All About Saffron During Pregnancy:
There is much evidence that suggests, saffron consumption is helpful to regulate pregnancy-related mood swings, fight stress and tension and increase libido. Saffron is one of the most beneficial spices for most people to consume, and it is also the simplest spice amongst all to add to the diet.
Let’s start with a basic question, WHAT IS SAFFRON?
In simple words, it’s a spice with a very strong aroma and catchy colour.
This spice is a great source of antioxidants, which tends to have many health benefits during pregnancy as well as otherwise.
Here we are with a detailed article to enlighten you about saffron, its uses, benefits, availability, etc.
History of Saffron
To know saffron better let’s dig a little deeper. As history is traced it’s believed that humans cultivated and used saffron as early as 3,500 years ago. Historically, people used it to heal many health conditions, including:
- Menstrual issues
- Eye Disorder
- Stomach Issues
- Mental Disorders
- Urination disorder
Saffron flowers take three years to bloom after its cultivated. Flower from which saffron is extracted, crocus saffron grows up to 20 to 30 centimeters (cm). Plus each flower comes with a maximum of three stigmas of saffron.
Every saffron strand is handpicked, this is what makes saffron the most expensive species in the world. It’s harvested by hands.
Above all this, it also takes a large number of blossoms and dried stigmas to make 1 kilogram (kg) of the saffron spice. Later it’s heated so bring the flavours out of saffron. It’s all this manual labour that makes it the most expensive spice in the world.
Benefits Of Saffron
Saffron Comes with multiple benefits and here we are to discuss all of them so that you can decide well before making it a part of your lifestyle. Saffron has been connected to other health-based advantages that have not yet been studied enough:
- Works as Antidepressants
- Powerful Antioxidants
- Reduces PMS Symptoms
- Fight Cancer Breeding Cells
- Reduce Appetite & Aids Weight Loss
- Improve Eye Sights
- Improve Memory for Alzheimer’s
- Reduces Blood Sugar
- Reduces Risk of Heart Diseases
- Acts as Aphrodisiac
- Good For Skin
- Easy To Use
- Aids in Pregnancy
It is used in many face creams and serums, as it has certain medicinal healing properties and soothing effects on the skin.
Also, because of saffron’s antioxidant properties, it efficiently slows down the ageing process. A commonly popularized myth is that consuming saffron during pregnancy aids the baby and mother have a fairer complexion.
Saffron Consumption During Pregnancy
Yes, consuming saffron under physician-prescribed limits in pregnancy is safe because it has multiple medicinal properties.
It helps to relieve:
- mood swings
- aches and pains
- pregnancy discomforts
However, saffron also has many adverse effects if taken in large amounts.
If taken in excess saffron might trigger contractions and cause premature delivery.
Here are a few precautions to keep in mind when pregnant women add saffron to your diet:
- Pregnant women must consume saffron only at the onset of the first month of gestation, as it’s the first stage of pregnancy and it’s stable at this time. The risk of endangering the baby due to premature contractions is reduced.
- Don’t use more than two to three strands, at most, in any cuisine, as excessive saffron may negatively affect your health.
- Saffron for pregnant women must be extracted only from a high-quality vendor to eliminate any risk of artificial aroma, colouring, or impurities.
Benefits of Saffron For Pregnant Women
Saffron is a miraculous spice and is highly recommended during your pregnancy because of its medicinal properties.
It’s primarily beneficial as it helps in digestion by forming a protective coating in the digestive tract. If consumed in moderation, the benefits of saffron during pregnancy include the following:
1. Reduces Mood Swings
Pregnancy is a synonym for several hormonal changes in your body and it has a profound effect on your feelings.
One might get all cranky at one moment to being emotional or impulsive in another.
For such times, saffron is beneficial. It has anti-depressant properties and promotes blood flow to your brain.
Adding saffron to your diet regularly results in the production of the hormone serotonin that boosts your mood. It also decreases the stress hormone, cortisol.
2. Manages Blood Pressure
A woman’s heart rate can pound up by 25% during pregnancy, causing major blood pressure fluctuations.
Saffron has potassium and crocetin compounds that help in regulating your blood pressure. This feature can be highly beneficial during pregnancy.
3. Calms Morning Sickness
During pregnancy one of the major symptoms often is feeling dull and lethargic.
Saffron tackles morning sickness. Anecdotal evidence proves that saffron-infused tea often helps combat dizziness and nausea.
4. Aids In Digestion
Most women during pregnancy suffer from stomach aches.
During pregnancy, digestion slows down. An expectant mother may require some stimulating add ons in the diet to ease the process.
Saffron is known to promote the blood flow to your digestive system, and thus, aids to enhance your metabolism.
This, in turn, aids in better digestion. Saffron helps in the formation of a protective coating in the digestive system. This extra layer helps to soothe gastrointestinal acidity.
It also decreases bloating.
5. Gets Rid of Cramps
A pregnant woman suffers from severe cramps. Though it may range from mild in the beginning to near severe before delivery.
Throughout the pregnancy, the bones and muscles stretch and shift to accommodate the growing baby, and this can cause pains and cramps in the stomach and pelvic joints. Saffron is a natural painkiller.
It relaxes the muscles stiffness, also aids to relieve stomach pain, and soothe cramps.
6. Protects Against Heart Disease
Saffron has the medicinal property of protecting you against the risk of heart diseases.
During pregnancy, women tend to binge more than the required amount of fatty foods to satisfy their increased cravings.
This can have a critical effect on their cardiovascular system. The crocetin, antioxidants, and potassium present in saffron help us reduce triglycerides.
It also helps us regulate cholesterol levels in your body.
7. Cures Respiratory Illness
Saffron possesses anti-inflammatory characters. Hence it helps dilate the nasal airways.
It also reduces inflammation and swelling in the lungs.
As a result, you can breathe clearly. Saffron can also help pregnant women suffering from asthma removing any blockage that exists in their trachea and lungs.
8. Reduces Hair-Fall
Frequent hormonal fluctuations during pregnancy often result in increased hair fall.
A popular practice among many pregnant ladies is applying a paste of saffron, milk, and liquorice to decrease hair fall.
The antioxidants in saffron nourish the hair, it also strengthens them.
9. Aids in Better Sleep
As the pregnancy progresses, sleeplessness becomes common, with the mother tossing and turning all night to comfortably adjusting the growing belly, deal with the hormonal surges, and decrease the discomfort of stretching bones.
All these factors together cause discomfort, cramps and pain. During such times, you can have saffron-diluted milk.
Saffron has mild sedative features that aids and promote sleep and enable you to feel relaxed. Drinking saffron with milk is known to improve your quality of sleep.
10. Heals Skin Problems
Many women claim that adding saffron aids them to fight common skin problems. These include pimple breakouts, melasma, and acne that arise during pregnancy.
Saffron is a blood purifier and an effective solution to skin problems caused by impurities in the blood.
11. Helps Avoid Congestion Due to Allergies
Often, your immune system is compromised during pregnancy. You become vulnerable to allergies and infections, as it has anti-inflammatory properties.
Saffron aids in easing your allergies, cough, asthma and nasal congestion. Besides, applying a paste of saffron and sandalwood helps to bring down the fever.
12. Helps Experience Movement of the Baby
As per ayurvedic scriptures, saffron tends to increase your body heat, causing a rise in your body temperature.
This, in turn, results in the movement of the baby inside you. It’s always a pleasure to feel your baby move in your womb.
Read More About Saffron- History, Uses, Benefits, Side Effects etc.
When to Consume Saffron During Pregnancy
Saffron is believed to be:
- an appetite booster
- helpful for digestion
But, it is advisable that you consult your physician and dietitian before consuming saffron during pregnancy.
It is advisable and considered safe to consume saffron during the second trimester, mostly from the fifth month onwards. Doctors should instruct expecting mothers on when and how to consume saffron during pregnancy so that they consume it in the right amounts.
Consuming saffron during pregnancy spikes the body heat, which in turn raises the frequency of uterine contractions, so having it during the nighttime is ill-advised as your body will be running a lot of processes during this time.
Saffron is believed to promote contractions, and in severe cases, may cause spontaneous miscarriage. Physicians recommended that a dose of not more than 1 strand per day, as any more than that may prove to be dangerous and affect your baby causing preterm labour or even miscarriage.
Although it has high nutritional value, it is advisable to be aware of when to eat saffron during pregnancy to avoid any harm or adverse reaction.