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The wonderful health benefits of saffron

The wonderful health benefits of saffron

It's the most expensive spice in the world, but the value of saffron goes beyond its price point. 

The wonderful health benefits of saffron

What many regard as a luxury spice, the health benefits of saffron have been talked about for centuries.

Native to southeast Asia but supposedly first cultivated in Greece, saffron is harvested by hand from the ‘saffron crocus’. The brightly-coloured threads you find in supermarkets come from the flower’s stigma.

Across many cultures, saffron has been used in cooking and medicine for its fragrance, flavour and health benefits.

5 health benefits of saffron

1. It’s a powerful antioxidant that may fight inflammation. There are a number of antioxidant compounds in saffron, including crocin and crocetin. Both give the plant its intense red pigment and have been shown to improve inflammation and protect progressive brain cell damage.

2. May help treat PMS. Studies that have looked into the health benefits of saffron have found that taking a 30mg daily dose helped reduce the symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS), such as headaches, pain and irritability.

3. Reduce risk factors of heart disease. Studies have shown a link between the antioxidants in saffron and lowering blood cholesterol and clogging in arteries.

4. Treat symptoms of depression. There’s a reason why saffron is also known as the ‘sunshine spice’, research has shown it to be effective at treating symptoms of depression. Scientists say while more research is needing before it can be recommended as a treatment for depression, the findings are promising.

5. Improve eyesight and treat age-related macular degeneration (AMD). Studies around AMD suggest saffron is able to protect against free radical damage which is linked to AMD.

MiNDFOOD’s best-ever saffron recipes

Casareccia with Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes & Saffron

Casareccia with Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes & Saffron

Transport yourself to Italy with this light and flavoursome Casareccia with Cauliflower, Cherry Tomatoes & Saffron.

Get the recipe

Moroccan Chicken with Saffron Pilaf & Spicy Carrots

Moroccan Chicken with Saffron Pilaf and Spicy Carrots

Take your taste buds on a journey to North Africa with this fragrant Moroccan Chicken with Saffron Pilaf & Spicy Carrots.

Get the recipe.

Roasted Lobster With A Saffron Dill Butter

Creamy and fragrant, this Saffron Dill Butter is sure to take your lobster to the next level.

Get the recipe

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