Is it a heart poison? Has any study found these dangerous effects? And are we going to be getting lots of tips from our favorite TV chefs? Well, I’m here to answer all of those questions and more!
For starters, saffron is not a deadly poison. According to the National Institute of Health, you can eat, drink, or even breathe it all day long. Plus, saffron contains a number of anti-inflammatory compounds, which are known to lower your risk of heart disease, high blood pressure, and cancer.
Additionally, saffron isn’t a heart poison. You’ll never get an aneurysm from eating saffron.
Saffron is a culinary spice, and not a heart poison. And, the FDA doesn’t like that name. However, when it comes to saffron, they do have the power to make any spice “unsafe” – as they can do with all spices. That’s exactly what this study did in a 2008 review article in the Journal of Food Science.
“All spice ingredients are subject to regulatory control,” said lead author, William W. Thompson, PhD, PhD, a nutrition scientist at St. John’s University Hospital in New York, NY. “For example, FDA regulates spices, herbs, and spices that are ground, dried, or salted.”
But in this case, the researchers at St. John’s University Hospital did not apply scientific standards. Instead, the authors relied on folklore, a common method of reporting research findings, and a poorly defined definition of a “spice ingredient.”
What they found was that saffron had no effect on blood pressure, which is why saffron has no place on the drug store shelves. Also, the researchers’ “control group,” which also consisted of applesauce (like apple cider), did not have an increased blood pressure and diabetes-prevention markers compared with the saffron group.
There’s something else that’s troubling about this study. As Thompson explained, “There seems to be a high level of enthusiasm about these spices,” something that could be due to the media coverage, which was often sensationalized when it came to saffron.
In the end, this study is just a footnote to the history of what saffron, garlic, onions, and spices have in common. They all work, for one. There’s a reason why saffron is one of the most popular spices,
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