The spice saffron has long been lauded for its delicious taste and scores of health benefits. But within it, an incredible compound called crocin is working overtime to rid the body of inflammation, prevent long-term health conditions, and more. Here’s what you need to know.
What is crocin?
Crocin is a truly remarkable compound. It’s a carotenoid pigment, which gives spices like saffron their bright, warm colors. More important than providing such rich hues, research has shown that it may help reduce inflammation, fight cell-damaging free radicals that cause cancer, and form a protective barrier around your brain cells.
Moreover, there’s promising work from scientists which suggests that crocin may be an appetite suppressant that could aid in weight loss over time and reduce overall body mass. Plus, while the research is still in its early stages, experiment show that crocin could lower blood pressure and cholesterol numbers, paving the way for better heart health.
What are its side effects?
Crocin, and by extension saffron, is generally considered safe by scientists if only up to 1.5 grams are taken daily; that said, research shows that even just 30 milligrams per day can give you many of its wonderful health benefits. Any amount past that point could start causing health problems, and taking five grams of crocin at a time is considered toxic.
How should you take it?
There are a few key ways to consume crocin. If you want to add it to your diet, you can either sprinkle saffron directly on dishes like rice or create a saffron tea that can not only help with inflammation and heart health, but potentially even boost weight loss. You can either purchase pre-made saffron teas online (Buy on Amazon, $13.95) or create a concoction yourself by adding a few saffron strands to hot water and letting them steep for several minutes.
Additionally, crocin is available in oral capsule form and can be found online (Buy on Amazon, $17.25). No matter where you get it from though, make sure you talk to your doctor before starting a new supplement regimen. It’s always great to get a second opinion!
This article originally appeared on our sister site, First For Women.