One of the most valuable and expensive spices on earth, saffron benefits go far beyond taste. This spice comes from the Crocus sativus, also known as the saffron crocus. Its deep red-orange strands are harvested from the blooms and dried. The careful harvesting process makes this spice highly valuable.
The origins of saffron are hard to trace exactly. Some believe that it comes from Iran, while others trace it to Greece and Mesopotamia. Wherever it originated, the best saffron comes from Valencia in Spain. Keep reading to find out more about saffron benefits to see why the ‘king of spices’ is a must for your spice collection.
There are many saffron benefits, ranging from antioxidants to mood enhancements and weight management. Here are some of the ways that this spice helps you stay healthy.
Saffron is high in a variety of plant compounds serving as antioxidants, protecting the body’s cells against free radicals and promoting good health. Key antioxidants include crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol.
The first two are rich in carotenoids, giving the spice its bright red colour, the compounds help to improve inflammation and increase overall immunity. Safranal gives the spice its taste and scent, helping to protect brain cells from oxidative stress. Kaempferol lies in the flower petals, helping to reduce inflammation.
There’s a good reason this spice is known as ‘the sunshine spice’. Aside from its bright colour and unique flavour, a number of studies show that it can also help to improve mood.
The petals and the threads could help to fight depression. Although studies are still continuing in this field, early evidence shows that adding saffron to your diet might just lift your mood.
Assists with weight management.
Saffron can help curb snacking and overeating by keeping you fuller for longer. Healthy meals rich in whole foods and delicious flavours is the best way to get in nutrients without craving junk food. Adding flavour to your meals will help you enjoy food, making it easier to eat better.
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