Saffron is known for its color, flavor and herbal qualities. Read on to learn about the health and nutrition benefits of eating saffron and also explore the nutritional value of saffron.

Health Benefits Of Saffron

Saffron is a famous, delightful and an expensive spice known for its color, flavor and medicinal properties. Saffron is actually the threads or the stigma of the flower of the S. crocus plant. The flowers contain many essential volatile oils, the important one being safranal, which gives saffron its distinct hay-like flavor. Botanically known as Crocus Sativus, saffron is a perennial plant belonging to the family of Iridaceae of the genus Crocus. Saffron is an exotic spice native to Southern Europe and is now cultivated around the world particularly in Spain, Italy, France, Greece, Iran and Turkey and in Jammu and Kashmir state of India. This orange-yellow colored spice is used for various medicinal purposes due to its strong flavoring properties. This article provides you with the health and nutrition benefits of eating saffron, along with its nutritional value.
Nutritional Value Of Saffron
Amount of Saffron: 1 cup
Total Weight of Saffron: 100 g
Basic Components
11.4 g
11.9 g
5.5 g
Total Calories
Calories From Carbohydrate
Calories From Fat
Calories From Protein
Total Carbohydrate
65.4 g
Dietary Fiber
3.9 g
Fats & Fatty Acids
Total Fat
5.8 g
Saturated Fat
1.6 g
Monounsaturated Fat
0.4 g
Polyunsaturated Fat
2.1 g
Total Omega-3 Fatty Acids
1248 mg
Total Omega-6 Fatty Acids
754 mg
Vitamin A
530 IU
Vitamin C
80.8 mg
0.1 mg
0.3 mg
1.5 mg
Vitamin B6
1.0 mg
93.0 mcg
111 mg
11.1 mg
264 mg
252 mg
1724 mg
148 mg
1.1 mg
0.3 mg
28.4 mg
5.6 mcg
Nutrition Benefits Of Eating Saffron
  • Saffron is very much effective in lowering the blood cholesterol level and triglycerides among the heart patients. Saffron was even used in ancient times to increase blood circulation and relieve stomach aches and kidney stones.
  • Saffron contains carotenoids, which helps in increasing the oxygen diffusivity in the plasma and other liquids. It also helps in improving pulmonary oxygenation.
  • The presence of carotenoids in saffron also helps to curb skin tumors and improve arthritis.
  • The different active components in saffron bring about a positive effect on people with neurodegenerative disorders and memory impairment.
  • Saffron, when rubbed or massaged on the gums, helps in reducing soreness and inflammation of the mouth and tongue.
  • Herbalists believe that saffron is capable of treating cancer, as it contains anti-cancer properties. However, the effectiveness of saffron in treating cancer is still under research.
  • Saffron is also believed to be as effective as Prozac in treating mild and moderate depression.
  • Saffron is said to possess many plant derived chemical compounds that are known to have anti-oxidant, disease preventing and health promoting properties.
  • Saffron is also rich in vitamins including vitamin A, folic acid, riboflavin, niacin and vitamin C, all of which are essential in providing optimum health. The active components that are part of saffron have much therapeutic application in many traditional medications as anti-spasmodic, carminative and diaphoretic.
  • Saffron also contains several antioxidants such as zeaxanthin and lycopene that help in protecting the body from oxidant induced stress, infections and acts of immune modulators.
  • This particular spice is also a good source of minerals like copper, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, selenium and zinc. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that help in controlling the heart rate and blood pressure. On the other hand, manganese and copper are used as co-factors for antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase by the body. Iron also plays a role in increasing the count of red blood cells in the body.
  • Saffron is used for preparing sweets in many Indian, Pakistani and Central Asian countries. It is also used as a color and flavoring base in preparing ice-cream, cakes and drinks.
  • The stigmas of saffron are used as a flavoring base and coloring agent for food and drinks in all kinds of Mediterranean and Asian cuisines.
  • Saffron is also quite popular in cooking as it imparts a wonderful aroma as well as adds color to the food.
  • Saffron is more famous in its dry form, and is quite an expensive spice and herbal supplement.
  • When choosing saffron for herbal supplement, choose the whole saffron thread instead of its powdered form. Threads tend to have more medicinal properties while the powder is likely to be adulterated.

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