Saffron Diet: Does the Latest Craze Offer a Quick Fix?

Kim Conte
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saffronThe Internet's been buzzing about the saffron diet, and whether taking a daily supplement of the expensive red spice, saffron, can prevent blindness. But does adding saffron to our diet while we are young ensure that we'll have good vision when we're older? Is there any truth to all the hype? We have the 411 on this latest diet craze...

As it turns out, there may be some proof that saffron has antioxidant properties that benefit and protect the eyes. But according to Dr. Abdhish R. Bhavsar, an ophthalmologist with the American Academy of Ophthalmology, adding saffron supplements to our diet, at least at this point, is premature.

Here's what Dr. Bhavsar had to say about the saffron diet hype:

  • Saffron does have protective properties that can potentially help reduce the damage that cells in your eyes are subjected to over time and under different circumstances.
  • However, the only evidence that saffron can protect eyesight has been collected from animal trials; there is no proof that saffron works for humans just yet.

So what should we do?

Until there's clinical proof that saffron can protect eyesight in humans, most doctors will not recommend that patients take saffron supplements. But there's no harm in adding moderate amounts of saffron to our diet. In fact, the flavorful, aromatic spice is widely popular in Indian and Spanish cooking. Just add a pinch to soups, sauces, meats, rice, even paella!

Do you cook with saffron? Which dishes do you make with it?

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