The abundant benefits of saffron give this spice a high price. There are at least 10 proven health benefits of saffron.
Saffron is the most valuable spice in the world. The reason the price is quite expensive is because of how saffron is harvested so that the production cost of this spice is expensive.
Saffron is harvested by hand from the Crocus sativus flower, commonly known as the saffron crocus.
So, what are the benefits of saffron for health?
Benefits of saffron
Quoted from the Healthline.com page, here are 10 proven health benefits of saffron:
- Strong antioxidants
The first benefit of saffron is that it is a powerful antioxidant. Saffron contains a variety of plant compounds that act as antioxidants, molecules that protect cells from free radicals.
Saffron contains safranal which can help improve mood, memory, and learning abilities, as well as protect brain cells from oxidative stress.
Then, kaempferol is found in saffron flower petals. These compounds have been linked to health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, anticancer properties, and antidepressant activity.
- Can improve mood and treat symptoms of depression
Saffron supplements are significantly effective in treating mild to moderate depressive symptoms.
Another study found that taking 30 mg of saffron daily was as effective as taking Fluoxetine, Imipramine, and Citalopram, the conventional treatment for depression.
In addition, fewer people experience side effects when taking saffron compared to other medications.
- Has cancer fighting properties
The benefits of saffron were further proven in test tube studies. Saffron has been shown to selectively kill colon cancer cells or suppress their growth, while leaving normal cells unharmed.
This effect also applies to the skin, bone marrow, prostate, lung, breast, cervix, and some other cancer cells.
- Can reduce PMS symptoms
Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) is a term that describes the physical, emotional, and psychological symptoms that occur before the start of a menstrual period.
Studies show that saffron’s benefits can help treat PMS symptoms. Another study found that just smelling saffron for 20 minutes helped reduce PMS symptoms such as anxiety and lowered levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
- Can act as an aphrodisiac
Aphrodisiacs are foods or supplements that help increase libido. Research shows that saffron may have aphrodisiac properties, especially in people taking antidepressants.
The results of six studies show that consuming this spice significantly improves erectile function, libido, and overall satisfaction but not semen characteristics.
- Can reduce appetite and help you lose weight
Furthermore, saffron’s benefits may help prevent snacking by reducing appetite.
In one study conducted over an eight-week period of women taking saffron supplements. They felt significantly fuller, snacked less frequently, and lost significantly more weight than the women in the placebo group.
In another eight-week study, taking a turmeric extract supplement helped significantly reduce appetite, body mass index (BMI), waist circumference, and total fat mass.
- Can reduce the risk of heart disease
Test-tube studies have shown that saffron’s antioxidant properties may lower blood cholesterol and prevent clogging of blood vessels and arteries.
- Can lower blood sugar levels
Furthermore, the benefits of saffron can lower blood sugar levels and increase insulin sensitivity. This is as seen in test-tube studies and mice with diabetes.
- Can improve vision in adults with AMD
Saffron may also improve vision in adults with age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and protect against free radical damage, which is linked to AMD.
- Can improve memory in adults with Alzheimer’s
The antioxidant properties of saffron may improve cognition in adults with Alzheimer’s disease.
Those are the 10 health benefits of saffron.