  • Safranal

The advantages and makes use of of saffron are outstanding because of the presence of those compounds. 

Carotenoids like crocin and crocetin are accountable for saffron’s pink color. They have antidepressant properties. Studies counsel that in addition they shield mind cells towards progressive harm, enhance irritation, scale back urge for food, and support weight reduction.

Kaempferol in saffron flower petals has a number of well being advantages. For instance, it reduces irritation, has anti-cancer properties, and works as an antidepressant.

Lastly, safranal helps give saffron its distinct aroma and style. Moreover, research reveals that it helps enhance your reminiscence and studying skill and enhances your temper. It additionally protects your mind cells towards oxidative stress.

Here, allow us to consider extra in regards to the potential well being advantages of saffron.

1. Powerful Antioxidant

Saffron accommodates numerous plant compounds, which act as antioxidants. These antioxidants embody crocin, crocetin, safranal and kaempferol. They assist shield your cells towards oxidative stress and free radicals.

2. Treat Depressive Symptoms and Improves Mood

The “sunshine spice” saffron elevates your temper. It is because of safranal, which is an antioxidant. Many dietary supplements use saffron as it's efficient for treating mild-to-moderate despair. In addition, there aren't any unintended effects such complement primarily based remedies.

3. Cancer-Fighting Properties

Saffron is stuffed with antioxidants. It neutralises the damaging free radicals. These free radicals result in the manufacturing of tumours, which can trigger most cancers. Studies counsel that continual irritation and oxidative stress are the foremost causes of age-related illnesses and most cancers.

The antioxidants in saffron goal and suppress most cancers cells, particularly on the colon, pores and skin, prostate, lung, and so forth. They inhibit their development by securing wholesome cells.

4. Reduce PMS Symptoms

Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a collective time period for a collection of bodily, emotional, and psychological imbalances. Symptoms manifest earlier than the onset of a menstrual interval. Saffron might assist curtail the PMS signs.

Scientific observations state that 30 mg of day by day consumption of saffron is simpler than the placebo therapy. Moreover, the cortisol (stress hormone) ranges scale back, curbing anxiousness.

5. Boosts Libido

As per studies, dietary supplements with natural aphrodisiacs enhance your libido. Saffron might have aphrodisiac properties for each women and men. Therefore, common consumption of prescribed saffron might considerably enhance erectile perform. It is efficient, particularly for these below antidepressant remedy.

6. Reduces Appetite and Enhance Weight Loss

The dietary fibre in saffron makes you're feeling full for longer. Therefore, folks consuming saffron dietary supplements really feel considerably full. Also, the dietary fibre reduces urge for food and curtails unhealthy snacking. As a end result, it prevents you from binge consuming and enhances weight reduction.

7. Reduces Blood Pressure and Prevents Heart Diseases 

As per research, the antioxidants in saffron can scale back the chance of cardiovascular illnesses. The flavonoids, particularly lycopene, present in saffron can present added safety. 

Saffron is wealthy in potassium. Hence, common consumption of saffron aids in dilating the blood vessels. It additional eliminates blockage out of your arteries. So, saffron lowers your blood stress to stop cardiac arrests and strokes.

A study reveals that the folks of the Mediterranean area who devour saffron as part of an everyday eating regimen report lesser circumstances of coronary heart illnesses. It could also be because of saffron’s antioxidant and anti inflammatory properties. It additionally has cholesterol-lowering advantages. In addition, the presence of crocetin decreases the dangerous or dangerous ldl cholesterol in your blood. 

It additionally prevents the clogging of fats deposits in blood vessels and arteries. Therefore, it lowers your dangers of coronary heart assaults or related cardiac issues. Saffron additionally boosts your immunity. 

8. Subsides the Symptoms of Alzheimer’s Disease

Research highlights the effectiveness of saffron in combating Alzheimer’s. It reveals {that a} common consumption of saffron dietary supplements results in higher cognitive perform in folks with Alzheimer’s. The antioxidant properties avert the buildup of beta-amyloid protein in your mind. 

9. Reduce Blood Sugar Levels in Diabetics

As per research, the saffron hydroalcoholic extract might enhance blood glucose management by lowering fasting blood sugar in T2D sufferers. However, it has no vital impact on different elements of diabetic management in diabetics. Saffron might elevate insulin sensitivity. 

10. Improves Eyesight

Several observations present that saffron refines eyesight in adults with a historical past of age-related macular degeneration dysfunction (AMD). Furthermore, the antioxidant properties in saffron shield towards free radical harm related to AMD.

11. Skin Care Benefits

Apart from its culinary makes use of, saffron possesses numerous magnificence advantages. The anti-inflammatory ingredient nurtures to impart a blemish-free radiance to your pores and skin. Therefore, a number of magnificence lotions and different beauty merchandise use saffron as their major ingredient. It provides the pores and skin a glowing contact and makes it mushy and supple. Like all different advantages, additionally it is because of saffron’s antioxidant properties. Saffron can act as a topical applicant for:

  • Skin lightening and texture
  • Pigmentation
  • Scar therapeutic
  • Cure for blemishes and pimples

Ways to Use Saffron

Saffron has an distinctive voice within the realm of spices. It is named the king of spices owing to its uniqueness. Although it's the most costly spice, a small amount goes a great distance. You might not require greater than a pinch to impart flavour to your recipes. On the opposite hand, an excessive amount of saffron might give a medicinal style to your meals.

Let us dwell on the assorted methods to make use of saffron. It begins with a number of tips:

  • Check for high quality saffron.
  • Superior high quality is at all times a bunch of lengthy pink, brilliant strands with orange tendrils and a trumpet-shaped flute on the ends.
  • Avoid powdered saffron, because it’s often blended with many fillers.
  • The color of pink saffron doesn’t change in the event you dip it in water or milk.
  • It has a pungent and musty style with a candy floral perfume.
  • Crush and soak the threads to extract the utmost quantity of flavour.
  • Steep the crushed saffron in heat water, inventory for 20 to half-hour.
  • Add the soaked saffron liquid instantly.

Grain-based Recipes

Most recipes of saffron are grain-based, which incorporates risotto, pilaf, pulav, biryani and so forth. As a suggestion, use about 14-30 saffron strands to 4 servings of risotto or rice made with 300 g of rice. The perfume of saffron makes the rice fragrant. The addition of saffron enhances the style and improves the dietary worth of rice.

Saffron as an Appetiser

An appetiser is at all times mild and easy. A saffron soup is an appetiser with a Mediterranean contact.

To Combat Hair loss

The non-culinary use of saffron is available in hair care too. The antioxidant property of saffron helps to restore hair harm and promotes development. You might use a teaspoon of saffron strands blended with almond oil or coconut oil. Massage your hair properly for wholesome development.

For Skin Care

Topical purposes of saffron lighten and brighten up your pores and skin. The precise utility varies on the supposed use. In normal, you should use a saffron milk masks to hydrate and soften pores and skin. In addition, you should use it to deal with pimples and blemishes.

Baking with Saffron

The sweetness and fragrant flavour of saffron make the desserts distinctive. The mixture of vanilla and saffron provides a aromatic contact to your dish. Use them so as to add a zing to plain pastries, truffles, bread and so forth. 

Saffron Milk

The before everything recipe for saffron is solely saffron milk or Kesar milk. It is a scrumptious and wholesome drink infused with saffron.

Healthy Recipes with Saffron

This magical spice has been identified for its distinctive dietary and medicinal properties for ages. The nutrient can push back and treatment many well being issues. Moreover, saffron is a flexible spice to spice up your immunity and shield you from the climatic illnesses at bay. Globally, when encountering many well being issues, being wholesome is important.

Here are two easy and straightforward saffron drinks used globally, particularly throughout winter.

1. Saffron Milk

  • Preparation time- 10 minutes
  • Serves- 3
  • Calories- 110 kcal
  • 1 Cup = 250 ml

Ingredients

  • Milk: 3 cups
  • Saffron Strands: 15
  • Jaggery Powder: 2 tbsp (non-obligatory)

Procedure

  • Bring milk to a boil
  • Add saffron strands
  • Mix properly
  • Simmer for 4-5 minutes
  • Serve Hot

Saffron Milk Benefits

  • Saffron milk is wholesome in your coronary heart.
  • It is a reminiscence booster and treats insomnia or sleeplessness.
  • Saffron milk helps shield towards chilly and flu, particularly throughout winter.
  • Relieves menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome signs.
  • Aids in bronchial asthma & allergic remedies.
  • It can be good in your pores and skin and hair.
  • Saffron milk can be useful throughout being pregnant.
  • Milk is wealthy in calcium. Hence, it helps enhance bone well being.

Points to Remember

  • Don’t use greater than 20 strands of saffron on this recipe. An extra consumption of saffron may be poisonous.
  • Although saffron milk is helpful throughout being pregnant, it's best to devour it in prescribed and really useful portions to keep away from opposed results and well being points.
  • Check together with your doctor earlier than any dietary alterations.

2. Saffron Tea

  • Preparation Time: 10 minutes
  • Servings: 3
  • Calories: 29kcal

Ingredients 

  • Water: 3 cups
  • Mint Leaves: 10
  • Cardamom: 3 pods
  • Cloves: 3
  • Saffron Strands: 3-4
  • Ginger: 1/2 inch
  • Lime juice: 2 tsp
  • Honey: 2 tbsp (non-obligatory) 

Instructions

  • Boil water with cardamom, grated ginger, mint leaves, and saffron for 3-4 minutes.
  • Simmer for 2-3 minutes and take off the flame.
  • Stir in lemon juice, honey and serve sizzling.

Saffron: Possible Side Effects and Precautions

Saffron is often secure to devour and has minimal opposed results. Clinical research have evaluated doses starting from 20 to 400 mg/day of pure saffron. Dosages of as much as 1.5 g/day of saffron are regarded as secure; poisonous results have been reported for five g doses. However, there are specific well being situations the place it's best to use saffron cautiously. 

1. Pregnancy

Saffron is a flavouring spice in meals. However, an extreme amount of saffron might make your uterus contract and end in a miscarriage. A study reveals that publicity to very excessive ranges of saffron might enhance the miscarriage charge in pregnant females. Therefore, pregnant girls ought to keep away from utilizing a excessive dose of saffron.

2. Breastfeeding

There isn't any ample scientific info to verify the secure amount of saffron for lactating or breastfeeding moms. Therefore, it's best to seek the advice of together with your gynaecologist to avert any opposed results for you and your child.

3. Psychological therapy

Saffron alters your temper. It might set off impulsive behaviour in sufferers with bipolar dysfunction or different psychological imbalances.  

4. Plant Allergy

People who're allergic to a selected number of crops could also be allergic to saffron. So guarantee you might be secure from saffron. Immediately search assist out of your well being care supplier in case of rash or allergy. 

5. Surgery

Saffron soothes the central nervous system. Therefore, discontinue saffron two weeks earlier than a scheduled surgical procedure. This precaution avoids any interplay of anaesthesia and different medication throughout surgical procedure.

There are just a few extra issues that it's best to bear in mind concerning saffron consumption.

  • Consult your doctor earlier than together with any dietary supplements.
  • Excess doses of 5 grams or past might have poisonous results.
  • Saffron powder could also be adulterated with synthetic colors. Hence, purchase from a dependable supply.

The Bottom Line

Saffron is an costly culinary herb. The vital good thing about saffron is that it accommodates antioxidant compounds. It might assist scale back or keep away from the chance of sure continual well being issues related to oxidative stress. The better part is it's usually secure for folks throughout all age teams. It is straightforward to incorporate in your day by day eating regimen. Incorporate saffron into your recipes yield the potential well being advantages of saffron.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Q. What are the well being advantages of saffron?

A. Saffron is a wealthy supply of antioxidants. As a end result, it prevents nervous system issues, acts as an antidepressant, promotes libido and prevents most cancers. However, there are a number of different advantages given within the article above.

Q. What are the unintended effects of saffron?

A. Some of the attainable unintended effects may be allergic reactions, drowsiness, nausea or vomiting. 

Q. Is saffron good for the pores and skin?

A. Yes, saffron is helpful for the pores and skin. The anti-inflammatory ingredient nurtures to impart a blemish-free radiance to your pores and skin. As a end result, it helps get mushy and supple pores and skin. 

Q. Can I drink saffron water every single day?

A. Yes, you'll be able to drink saffron water every single day as a dietary complement. It has a number of well being advantages.

Q. Can I drink saffron at night time?

A. Yes, it's secure to drink it at bedtime. The sedative properties of saffron assist deal with insomnia and enhance sleep high quality. However, the very best time to have saffron water is throughout the day.

Q. How a lot saffron ought to I exploit?

A. A day by day consumption of 1.5 g/day of saffron is secure to make use of. Over Consumption might result in some unintended effects. 

Q. Is it good to drink saffron milk every single day?

A. Yes. Drinking saffron milk helps you with enhanced digestion, urge for food, immunity and general well being.

Q. Is saffron good for feminine fertility?

A. Yes, it boosts libido and is nice for each women and men.

Q. What are the advantages of saffron milk?

A. There are a number of advantages of saffron milk. It is wholesome in your coronary heart, boosts reminiscence, and protects towards flu. In addition, it could assist deal with insomnia and enhance sleep high quality, relieves menstrual cramps and premenstrual syndrome signs. It can be useful for pores and skin and hair.

Q. What is the precise time to drink saffron milk?

A. You can have saffron milk within the morning on an empty abdomen or devour it within the night. However, having it at night time earlier than sleeping can be useful. 

Q. What occurs in the event you eat saffron every single day?

A. It helps you with enhanced digestion, urge for food, immunity and general well being advantages.

Q. What is using saffron for pregnant women?

A. Saffron is a wonderful anti-anxiety and antidepressant complement. It cures temper swings throughout the being pregnant interval. However, overconsumption has extreme opposed results as properly.

Q. Is saffron good for infants?

A. Yes, saffron is nice and secure for infants over six months. It enhances their immune system, aids in digestion and ensures oral hygiene. 

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