For centuries, saffron has been seen as a luxury spice, so what does it have to do with your eyes? It does seem like a stretch to link a spice that comes from the flower of the Crocus sativus and eye health, but, recently, medical science has done just that — made a connection between how you see and this powerful component. What is saffron extract and how does it affect eye health?
What is Saffron?
Saffron is a spice derived from a plant that initially grew in Greece. It is the aroma that first drew people to it, but as a spice, it adds a sweet, hay-like taste to food that makes it popular in the culinary world.
The health benefits found in saffron have more to do with its chemistry than its taste, though. Saffron contains carotenoids, which is an organic pigment that allows the plant to absorb light and turn it into energy. Carotenoids offer benefits to human health, as well.
A 2002 study published in Nutrition in Clinical Care explains that dietary carotenoids help decrease a person’s risk of disease, especially eye diseases like age-related macular degeneration. Carotenoids are antioxidants, meaning they may help protect the body from free-radical damage.
Saffron and Eye Health
It shouldn’t surprise you that a spice like saffron is actually good for you. Centuries ago, medical practitioners turned to nature instead of labs to find ways to cure illness and prevent diseases. You probably have many of those substances sitting right in your kitchen.
The use of saffron is associated with:
Eye health support is one of the more prominent benefits for saffron either as a spice or dietary supplement. Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is the leading cause of blindness in the U.S., according to the National Eye Institute.
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