Whether you’re a health nut year-round or looking to put some resolutions into practice, we can all agree that delicious food that’s chock full of health benefits is a definite plus. In addition to its vibrant floral flavor and golden hue, saffron is packed with adaptogenic benefits that you can feel good about adding to your diet.
Quick Introduction: What is Saffron
Saffron threads come from the crocus flower, distinguished by its stunning purple petals and deep orange center. Those orange stamens are what hold the signature golden saffron threads. These crocus flowers grow exceptionally well in the hot, semi-arid climate of Afghanistan, where we source and directly import all of our products, bringing the highest quality spices to your kitchen.
The saffron harvest is a difficult and time-consuming process due to the delicate nature of the saffron threads. But, the payoff is huge. These golden threads have remarkable properties, most notably their unique and celebrated floral flavor.
But did you know, this remarkable spice packs much more than flavor into your favorite dishes?
The Wellness Benefits of Saffron
While Middle Eastern cuisine traditionally celebrates saffron for its rich floral flavor and gorgeous color, saffron is also gaining recognition as an adaptogen, with studies demonstrating its capacity to help your body adapt to stress and fight environmental stressors.
Adaptogens are herbs or sometimes even mushrooms that are used for their potential health benefits, typically to help the user adjust and respond to their environment. Saffron is often considered an adaptogen due to its high antioxidant properties, which are known to help the body defend itself from infection.
Antioxidant superfoods like saffron contain chemical compounds that, when ingested, can help support your body’s inflammatory response. You might also recognize some of our favorite Middle Eastern ingredients are similarly packed with antioxidants, like pomegranates, chickpeas, and Za’atar.
Some studies have also shown that saffron may contribute to increased dopamine levels in the brain, which for some can result in an elevated mood. So if you’ve ever felt extra-cheery after a bowl of saffron rice, it might be more than the meal making you smile!
How to Use Saffron
Saffron can be ingested safely at up to 1.5 grams per day.* However, you won’t need to deplete your stores in order to add these adaptogenic benefits to your diet. Try brewing a simple saffron tea in the morning by blooming a few threads in hot water and allowing them to steep.
You can also add the health benefits and robust flavors of saffron to your favorite soups, stocks, and broths by steeping the threads directly in the hot liquid. Don’t forget to add in plenty of fresh veggies, beans, and leafy greens for a warming, protein, and antioxidant-packed meal.
If you’re looking to incorporate more saffron into your meals, a great way to start is with saffron rice. Our easy saffron rice recipe makes a flavorful and impressive addition to even the simplest of weeknight meals. Serve with roast chicken, grilled fish, veggies, or a simple salad.
Cook with Saffron
In addition to our pure saffron offerings, we’ve included our signature Afghan saffron in several of our unique spice blends. Try adding our Ras el Hanout, Afghan Curry Braise, and Paella spice blends to your diet to get your saffron fix. Our saffron-infused blends pack big flavor as well as the vibrant color of the ground saffron threads within.
*Be sure to consult your doctor before starting any new supplements or medications. This blog is strictly for educational purposes and should not replace the advice of a licensed healthcare professional.
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