Is it wise to include saffron milk in your pregnancy diet?

Saffron milk
Photo: iStock/SMarina

You might have heard the old wives' tale of consuming saffron milk during pregnancy to ensure their babies come out with a fair complexion. However, this belief has no scientific backing as skin colour of a child is genetically determined. Despite this, there are several reasons to include saffron in your pregnancy diet.

Saffron aka Kesar is an exotic spice, derived painstakingly from the flowers of Crocus sativus, which usually forms a part of several Ayurvedic recipes and has numerous health benefits. Saffron strands are the dried stigma of the crocus sativus flower.

Representative image: iStock/:eclipse_images

Saffron is packed with amazing benefits, especially for pregnant women. Consuming a small quantity of it is safe and very beneficial for your overall health. However, it's advisable to consult with your doctor.

Experts suggest consuming up to 1.5 gm saffron per day. Do note that consuming more than 5 gm of pure saffron could have toxic effects on some.

How to make Kesar milk

Soak 2-3 strands of saffron in warm milk. Stir well and leave it for a few minutes (an hour would be ideal) or until the colour seeps into the milk from the strands. Add sugar before consumption.


You can boil a cup of milk. Add 2-3 saffron strands and sugar. Allow it to simmer. Turn off the stove when the milk turns golden yellow. Garnish with slivered almonds and cardamom before consumption.

Dried saffron spices next to a saffron flower. Photo: Shutterstock/ZhakYaroslav

Health benefits

Tackles your mood swings

Mood swings have always been the most common issue that women face during these nine months. It's due to a variety of factors such as rapid hormonal changes or the physical discomforts of pregnancy. At one moment, you might be on top of the world, at another, you might find yourself rolled into one corner of your bed with tears in your eyes. These mood swings make you short-tempered and irritable. Saffron works wonders as it produces serotonin, which modulates your mood by amplifying the blood flow in your body. This helps you cope up with your emotional ups and downs, and lets you remain in high spirits.

Lets you sleep well

All the physical discomforts that you feel during this journey have adverse effects on your sleep. You probably waste a lot of time tossing and turning around all night, while all you had to was drink a warm glass of saffron milk. It soothes anxiety and uplifts your overall mood, therefore, helping you sleep well.

Relieves cramps

Cramps occur more frequently because of the hormonal changes that a mother-to-be goes through during pregnancy. They can be mild and bearable or at times, severe and intolerable. These can easily be prevented. Saffron, which has anti-spasmodic and antinociceptive properties, acts as a painkiller to relieve the pain and soothes all the muscles in your body.

Representative image: Shutterstock/Ground Picture

Reduces high blood pressure

Pregnancy affects blood pressure levels as the blood circulation usually increases during this time. When taken in small amounts, saffron significantly reduces your blood pressure. High blood pressure leads to hypertension, which is common during these months. Saffron rescues you from it.

Boost heart function

All those junk food cravings during pregnancy surely increase your calorie intake, which, in turn, increases your cholesterol levels and affects cardiovascular health. Saffron helps in reducing cholesterol levels. Thus, protect your and your baby's heart health. The substances in saffron prevent the clogging of arteries and increase the oxygen levels in your body.

Prevents allergies

Allergies and infections are bound to happen when you are pregnant. Saffron potentially helps you in fighting all the seasonal allergies, difficulty in breathing, chest congestion, and more. This magic spice is sure to free you from many unwanted diseases in your body.

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