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Saffron Benefits: How This Expensive Spice Can Improve Your Health

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Saffron (Kesar in Hindi) is known for being the costliest spice in the world. It is available as reddish strands, which are actually the stigmas of the saffron crocus flower, which grows on a plant scientifically called Crocus sativus. Saffron has been used for several years to prepare the culinary delights of Indian and Mediterranean cuisine. It is popular for its medicinal properties, too. While the cost of saffron may be high, its flavour and health benefits are worth every penny!

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In this write-up, we will discuss the many saffron benefits for health and how you can add it to your diet to reap all that it has to offer.

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8 Saffron Benefits You Should Know About

For thousands of years, people have been using saffron for its medicinal properties. Following are the ways in which saffron benefits your physical and mental health:

Fights Free Radical Damage

Free radicals are harmful elements in our bodies. A high concentration of free radicals in the body leads to oxidative stress, cellular damage, and the development of different chronic diseases.

Saffron, being rich in antioxidants (like crocin, crocetin, and safranal), fights free radicals effectively and protects the body from damage and chronic illnesses like cancer, heart disease, hypertension, etc.

Relieves PMS Symptoms

PMS, or Pre-Menstrual Syndrome, is the name given to the range of symptoms women experience before the start of their periods. It includes mood swings, pelvic pain, acne breakouts, fatigue, bloating, and more. Though mild PMS symptoms are still okay, women experiencing moderate to severe symptoms find it difficult to handle.

Saffron is believed to be an effective remedy to relieve PMS symptoms as it supports the reproductive system. Several studies have confirmed this during research.

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Improves Sexual Health

One of the most impressive saffron benefits is its ability to bring about a positive change in a person’s sexual health. Consuming saffron can boost libido, facilitate genital lubrication, and improve erectile dysfunction because of its aphrodisiac properties.

Hence, it can be used as a viable remedy for those dealing with reduced sexual desire, like people on antidepressant medications.

Supports Weight Loss

A few studies suggest that saffron can also be used to facilitate weight loss, especially in obese individuals. Taking saffron is said to curb food cravings, preventing unnecessary snacking. It helps a person reduce waist circumference, body mass index (BMI), and overall weight.

One must, however, not completely rely on saffron for weight loss. Combine it with a healthy diet and regular exercise to notice visible changes in your body.

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Elevates Mood

Saffron also helps improve mood and positive feelings. Research shows that saffron could be a possible treatment option for symptoms of mild and moderate depression in the future. It was found to be as effective as some of the traditional medications used to treat this mental health condition.

However, until extensive human studies confirm this possibility, sticking to the prescribed medications suggested by the doctor is the best way to ensure good mental health.

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Promotes Sound Sleep

A glass of warm milk before bed sure helps you sleep. But add a few strands of saffron to the milk if you want to sleep better. Some reports reveal that saffron can improve sleep quality by increasing melatonin levels in the body. It can also help you sleep longer and wake up well-rested the next morning.

This is attributed to the presence of active compounds like crocin and safranal, which cause sedation and increase the duration of sleep. For this reason, saffron can be particularly helpful for people with insomnia who have trouble getting quality sleep.

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Improves Cognitive Function

Alzheimer’s disease can cause a significant decline in a person’s mental function. It impacts memory and other important functions of the brain. Since it is a progressive disease with no established cure, doctors prescribe medications to reduce its symptoms and prevent the worsening of the condition.

Studies have found that saffron may be helpful as an alternate therapy for Alzheimer’s disease, as it has improved the cognitive function of patients in some studies. Plus, it also has fewer risks compared to conventional medications.

Improves Skin Texture and Appearance

Besides the saffron benefits mentioned above, there is one more benefit that women appreciate the most. And that is its ability to hydrate, rejuvenate, and impart glowing skin.

For ages, saffron has been used as an ingredient in homemade face masks to promote healthy skin and treat skin imperfections like scars and dark spots. It is also included in many beauty products to refresh dull-looking skin and restore a youthful glow.

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How to Include Saffron in Your Diet?

There are multiple ways in which you can include saffron in your diet. Add a few strands directly to your dishes while cooking so that all its goodness seeps into the food before you consume it. Or, drop 4-5 strands of saffron in a few tablespoons of hot water and let it soak for some time. You can then use the reddish-golden liquid for cooking.

Some people also like to prepare saffron tea to relish the delicate taste of this refreshing beverage. The simplest way to prepare this tea is to add a few saffron strands, some cinnamon, grated ginger, and a couple of mint leaves to one cup of water. Bring it to a boil and let the concoction simmer for 5-8 minutes. Strain the tea in a cup and add a teaspoon of honey and lemon juice. Mix well and drink it warm.

Final Thoughts

Saffron sure is the most expensive spice in the world. But considering its unique flavour and health benefits, it is consumed by people around the world. It is rich in antioxidants that fight against oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases. It relieves PMS symptoms, improves skin, elevates moods, and does so much more for the body.

Though more research is needed to confirm all saffron benefits, there is no harm in using this aromatic spice to elevate your favourite dishes when used in safe amounts.

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FAQs on Saffron Benefits

1. How much saffron can I consume safely as a dietary supplement?

It is safe to take up to 1.5 g of saffron every day. Anything around 5 g or more can be toxic for your body.

2. Can saffron cause any side effects?

Some people may experience nausea, vomiting, stomach upset, drowsiness, or an allergic reaction as a side effect of consuming saffron.

3. Who should avoid saffron in their diet?

Saffron can cause uterine contractions and lead to miscarriage when taken in large amounts. Therefore, it is better to avoid saffron during pregnancy and breastfeeding to cancel even the slightest chances of harmful outcomes. Or speak to your doctor to learn how you can consume the spice safely during pregnancy.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is compiled information from generic and public sources. It is in no way a substitute, suggestion, or advice for a qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. BeatoApp does not claim responsibility for this information.

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Akhil Taneja

Akhil Taneja

Health & Wellness Connoisseur and Growth Marketing Expert, I am a passionate health enthusiast and an advocate for holistic health. With my expertise in tech and love for helping others achieve optimal well-being, I am delivering insightful content to help readers achieve their health and fitness goals.

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