Can I add Saffron (Kesar) to my pregnancy diet?

Saffron during pregnancy

You must have heard a lot about the benefits of Saffron, the magic spice! From grand mothers to movie stars everyone has their own Saffron story to tell. But one question always remains. Can you add saffron to your pregnancy diet? Lets answer this quintessential question today.

We know you hate to be kept waiting so lets start by giving the verdict. Yes, saffron, in the right quantities, can and should be an integral part of your pregnancy diet. 

Saffron is known to make pregnant women better digest their food. A word of caution though: minimalism is the key here.

Lets start with the very basics about Saffron.

Saffron is made from the dried stigma of Crocus Sativus flower and a very little quantity is produced from a single flower. Just one thread to be precise! This low quantity combined with the labour required to produce it, it becomes a really costly commodity.

A small heart break: Saffron doesn’t make your baby fair!

No matter what the ‘Baa’ in your favourite daily soap prophesies about ‘Kesar’, it is not going to make your baby a few shades lighter. However, saffron, if taken in quantities less than 10 gm per day, eases up a lot of discomfort during pregnancy. Doses over that amount can cause complications (miscarriages sometimes) due to undue acceleration of contractions in uterus.

So what should you even add Saffron to your diet?

Keeping the fairness of the baby (which is determined by the genetic makeup) aside lets look at the other benefits of this versatile spice:

  1. Turns the crank off : As you may have already found out, pregnancy involves a lot of hormonal changes making you on the edge most of the time. Saffron helps you keep calm. Now that alone is benefit enough but read on.
  2. Improves digestion: It rejuvenates the blood supply to digestive system and promotes metabolism.
  3. Controls your blood pressure: Saffron slows down the blood pressure and stimulates the uterus as well.
  4. Bye-Bye morning sickness: It invigorates your immune system, fighting off nausea and making you feel fresh. Wow!
  5. Relieves pain: Being a natural pain-killer, it has been known to soothe joint pain.
  6. Supplements iron: It replenishes iron, red blood cells and hemoglobin in your blood.
  7. Prevents deposition of fat in arteries : It keeps cholesterol and triglycerides at bay by countering them with potassium, antioxidants and crocetin. Now who doesn’t want clean arteries. We are already in love with Saffron!
  8. Improves sleep: Has sedative properties that can make room for some much needed shut-eye. Sleep and motherhood have never gone hand-in-hand and saffron can make the impossible possible.
  9. Makes brushing less of an ordeal: You might experience bleeding of gums while brushing when you are pregnant. Use saffron and bleeding might leave you for good.
  10. Allergies gone: ‘Kesar vala Doodh’ ( Saffron milk) is an elixir which can soothe coughing, congestion and asthma.
  11. Replenishes hair growth: If losing strands of hair in pregnancy is a concern, a concoction of milk, saffron and liquorice might be what the doctor ordered.
  12. Makes zits disappear: Being a blood purifier, saffron gets rid of pimples. Flawless skin anyone?
  13. Brings you closer to your baby: Saffron increases body heat, making you aware of every little movement of your baby.Apart from these, saffron is a natural antacid and keeps away kidney and bladder problems. This wonder herb contains nutrients such as thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, Vitamin A and C as well as folic acid which are essential for you and your baby’s health.

But is there a catch? Isn’t this all too good to be true?

With every pro comes a con and with power comes responsibility. Be careful!

  1. Miscarriages: Don’t consume more than 10 gm of Saffron a day. An increase in body heat due to Saffron gives rise to conditions warranting abortion. Consult a doctor before starting your Saffron based diet.
  2. Allergies: For those of us who are allergic to saffron, it could lead to nausea, headache or numbness. In all such cases immediately stop using it. 
  3. Retching: Like they say, excess of everything is bad and no two pregnancies were made equal. There have been known cases of Saffron causing retching.

In case any of the following happen, please take immediate medical advice!

  • Bleeding from nose, lips, eyelids
  • Numbness
  • Blood in urine/stools
  • Feeling of vertigo i.e. loss of balance and dizziness, blackouts
  • Jaundice

Have a safe pregnancy and for all pregnancy related information download Pregnancy Health, Diet and Fitness by Ango!