Do you know what serotonin is? It is a neurotransmitter which is essential for the biological functions of our body. It is responsible, for example, for regulating sex drive, body temperature or sleep cycles. However serotonin has another very important function: its levels in blood determines our mood. When levels are low, this occasions depression, anxiety or stress. And as serotonin also regulates the amount of food that we need at any given moment, resulting in giving one an appetite or that sensation of being hungry or what is known as “snacking between meals”. Today we will see saffron’s role in this process, and the reason why one can lose weight with saffron.
Whilst it is certainly true that products with sugar and carbohydrates help increase serotonin levels, however the drawback is that often these products have excess calories. Saffron, however, is a calorie free spice. The result of which it does not make one that sensation of being hungry and wanting to snack between meals and to feel full for longer following meals. Furthermore, it has no counter-indications or harmful side effects as it is a natural product. A biomedical study in 2010 investigated the consequences of “snacking” in healthy and slightly overweight women. The women were given two daily capsules of saffron and placebo capsules, in order to ascertain which capsules reduced their appetite more. At the end of the experiment it was discovered to their surprise that saffron was not only more effective, but had also helped the women to lose weight.
Losing weight with saffron is easy, and furthermore it improves one’s mood. Having an effect on dopamine, the neurotransmitter of pleasure, causing an increase in self-esteem which affects our actions on a day to day basis. Another study, this time in 2005, demonstrated that women with mild to moderate depression, their mood improved on a daily basis with the consumption of saffron as compared to other placebos. However the role of saffron does not end here. It is similarly a great foodstuff for digestion and digestive pains. It can stimulate intestinal transit whilst reducing the acidity which one sometimes suffers in the throat or stomach. Saffron also helps prevent stomach nausea.
How to Increase Serotinin
And now that we have broached the subject of how to lose weight with saffron, we have included some tips on how to increase one’s levels of serotonin:
Reduce caffeine and sugar: both increase dopamine, but its effect is not long lasting. Do not overuse, as it can be counterproductive.
Exercise: The intention is to exercise, alone or with friends. Set daily objectives and meet those objectives.
Sleep well: Sleep deprivation lowers serotonin levels and increases stress and fatigue.
Go outside into the sunshine: Natural light produces vitamin D and improves one’s mood.
Do relaxation exercises: Yoga or meditation relaxes the body and mind, helping to produce large doses of serotonin and happiness.
Omega 3: this lipid produces very important fats so as keep your brain functioning properly. Consume omega 3 in oily fish, eggs, avocados, nuts and olive oil.