Saffron is a plant with the scientific name of Crocus sativus, from the order of asparagus and lily of the valley. It is known as the golden spice because of its yellow color and high price. It has been used for more than 4,000 years to flavor foods. Today, more than 90% of the world’s saffron is produced in Iran.
It has a variety of chemical compounds that are the main cause of taste, color, and properties.
In history, it has been seen many times that saffron has been used as a medicine to treat the following diseases:
Anemia and heart failure
In modern medical science, the use of saffron for its healing properties has also been used to solve the following problems:
To relieve anxiety
Treatment of Pre – menstrual Syndrome (PMS)
Treatment of insulin resistance
Diseases associated with nerve cell destruction
Although it has not been shown to play a decisive role in the treatment of various diseases, it has been proven that the use of this valuable spice is quite effective in treating diseases such as sexual problems, depression, pre – menstrual syndrome, and Alzheimer’s.
The nutritional value
One tablespoon of saffron has the following nutritional value:
Carbohydrates 1.37 grams
Fat 0.12 g
Protein 0.24 g
C: 1.7 mg
B9: 0.002 micrograms
B6: 0.02 mg
B3: 0.03 mg
B2: 0.01 mg
Iron: 0.23 mg
Magnesium: 6 mg
Manganese: 0.6 mg
Copper: 0.01 mg
Phosphorus: 5 mg
Potassium: 36 mg
Kaimferol: 4.3 mg
There are more than 150 active chemical compounds in this golden spice, the most important of which are responsible for the taste, taste, smell and more importantly, the effect of saffron are:
Carotenoids: Carotenoids are a group of chemical compounds in plants that are responsible for the color of their leaves and petals. Also, these compounds are responsible for absorbing light in plants.
Crocetin and crocin are carotenoids that produce the yellow and red color of this golden spice.
Essential oils (Volatile oils): Oil obtained from plants, which is also called essential oil or fragrance.
Picrocrocin: The main responsible for the taste of saffron
Safranal: The main responsible for the aroma of saffron
Saffron is also a rich source of kaimferrol, a type of yellowing molecule that produces yellow pigments, as well as anti – oxidant, anti – bacterial and anti – cancer properties. This substance may be effective in treating some diseases:
Type 2 diabetes
Prevent premature aging
In addition, Crocin can help control MS.
The crocin in saffron produces a layer of fat on the brain cells, which in turn protects the brain cells from damage.
People with MS lose the protective layer of fat in their brain cells.
The crocin in saffron regenerates this layer of fat and prevents damage to brain cells.
The chemical composition of saffron is responsible for its effective properties for the health of the body. It increases the level of proteins necessary for body growth and blood pressure. Contributes to healthy brain activity such as brain-derived neurogenic factor (BDNF), vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF).
It also has antioxidant properties that scavenge free radicals that may damage proteins and DNA inside cells. In addition, this miracle spice restricts the growth of amyloid beta proteins that lead to Alzheimer’s
Many of the healing properties of saffron are due to the presence of crocin molecules in the composition of this spice. Digesting crocin is not an easy task for the body, which is why the human digestive system converts it to crocetin.
Crostin increases the production of the happy hormone serotonin in the brain, which is why this spice help to treat depression.
Safranal: Another chemical present in golden spice compounds is: Increases blood pressure and regulates heart rate.
It is anti – allergic and stops the activity of histamines in the body.
Disrupts the activity of acetylcholine in the body.
It also eliminates anxiety and stress.
Health Benefits of Saffron
Saffron has many benefits for the body, most of which are due to its antioxidant properties. Saffron is a natural antioxidant. The antioxidant properties of golden spice prevent premature aging and protect your skin from damage from sunlight, which can lead to the growth of cancer cells, which is why saffron is used in creams and lotions and
Strengthens the immune system
Regular consumption of saffron increases white blood cells. However, it does not lead to an increase in red blood cells, so problems such as blood concentration can not be the effect of excessive consumption of saffron.
Also, preventing viral activity in the body’s cells is another reason to prove the claim of saffron boosts your immune system.
Improves heart function
Saffron reduces the risk of heart attack and vascular problems by increasing the heart’s pumping capacity, thanks to the presence of kaimferol.
Many studies have proven the effect of saffron on reducing heart problems. This is probably due to the burning of cholesterol while the body converts crocin to crocetin.
Protects the brain
Saffron has a beneficial effect on the brain. Many studies on cells and animals have shown that saffron helps improve brain function by the following factors:
Improving the function of neurons
Also activity of antioxidants that prevent damage to the brain.
Protect the brain against damage.
Prevent cell death in the brain.
Dosage of saffron
Saffron should not be consumed more than twice a day and more than 30 to 50 mg per meal. The maximum consumption of saffron in a day is 1500 mg, which is less in pregnant women or those who are allergic to this spice for various reasons.
Doses above 5000 mg are toxic and even deadly. Pregnant women who take more than 5,000 mg may experience a miscarriage.
Although Saffron is a safe and healthy food supplement for your daily diet. But in very rare cases, it may also have side effects:
In addition, some people may be allergic to the carotenoids in this spice.
Note that pregnant women should not consume saffron unless they have consulted their doctor. Despite all the benefits and advantages of using golden spice, there is a lot of evidence that saffron may endanger the health of the fetus and mother.