Health Benefits of Saffron
More expensive than gold, saffron's golden colour and sweet flavour are prized by cooks worldwide; nowhere more so than in Spain and Iran. There are more reasons to use saffron than it's exquisite, honey-like flavour and rich colour though; saffron has some pretty amazing health benefits, too!
Thankfully for those of us watching the pennies, a little saffron goes a long way. To help justify adding this delicate spice to your kitchen, here are some health benefits of saffron:
Saffron has been used for centuries in Asia to brighten complexions, reduce blemishes and acne. Try it yourself by making a natural face mask from saffron, natural yoghurt and raw honey. You can also heal from the inside out by infusing a few saffron stigmas in warm milk (either cows milk or a plant-based alternative) to make saffron milk.
Antioxidants, vitamins and minerals
Scientific studies suggest that the major active components of saffron (known as crocin and safranal) have a strong antioxidant effect, and have even been shown to help slow the development of certain cancers. Saffron is also rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin A, niacin, folic acid and other essential vitamins and minerals.
Saffron may help people with arthritis, joint pains and tired muscles by reducing the lactic acid produced by your body after exercising.
Incredibly, saffron can help sufferers of insomnia. Saffron can help regulate the hormones produced during sleep - helping you to sleep soundly!
When buying saffron, it's best to buy the whole stigmas (which need to be infused in liquid to release all the flavour), or to make your own saffron powder by grinding it yourself. Saffron powder bought from the supermarket could have been sitting there for months, which likely have reduced lots of these amazing health benefits.
I love using saffron for paellas and to flavour rice pudding (saffron and cardamom makes a wonderful combination). How about you?
mouth-watering to share?