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Saffron Benefits, Nutrition & Side Effects

Most of us have heard a lot of tales about the golden-coloured spice and have always been fascinated by the pleasant-looking threads of Saffron. But, no matter how many tales we have heard, many people still need to learn about this legendary spice. It is a thread-like herb that is highly fragrant and subtle. The Saffron threads are slightly sweet and can be instantly recognized in a dish due to their distinct taste, color and fragrance. Saffron benefits are plenty as it consumed to fight depression, treats mood swings, control blood sugar levels as well as improves memory in adults having Alzheimer’s disease.

Saffron is a spice that originates from a flower called Crocus sativus, commonly named saffron crocus. The stigmas of this flower are dried and used to make saffron spice. Originated and was first cultivated in Greece. However, today, Saffron’s cultivation is not limited to Greece and is also grown primarily in India, Iran and Morocco. A micro-scale production of this luxurious spice is also seen in the United States. 

Now that you know what Saffron is and where it comes from, read below to uncover all the Saffron Benefits, Nutrition & Side Effects.

Top 7 Health Benefits of Saffron

The world’s most legendary spice, Saffron, is used in various cuisines worldwide for natural seasoning and flavoring. But, the use of this remarkable spice is not limited here; it is also used in traditional medications and pharmaceuticals due to the several advantages it has to offer for health.

Health Benefits of Saffron

Act as a powerful antioxidant

The variety of plant compounds in Saffron is quite impressive. These plant compounds act as antioxidants making the herb a very powerful antioxidant. Its major antioxidants are crocetin, crocin, safranal and kaempferol. These prevent brain cells against oxidative stress and free radicals in a very impressive manner.

Acts as an antidepressant and enhances mood

Also known as Sunshine spice, Saffron effectively brightens one’s mood. Various studies also show that it supports treating symptoms of mild-to-moderate depression. In addition, several pieces of research also show that consuming saffron every day acts as a traditional treatment for depression that shows fewer side effects than other medications for treating depression. 

Provides relief from PMS symptoms. 

Saffron is known to be effective in treating the psychological, emotional and physical symptoms that occur before the start of menstrual periods. Studies depict that 30 mg daily consumption of Saffron can treat PMS symptoms in women without side effects like headaches and irritability caused by other medications. Some studies also indicate that smelling Saffron for around 20 minutes can help PMSing women reduce anxiety and stress levels. 

Acts as an aphrodisiac

Saffron possesses libido-boosting properties. It is also helpful for treating erectile dysfunction, especially in people taking antidepressants. Studies show that this spice enhances libido. However, it plays no role in improving the semen’s characteristics. It also helps women lower sex-related pain and increase sexual drive. Additionally, it also increases lubrication in women without any side effects. 

Saffron Benefits for weight loss 

One of the most common causes of increasing weight is snacking. Researches suggest that Saffron controls appetite and prevents snacking. Consuming it brings a feeling of satiety and therefore aids in weight loss. Another theory that supports the belief that this spice aids weight loss is that it enhances mood, eventually lowering the urge to snack. 

Saffron Benefits on skin

Saffron extends its benefits also for skin health. This spice consists of anti-inflammatory components that nourish the skin and provide a blemish-free radiance. Saffron’s benefits for the skin has enabled it to be added in various beauty products and creams. It also has scar-healing properties and makes the skin soft and supple. Additionally, Benefits of saffron on skin works in lightening and enhancing texture.

Reduce the risk of cardiovascular diseases 

The antioxidants and flavonoids present in Saffron lower the risk of cardiovascular diseases. Being a rich source of Potassium, regular consumption of Saffron helps dilate blood vessels, eliminate blockages in arteries and lowers blood pressure. Therefore, it helps in preventing strokes and cardiac arrests. The spice also possesses cholesterol-lowering benefits that reduce the harmful cholesterol levels in the blood. 

Nutritional values of Saffron Benefits

As Saffron is derived from a plant, it is loaded with various plant compounds acting as antioxidants. Some of the primary antioxidants in this spice are safranal, kaempferol, crocetin and crocin. Therefore, Saffron protects cells from oxidative stress and free radicals and shows antidepressant properties. 

The list of nutrients present in Saffron is a long one. From iron to protein, numerous nutrients are present in this luxurious spice. Below is a look into the nutritional value of Sargol Saffron per 100 grams.

NutrientNutrient value in 100 g of Saffron
Protein11.43 g
Total Fat5.85 g
Carbohydrate65.37 g
Calcium111 mg
Iron11.1 mg
Potassium1724 mg
Sodium148 mg
Magnesium264 mg
Vitamin C80.8 mg
Vitamin B61.01 mg

Possible Side Effects of Saffron Benefits

A daily dosage of up to 1.5 grams of Saffron is safe for human consumption and shows no side effects. However, to relish the benefits of this spice, only 30 mg of daily consumption is enough. Although the use of Saffron in cooking shows no to little side effects, its overdose, i.e. consuming more than 5 grams per day, can cause toxic effects. It advised to use cautiously in the following conditions. 

  • Pregnancy- An excessive quantity of this spice can cause contractions in the uterus leading to miscarriage. Pregnant females are suppose to not take high dosage of Saffron. 
  • Breastfeeding- No specific amount of Saffron is yet known to be safe for lactating mothers. Hence, it is suggested to consult a gynecologist to know the right amount and avoid any harmful side effects. 
  • Surgery- If you are going to undergo surgery, you must stop its consumption two weeks before the surgery. As it can cause adverse effects by interacting with anesthesia and other drugs. 
  • Plant allergy- Consumption of Saffron is not suggested for people who are allergic to certain plants as they might be allergic to Saffron too. 
  • Psychological treatment- It can trigger behavior changes in patients undergoing treatment for bipolar disorder or other psychological diseases. 
  • Expert Recommendation – In case you face any of the issues mentioned above, consult a doctor for a better hold on the situation.

Bottom Line

Saffron is a very expensive spice that has various purposes from ancient period. From adding flavor and color to cuisines worldwide till being a component in traditional medicines due to the health benefits it offers, this herb is a diverse one. The threads of saffron is very tiny but can provide significant benefits. But, no matter how beneficial this spice is, Try not to overdose it, as its not really a good option. Therefore, if you wish to consume it daily, pay attention to the amount that you want to consume so that you can avoid its toxic side effects. 

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