Saffron is a natural product produced by two species of mustard plants. It contains no tannic acid or other acidifying substances that might have negative effects on the kidneys. It also contains very low amounts of calcium, magnesium, zinc, manganese, iron, potassium, and selenium, none of which might impact renal health. It’s used as a flavor in baking and pickles.
Saffron’s benefits to the kidney will be well established over time. Studies are underway to see if consuming it reduces rates of kidney failure and the development of other organ problems like cancer, cardiovascular disease, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease. In addition, several hundred studies are continuing on the benefits in cancer and dementia.
Is it bad for kids?
Saffron, as with many spices, cannot be used in food without a warning. As a spice it can be poisonous to children, but it can also be beneficial for them. Researchers are currently studying whether it may help reduce the risk of certain types of cancer in children. A study published in the Journal of Chromatography A showed that after three years, children who ate more than 100 grams of saffron had a 30 percent lower risk of developing leukemia. Another study found that children who ate saffron regularly had fewer brain cancers, while their mothers had been at a lower risk of brain cancer.
The good news is that a low level saffron consumption in a child is not a cause for concern. However most people are not aware that many spices are toxic, especially if the spice has been previously consumed. Most parents have never heard that sesame oil, a common ingredient in many commercial baked goods, is a known carcinogen. The American Cancer Society recommends limiting the amount of common ingredients that you consume or avoiding them altogether.
The takeaway for both parents and kids is that the benefits of sesame oil are so much higher than other cooking oils, the likelihood of it being toxic to children is very low. When choosing a spice, always look for one that is both naturally and chemically pure, so that the oil can be used safely without adding toxic chemicals, and with a low level of tannin consumption.
Will sesame oil affect the flavor of my baked goods?
Yes, at least in the baked goods tested at the lab. Researchers did not test the overall flavor of any of the foods tested, so it could be that some of them may be
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