One of the most expensive spices in the world is saffron because of the labour-intensive process that is necessary to grow and harvest it. Saffron’s origins can be traced back to Greece, where it was revered not only for the flavour it adds to the dishes, but also for its medicinal properties. Ancient people consumed saffron to boost their mood and improve their memory.
Saffron can be used as an ingredient in cooking or baking, and it can even be consumed as a drink. In cooking, saffron strands can be placed in pasta or rice recipes, while in baking, it can jazz up jellies in jams. Some people draw out the unique flavor of saffron by soaking the threads in hot water. In this way, they reap the amazing health benefits of saffron such as those listed below.
- Cancer-fighting Properties
Saffron is known to be high in antioxidants that can aid in killing cancer-causing cells. There are studies that show that while these antioxidants suppress the growth of the cancer cells, the healthy cells of the body are left unharmed. Some of these antioxidants include crocin and crocetin to name a few. These are the compounds responsible for the red colour of this spice and these are also known to have antidepressant properties. On the other hand, safranal is the compound that gives saffron its distinct taste and aroma, which can also help improve your learning ability.
- PMS Treatment
PMS, or premenstrual syndrome, includes irritability, headaches, cravings, and pain. PMS can even cause stress and anxiety. The compounds that makeup saffron is known to help women alleviate the symptoms of PMS. By smelling this red spice for at least half an hour, women are able to lower down their cortisol level, which is also known as the stress hormone. As a result, women are able to effectively manage the pain that goes along their period.
- Weight Loss
Different people lose weight for a variety of reasons and some do this because of underlying health conditions. In this case, saffron may prove to be an effective ingredient because it can curb your appetite and prevent you from snacking. This can be attributed to the fact that saffron compounds can elevate your mood. When you are in a good mood, there is a smaller chance that you indulge in stress eating.
- Other Health Benefits
The antioxidant properties of saffron is believed to improve cognition in people suffering from memory loss ailments. In addition to this, it can also improve your eyesight, reduce risks that contribute to heart diseases, as well as lower your blood sugar levels. With all these benefits, constantly integrating saffron in your dishes or consuming it as part of your drinks is a great idea.
In conclusion, saffron is known to have cancer-fighting properties because it is rich in antioxidants. It can also greatly aid in PMS treatment, as well as in weight loss. The best thing about saffron is that you can easily add this to your diet because of its subtle taste and aroma. As such, you can easily pair it with savoury dishes, or even infuse it in your drinks.