In the culinary field, spices are very often used to flavor and flavor both foods and drinks. In the past, they were also used for medical purposes or in religious rituals, cosmetics, and perfumery. A trendy spice for its properties and benefits is certainly saffron. The scientific name of this plant is Crocus Sativus, and its most essential parts are the stigmas used to produce the spice.
These are harvested by hand, especially in the winter, and are then put to dry to make the much-desired powder. Saffron was first cultivated in Greece, and Asia Minor, the regions that produce the most are Sardinia, Abruzzo, Marche, and Umbria. Discover in this in-depth analysis all the curiosities of saffron and its health benefits.
Benefits Of Saffron For The Body
Saffron is mainly composed of mineral salts, among which the most important to remember are certainly Magnesium, Phosphorus, and Potassium. However, the peculiarity of this plant is the presence of essential oil contained within the safranal flowers. In addition to giving the fragrance to the spice, the latter is a powerful antioxidant and has depressive activities. Certain scientific studies have shown how the consumption of saffron can prevent stomach and liver tumors and eliminate excess air and intestinal gas production.
Saffron contains vitamin C, and it is thanks to it, it can prevent cellular aging. Other studies have shown how saffron also acts on the human mind; in fact, it can improve people’s mood but also regulate it in women during the menstrual period. It also has effects on learning and memory, significantly improving its performance.
Does Saffron Also Have Adverse Effects?
Of course, when consumed in disproportionate quantities, it can cause side effects for the individual. It is essential to regulate the dosage; even if the amount of 20 g is exceeded, it can also lead to death. It is recommended not to exceed one gram. Among the side effects, we can report bleeding, dizziness and sleepiness. However, it is advisable to contact a specialist who will be able to indicate precisely the ideal content.
Use Of Saffron In The Culinary Field
Saffron in the kitchen can be used for appetizers, first and second courses, or desserts. Despite this, the best chefs prefer to use it with seafood, shellfish, certain types of meat, or other sauces. Saffron has a bitter taste, a sharp smell, and a strong coloring effect, and it is precisely for these specific properties that it must be added at the end of cooking food; otherwise, it would lose all this. A question often asked is: “Does saffron alter the flavor of a dish?”. The answer is undoubtedly no if it is used with the correct dosage. Indeed, the taste it transmits is undoubtedly very delicate.
Properties And Benefits Of Saffron
According to recent studies, saffron appears to have various properties that benefit the human body. The active ingredients contained in it have beneficial effects on the part of the nervous system responsible for mood. This action has been tested in a clinical setting on people suffering from mild depression, giving a positive result.
The properties of saffron have also proved helpful in the case of typical symptoms of PMS, such as mood swings and nervous tension.
It’s Good For The Brain
Thanks to the antioxidant properties of carotenoids, memory and learning ability also benefit from taking the precious powder. The hypothesis is being studied that saffron can inhibit the deposition of some proteins in the human brain when in the presence of Alzheimer’s disease.
It Is Suitable For The Eyes
Thanks to the presence of vitamin A, the intake of saffron helps counteract macular degeneration typical of old age.
Its benefits also affect inflammation of the respiratory tract, especially asthma. The spice helps to clear the respiratory tract and reduces inflammation. Thus facilitating breathing is the intensity of the asthma attack.
It Is Suitable For The Skin
The spice contains antioxidants which, by slowing down cellular aging, are helpful for skin health. For this purpose, mix a little saffron with papaya pulp and apply it all on the face for 15 minutes before showering. This kind of beauty mask has two main properties: firstly, the papain present in papaya helps the skin get rid of dead cells, while the antioxidants of saffron prevent the formation of spots and wrinkles.
The spice can also be used to treat insomnia problems. In this regard, it can be used mixed with tea or milk before bed.
Tea made with saffron is used to treat psoriasis and eliminate gas accumulation in the intestines and stomach. Safranal, a volatile oil in the spice, is an antioxidant with a cytotoxic effect on cancer cells and has antidepressant activity. Saffron also has antispasmodic, sweat, and carminative properties. Recent studies have shown how this food benefits the male reproductive system. In Indian Ayurvedic medicine, spice is considered an adaptogen.
Saffron Herbal Tea
Just put a pinch of saffron powder in a cup of water brought to a boil (let it rest for ten minutes), and then add a teaspoon of honey, which makes for an excellent anti-stress and digestive infusion. Drunk in the evening helps to induce sleep.
Saffron powder is very caloric. Every 100 gr. We have a yield of approximately 310 calories.
As with all foods, it is good to be careful not to overdo it. Taking 20 grams of saffron all at once can be lethal! Indeed, for a pregnant woman, the intake of 10 grams can lead to abortion. The ideal dose that should never be exceeded is 1.5 grams per day.
Also Read: CURRY: PROPERTIES AND USE OF THE SPICE MIX