Ciao a tutti!
The wonders of saffron! It is famous in Italy mostly for being used in dishes such as risotto or even sometimes in sweet treats. Not only does it add a wonderful flavor to the rice, but saffron has other qualities one may not know about!
Did you also know it takes about 150,000 flowers to get about one kilogram? That one kilogram after it is dried out yields only about 200 grams of the ground saffron powder! That is why it costs so much!
Here are 7 great reasons to add it to your next risotto! Enjoy!
1.) One of the best spice for antioxidants. Saffron has extremely powerful antioxidants that neutralize the free radicals in our body and helps us stay youthful and healthy! Among them is a-crocin, a carotenoid compound, and other carotenoids, including zea-xanthin, lycopene, a- and b-carotenes. These can protect the human body from oxidant-induced stress, cancers, infections and act as immune modulators.
2.) Effective digestive aid. Believe it or not, many digestive liquors contain saffron. The saffron enters immediately into circulation increasing the secretions of bile and other gastric liquids facilitating better digestion.
3.) Saffron is the “good mood” spice! The beautiful dark golden-yellow color of saffron is associated with well-being, happiness and good mood. Cromotherapy (color therapy) uses saffron for its color, specifically in cases associated with stress. It is also effective against depression because the vibrations of the color stimulate the hypothalamus (the base of emotions that regulates the well-being and happiness) to improve good mood.
4.) Organic and natural. In the majority of places where saffron is produced, like Persia (Iran), India and Spain, no fertilizers, pesticides or other harmful chemicals are used. The harvest is also done by hand. The flowers are collected one by one, then broken off, always done by hand, then the inside three “stigma” (stems) or threads are left to dry in an oven.
5.) Looking for love? In Greek mythology, Hermes used saffron as an aphrodisiac to awaken sexual desire. This tradition has been passed down through time. Today the stimulating effects of saffron has been recognized even in scientific communities. It has been demonstrated the adrenal glands stimulate the production of hormones such as adrenaline, ACTH and cortisol. It also helps with blood circulation.
6.) Lots of taste with NO calories! Isn’t it nice to know there is something besides water that is guilt-free? There is no added fat or other undesirable ingredients, either – and that is good to know!
7.) Detoxifies the blood. In Chinese medicine, saffron is used to detoxify the blood and even modern scholars of phytotherapy claim its benefits. It eliminates toxins and lowers the cholesterol and triglicerides that are absorbed from the food we eat. The benefits of saffron are also widely known in India and used in Ayurvedic medicine to improve digestion and prevent intestinal problems.
So isn’t today the day to eat that wonderful traditional saffron risotto?by