Control blood pressure, cholesterol and prevent heart diseases with saffron

Control blood pressure, cholesterol and prevent heart diseases with saffron

An exotic spice that can help control cholesterol.

Written by Bhakti Paun Sharma |Published : October 13, 2015 6:58 PM IST

Saffron or kesar is one of the most expensive spices in the world. In fact, it was once associated with royalty where the queens would bathe in saffron for glowing skin. It s rich colour, aroma and warm and earthy flavours add a royal touch to any dish. Pregnant women are often given saffron milk for its health benefits and so that the skin of the baby is healthy and glowing. Saffron has a few compounds that are very beneficial to heart health. Here are 5 ways saffron can give you beautiful skin.

How saffron helps?

Saffron is full of carotenoids, which exhibit anti-inflammatory and antioxidative properties. One such carotenoid is crocetin, which is present in maximum proportion in saffron. Crocetin has proven to be effective in maintaining cardiovascular health [1]. It is also found to increase oxygen level in the body [2]. This helps prevent heart diseases. Crocetin also helps in reducing the level of cholesterol in the blood, thus preventing its accumulation in arteries and reducing the risk of artherosclerosis [3]. This is turn reduces the risk of heart attacks and promotes smooth flow of blood, keeping blood pressure in control. Saffron is often referred to as a cheering cardiac medicament and is added to meals for its healing properties [4]. Did you know eating dates every day can also help prevent heart disease?

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How to use saffron?

Saffron is very expensiveand hence may not be commonly used in every household. But a pinch of saffron added to milk can be consumed to prevent heart diseases and keep hypertension and cholesterol in check. Saffron is often added to desserts and even Mughlai curries. However, saffron must not be used in excess at one time as it may have toxic effects.

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1. Shen, X. C., & Qian, Z. Y. (2006). Effects of crocetin on antioxidant enzymatic activities in cardiac hypertrophy induced by norepinephrine in rats. Die Pharmazie-An International Journal of Pharmaceutical Sciences, 61(4), 348-352.

2. Yan, J., Qian, Z., Sheng, L., Zhao, B., Yang, L., Ji, H., ... & Zhang, R. (2010). Effect of crocetin on blood pressure restoration and synthesis of inflammatory mediators in heart after hemorrhagic shock in anesthetized rats. Shock, 33(1), 83-87.

3. Gainer, J. L., & Chisolm, G. M. (1974). Oxygen diffusion and atherosclerosis.Atherosclerosis, 19(1), 135-138.

4. Basker, D., & Negbi, M. (1983). Uses of saffron. Economic Botany, 37(2), 228-236.