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Health Benefits of Saffron and Cooking Methods

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Saffron is one of the highly prized spices which is most commonly known for its flavor, color and medicinal properties. Its scientific name is Crocus sativus, and the stigmas of this plant can be processed and dried into a very valuable spice, which is actually the most valuable spice by weight.

This exotic spice is a native of Southern Europe, but is being cultivated worldwide in many countries. These include Italy, Spain, Greece, France, Iran, Turkey and in the Indian state of Kashmir and Jammu.

saffron health benefits
saffron health benefits / pixabay

Health Benefits of Saffron:

1. Boosts Immunity

Spices are not just food flavoring ingredients, they also contain high concentrations of certain important nutrients, including vitamin C. Ascorbic acid is essential for your health, as it helps in stimulating the immune system’s production of white blood cells, which is the body’s first line of defense against illness.

Also it is essential to the production of collagen, which is necessary for cellular production in the body. It contributes to muscle growth, wound healing, tissue production and blood vessel repair.

2. Boost Your Mood

Studies have shown that
saffron helps in easing anxiety, relieving symptoms of depression and improving mood, in those who consume it regularly. The beneficial active compounds that are present in saffron have effects on your endocrine system, which are known to trigger the release of “feel good” hormones, that make one feel happier.

Current research conducted in Iran, focused on patients with major depression who were taking conventional psychiatric medications. Half of the participants took crocin, which is an essential constituent of saffron alongside their medication.

The other half of the participants, took only the pharmaceuticals. The participants who took the combination were shown to have significantly improved scores for anxiety relief, depression relief, and general overall health status, as compared to the placebo group.

3. Cancer Prevention

More than 100 different compounds are acting within saffron’s complex form, antioxidants were bound to make an appearance. There are dozens of different antioxidant compounds present in saffron, which seek out and neutralize free radicals, the dangerous byproducts of cellular metabolism, which can cause healthy cells to die or mutate.

This can boost the general health of the immune system, but more specifically, can help in the prevention of cancer from spreading or developing in the body.

4. Heart Health

Improving the health of the heart is one of the top goals in human health today. Did you know that a simple way to do this, is to increase your potassium intake?

Potassium acts as a vasodilator by effectively lowering the pressure and stress on the blood vessels and arteries, allowing blood pressure to decrease, and therefore relieving strain on the cardiovascular system. This can prevent things such as heart attacks, atherosclerosis, and strokes from occurring.

5. Improves Learning and Memory Retention

Recent studies have shown that saffron extract, specifically crocin, is veryuseful in the treatment of age related mental impairment. In Japan, saffron is encapsulated, and is being use in the treatment of memory loss, Parkinson’s disease, and inflammation.

Cooking Methods:

Using just a pinch of fresh saffron is enough to enhance the color and flavor of an entire recipe.

There are various methods to use saffron in the kitchen. The whole stigma can be added into the preparations directly, or often, the threads are ground to paste using the traditional mortar and pestle, and then mix to the recipes. Also, you can use a pinch of saffron and add into a cup of hot water, steep; then add this water to the ingredients.

Below are Some Serving Tips:

– Saffron can be use as a coloring and flavoring base in both food and drinks in Asian and Mediterranean cuisines.
– It has been in use in the preparation of rice-pudding, rice-pilaf, and other sweet dishes in many Pakistani, Indian and Cental Asian countries. Also, it has been used as a color and flavoring base in the preparation of cakes, ice-creams and drinks.

Read More:
1. What is This Spice That Reduce Heart Attack Risks, Restores Gut Bacteria and Fights Cancer
2. How Eating This Spice May Help Lower Blood Sugar in Diabetics
3. 10 Common Herbs and Spices With Amazing Health Benefits