5 amazing health benefits of saffron, the sunshine spice
One of the most expensive spices in the world, saffron is harvested by hand from the Crocus sativus flower or saffron crocus. It is believed that these trumpet-shaped threads originated in Iran and were used for their medicinal properties. A powerful antioxidant, saffron helps with depression, aids in weight loss, and can reduce heart disease risk factors. Here are the five benefits of saffron.
Helps boost your mood
Also called sunshine spice, saffron is extremely effective in boosting your mood and treating symptoms of depression and anxiety. The petals and the thread-like stigma of saffron can give relief from mild-to-moderate depression. According to a study, saffron extract increased dopamine levels in the brain, improving memory and concentration without changing the levels of other brain hormones like serotonin.
Promotes weight loss
Unhealthy snacking is a major cause of weight gain and can lead to several dangerous heart diseases. According to research, saffron is highly effective in promoting weight loss and curbing your appetite by preventing unhealthy snacking. According to a study, women who consumed saffron supplements snacked less frequently, experienced a feeling of fullness. They even lost more weight than women in the placebo group.
Reduces symptoms of PMS
PMS or premenstrual syndrome can lead to a lot of symptoms including acne breakouts and pelvic pain besides impacting your mental health and causing mood swings and anxiety. According to research, saffron can help improve PMS symptoms and make you feel relaxed. According to a study, smelling saffron for 20 minutes can help reduce PMS symptoms and lower cortisol levels (stress hormones).
Reduces the risk of cancer
Packed with essential antioxidants and two major carotenoids called crocin and crocetin, saffron can help in neutralizing harmful free radicals that have been linked to chronic diseases like cancer. According to test-tube studies, saffron and its compounds could selectively suppress the growth of colon cancer cells or kill them without harming healthy cells. The effect applies to skin, lungs, cervix, and other cancer cells.
Great for your skin
Acting as a natural UV-absorbing agent, saffron is great for your skin. The flavonoid compounds in saffron like quercetin and kaempferol help protect your skin from harmful UV radiation. It also helps in reducing pigmentation, brown spots, and other skin blemishes while lightening and brightening your skin. Mix a few saffron strands with turmeric and milk and apply it all over your face.