Saffron, popularly known as Kesar, is a highly valued spice. It is taken from the Crocus Sativus Flower. It is native to Southwest Asia, such as Iran, India, and Greece. Today, Iran is the largest producer of Jafran, followed by India, specifically the Kashmir region, known for its high-quality Saffron. It is used to bring unique flavour and aroma to many dishes. It is also known for its several health benefits. This blog post explores the health benefits of flower stigmas.
Benefits Of Kesar
1. Rich Source Of Antioxidants
Kesar is a rich source of antioxidants. It protects the body against free radicals and oxidative stress. The saffron threads include crocin, crocetin, safranal, and kaempferol antioxidants. These elements have various health benefits, such as reducing inflammation, fighting cancer, and supporting heart health.
2. Mood Enhancement
Jafran has mood-enhancing properties inherent in them. Their active compounds, such as safranal and crocin, appear to have antidepressant effects by regulating brain serotonin, dopamine, and norepinephrine levels. Including it in your diet can support mental well-being and help relieve symptoms of depression.
3. Reducing Fine Lines And Wrinkles
Jafran also helps combat the signs of ageing. By neutralising free radicals, it slows the ageing process and minimises the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Furthermore, it promotes collagen production necessary for maintaining skin firmness and elasticity.
4. Supporting Memory And Cognitive Function
Its antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties also make it a favourite natural remedy for supporting cognitive health. Its addition can enhance memory and cognitive function, especially in individuals with Alzheimer's disease. Regular intake may protect the brain from age-related issues and enhance overall cognitive performance.
5. Promoting Heart Health
Anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties help in improving your heart health. Consuming it can also help lower blood pressure, LDL levels, and the high risk of heart disease. Kashmiri saffron has high levels of active compounds in them. It is beneficial for encouraging cardiovascular health.
6. Soothing Sensitive Skin
For people with sensitive skin, Jafran provides gentle yet effective care. It relieves discomfort from illnesses and soothes sensitive skin. Making it a part of your skincare schedule can promote a healthy complexion and assist your skin's natural healing process.
7. Alleviating PMS Symptoms
From the traditional days, it has been used to relieve premenstrual syndrome symptoms. It helps in effectively reducing physical as well as emotional symptoms like; cramps, mood swings and various other factors. Consuming kesar can provide natural relief for those having PMS discomfort.
8. Supporting Weight Loss Efforts
It suppresses the appetite, which aids in weight loss. Kesar consumption can help you reduce your snacking habits, decreasing your calorie intake. Incorporating saffron threads into your diet with a balanced meal plan and regular exercise can support healthy weight management.
9. Hydrating And Nourishing The Skin
It is abundant in vitamins and minerals that help in nourishing and hydrating your skin. It includes vitamins A, C, and B complex. It also helps to lock in moisture and maintain skin elasticity by supporting the skin's natural barrier. The regular use of kesar can lead to more graceful and youthful skin.
10. May Aid Insomnia
It contains elements such as crocin and crocetin. It has been found to impact sleep quality positively. It can alleviate signs of depression in adults with major depressive disorder, one of which is insomnia. As explained by a certified holistic nutritionist Valeria Dolbel that its soothing properties make it a safe option to consume before bedtime. This may result in treating insomnia and improving sleep quality for people with poor sleep experiences.
Facts About Kesar That You May Find Interesting
1. Labour-Intensive Production
Its production is highly labour-intensive. Saffron threads are handpicked from the Crocus flower. It takes approximately 75,000 flowers to produce just one pound of Jafran, which is why it is considered the world's most expensive spice.
2. Versatility In Use
It is used for dietary, medicinal, cosmetic, and even textile purposes. It has been used as an ancestral medical remedy for various ailments. In contrast, cosmetics are used for their skin-enhancing properties. Additionally, it has been used as a natural dye for textiles.
3. Grading And Quality
The quality of saffron is earned by its colour, aroma, and flavour. The highest quality threads show a deep red hue, a strong aroma, and an enhanced taste. The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) has fixed a grading system for them based on their colouring strength, with higher grades indicating better quality.
4. Storage And Shelf Life
The freshness and effectiveness of Jafran can be maintained by storing it in an airtight container. Always prevent it from direct sunlight, heat and moisture. It can preserve its quality for up to two years if stored properly. But, its flavour and aroma may reduce over a while.
Kesar, particularly the Kashmiri Saffron variety, is a treasure trove of health benefits, ranging from mood enhancement to heart health support. Consuming saffron threads can help provide you with various health benefits. It has a variety of flavours and smells that you can enjoy. Still, speaking with a doctor before integrating it into your daily meals is important, especially if you have any pre-existing medical concerns.