C4 Superfoods – The Real Story – Episode 3
Saffron, Coffee and Ethiopian Teff
Kate Quilton, British television presenter and journalist travels to Morocco to investigate if saffron can beat the blues.
Our medical wellbeing is just as important as our physical health, but the reality is, one in five of us will become depressed at some point in our lives. Treatment usually involves some kind of therapy or anti-depressants, but Kate is interested in a more traditional remedy that has been used in Morocco for hundreds of years – Saffron!
Saffron comes from the saffron crocus flower, incredibly, you need to pick around 150 flowers to make just one gram. That’s why premium quality saffron can cost up to £75.00 per gram.
To find out if saffron really is a mood lifter, Kate meets a traditional Moroccan herbalist who believes that saffron is good for weak memory, weak circulation, depression and as an aphrodisiac. He recommends infusing 2-3 stamens (threads) of saffron in hot milk on a daily basis.
The latest scientific research from Australia shows that saffron is as effective as prescription anti-depressants, but with less side effects.
Kate discusses the latest in scientific research with Clinical Psychologist Dr Adrian Lopresti, Murdoch University, Perth, Australia – “Studies show that using saffron to treat depression has similar results to using prescription medicines”
Adrian’s studies followed two groups of clinically depressed patients, one group was given a leading anti-depressant, while the other was given saffron – neither group knew which they were taking. Over the next 6 weeks, improvement was seen in both groups, and the results for saffron and anti-depressant were almost identical.
Image courtesy and copyright of Murdoch University, Perth, Australia
Dr Lopresti’s studies reveal that depression is caused by low levels of serotonin, high levels of inflammation and oxidative stress. Saffron is a nice anti-inflammatory and a natural, potent antioxidant with neuroprotective effects.
So, how much saffron is beneficial to be consumed each day?
Dr Lopresti’s studies showed that 30mg of saffron (10-20 threads) per day is beneficial.
The evidence is steadily growing regarding saffron’s ability to help fight depression – with less side effects than prescription medicines. Of course, you should not swap a medication for any superfood, without talking to your doctor first.
To watch the C4 Superfoods saffron programme, click here
To watch an extract from the C4 Superfoods saffron programme, click here