The Real Health Benefits Of Saffron

The spice rack in our kitchen can impressively double as a medicine cabinet at times. Johns Hopkins Medicine says cinnamon can lower blood sugar, ginger can relieve nausea, and garlic can boost heart health. But what about saffron? It's not a staple on many of our spice racks, and for good reason. According to NDTV Food, saffron is currently the most expensive spice found in the entire world. That is in large part because it is considered to be a labor intensive crop. Saffron is a small bulbous plant that is a member of the lily family, and requires hours of meticulous hand-picking and careful handling during the harvesting process. The money you pay may be due to the intensive labor, but the multiple health benefits of saffron may be worth making it a permanent spice in your collection.

NDTV Food says this wonder spice promotes learning and memory retention. So much so that in some countries like Japan, the spice is encapsulated and used to treat memory loss and Parkinson's disease.

The benefits can be enjoyed as soon as you start experimenting in the kitchen

In addition to memory and learning retention, Healthline states this expensive spice has powerful antioxidants. Two of the most notable being crocin and crocetin. These compounds are known to promote weight loss, fight against depression, and protect the brain cells against progressive damage. And just like cinnamon, saffron can possibly reduce blood sugar levels.

The antioxidants in saffron have some impressive health benefits. Healthline also credits the spice for having an engine-revving effect on the libido, as well as reducing some symptoms of PMS.

Now that we know just how deserving this spice is to have its own place on the rack, the question of how we can best use it in the kitchen comes into the spotlight. NDTV Food recommends crushing the spice up into a glass of champagne or a cup of coffee for a healthy boost. Traditionally, it has also been used to flavor rice and is typically found in the yogurt-based Indian drink lassi. Our best advice is to be adventurous and try adding saffron to your meals whenever you feel inspired. The spice could be just what you need to keep you from going to your actual medicine cabinet more often.