Top 4 Health Benefits of Saffron
One of my favorite meals is Paella. I love yellow rice. Saffron is the spice that gives the rice its color (“saffron” means “yellow” in Arabic) and flavor in this yummy Spanish dish. Saffron has been prized throughout history for its medicinal properties, and to this day remains one of the most expensive spices. Harvesting saffron is labor-intensive, an estimated 75,000 flowers are need to produce just one pound of saffron. Saffron is sourced in many parts of Southern Europe and Asia and is harvested from the dried stigma Crocus sativus flower.
After recently researching saffron, I’m now looking at even more recipes I can add this wonderful spice to. Saffron has many wonderful health benefits. Here are just a few:
- Antidepressant: Several studies have shown that saffron is effective at treating depression, without the unwanted side effects of pharmaceutical drugs. (1, 2)
- Asthma support: Saffron may help open restricted airways. I have asthma, as do three of my children. We are definitely going to increase our saffron consumption.
- Sleep assistance: For those that struggle with insomnia and other sleep issues, adding a pinch each of saffron and nutmeg to warm milk may be just what is needed. There will be no grogginess or negative side-effects to this method of sleep support!
- Memory retention: Saffron contains compounds called crocetin and crocin that may improve memory and cognitive processing in degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease and Parkinson disease, as well as in other memory-related disorders. (1)
Here are some wonderful recipes from my search on saffron. Let me know if you try a new recipe with saffron in it that then becomes a staple in your house.
*Saffron’s purity is often compromised to lower costs for vendors. Be sure to buy your saffron from a reputable company. There is some great information here on the selection and storage of Saffron.
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