8 health benefits of saffron

  • By: srtmorar
  • Date: March 19, 2024
  • Time to read: 4 min.


Saffron is an amazing herb that not just your dishes but your health as well. Here are the benefits of this most expensive spice you need to know.

Did you know saffron is the most expensive spice in the world? This is because saffron is obtained from the thread-like stigma of the flower Crocus sativus, commonly known as the saffron crocus. This is produced using a labour-intensive harvesting method. While the origin of this bright-coloured spice, also called ‘red gold’, is debatable but the place of origin is believed to be Iran. This crimson red spice is known for its health benefits. It is rich in antioxidants. So, including saffron in your diet can improve mood, libido, and more.

What are the health benefits of saffron?

Here are the health benefits of including saffron in your diet:

1. May improve mood

Sad. Angry. Happy. Irritated. Sad. If the graph of your emotions changes on this wavelength, you need to include healthy foods such as saffron in your diet. Studies have shown that saffron can help improve your mood and ease the symptoms of depression. Saffron reduces depressive mood in healthy people and helps you deal with mood swings, as found in a study published in the Frontiers in Nutrition.

mood
Including saffron in your diet can uplift your mood. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

2. Contains antioxidants

Antioxidant is a substance that prevents oxidation. Eating an antioxidant-rich diet helps reduce the risk of several diseases, including heart disease and certain cancers. Antioxidants stop or lessen the harm that oxidation causes to the cells of your body by scavenging free radicals.

3. May reduce PMS symptoms

Premenstrual symptoms (PMS) refer to the changes in your physical and emotional well-being you may experience before your periods. Some women experience these symptoms more than others. Saffron contains properties that help reduce the severity of PMS symptoms, found in a study published in the European Journal of Integrative Medicine.

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4. May boost libido

Saffron might be the spice you need to add to your sex life. Including it in your diet may help improve sex drive in both men and women. It is an aphrodisiac that promotes libido. A study published in the journal Psychopharmacology found that saffron helps improve erectile function, especially in people who are taking antidepressants.

5. May aid weight loss

The next time you feel like having a snack, grab some saffron threads to curb the hunger. Turns out, saffron suppresses hunger and helps you lose weight. A study published in Nutrition Research found that saffron is a natural appetite suppressor and can aid weight loss. Another study published in the journal Antioxidants found that saffron is antioxidant-rich which helps modulate obesity and associated metabolic disorders.

Also Read: Saffron for weight loss: Here’s how this crimson spice can help you shed the extra kilos

6. May promote heart health

Saffron contains antioxidant properties that can help lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels, both of which help improve cardiovascular health. A study published in the Indian Journal of Medical Sciences found that the antioxidant property of saffron may help reduce the risk of developing heart disease.

7. May lower blood sugar levels

If you want to keep your blood sugar levels, saffron may be a good spice to add to your diet. A study published in Nutrition and Metabolic Insights found that saffron supplementation may help reduce fasting blood glucose (FBG) within 8 weeks. However, more research is required to confirm its effects on your health.

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8. May improve eyesight

Saffron may even help improve your eyesight. A study published in the journal Molecules found that including saffron in your diet can help improve eyesight in adults and prevent vision loss and retinal degeneration.

Close-up of a woman's eyes
Include saffron in your diet to improve your eyesight. Image courtesy: Adobe stock

Are there any side effects of saffron?

While saffron is safe to consume in limited amounts and offers several health benefits, consuming too much saffron can lead to problems. Adding it to your diet by cooking it is a safe way to consume it. People who consume too much saffron may experience stomach pain, nausea or vomiting, and drowsiness. It may trigger an allergy so people who are at risk should avoid consuming it. Pregnant woman should also avoid overconsumption of the spice and should check with their healthcare provider to know for sure.

Higher dosages of saffron (approximately 5 grams or higher) can be toxic and lead to complications, even death. It is best to talk to your doctor to avoid any kind of risk.



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