What is Annatto?
Annatto is a food and that is extracted from the seeds of the achiote fruit. The achiote tree (Bixa Orellana) is a tropical or small tree that grows in Central and South America. The of this tropical tree are white or bright pink, but the is actually the most desirable part of the plant, made up of spiky brown and red pods that grow in clusters. When those pods dry and crack open, they expose of a red color, from which red pigment can be extracted. This is why the achiote tree is often called the lipstick tree. It is also called chitoe, onoto, bija, colorau, urucum, or atsuete in different regions.
Annatto’s strongmakes it a natural dye which can range from yellow to deep to red, and it has plenty of applications in . It is also used as a condiment in certain parts of the . It has a floral and and is to taste. In the Caribbean and Central American cultures, annatto has been used for of years to cure everything from mild to potentially life-threatening , making it an ancient “ ”.
Annatto has a rich source of such as cis-bixin, , and vitamin A. It also contains minerals like calcium, sodium, and iron. It has relatively high content of fiber. The high concentration of tocotrienols, which are similar in effects and structure as vitamin E, makes this plant substance powerful.
Health Benefits of Annatto
Now, let’s take a closer look at the impressive health benefits of annatto.
Annatto, due to its powerful antioxidants, possesses properties and it can kill various , and in the . It is also very effective against various foodborne diseases.
The high level of found in annatto seeds, as well as the edible leaves of the achiote plant, is good for . It promotes the smooth passage of through the and the efficient uptake of . Fiber also helps lower and manage diabetes as it can help optimize the and levels in the . It has also been turned to as a diabetic management herb for .
Prevents Birth Defects
There is an impressive amount of folic acid) found in annatto, and while there are many important benefits of this vitamin, preventing neural tube defects in newborn might be the most important. are encouraged to boost their acid levels to prevent these types of conditions.(
The high carotenoid content, present in annatto, functions as antioxidants in your and prevent the of , while also staving off , keeping your vision strong for years.system
Tocotrienols, present in annatto, act as antioxidants, which is one of the reasons that it is so sought after for treatment of the skin. If you’ve been looking for an anti-aging solution for your , annatto paste made from the seeds can be topically applied to reduce the signs of , , and other imperfections, while also tightening up the skin and making it look younger.
If you have burns or on the skin, or are from skin of any kind, annatto seed paste can be applied to speed the process. It also reduces the appearance of . Also, its natural antimicrobial can help prevent .from
Relieves Stomach Issues
Annatto is often consumed to calm an upset. It also functions like a stomachic, treating and discomfort, which may be associated with everything from viral infections to simply too much food.
Annatto seeds help , , , and strengthen the . It also helps to reduce liver inflammation. Scientists have shown the role of bixin in destroying the harmful free radicals in the liver.
Annatto has been proven over the centuries to be an effective treatment for gonorrhea. For those suffering from the painful and condition, using its paste either internally or topically can be very effective for clearing up that particular STD.
Since traditional days to modern times, annatto has been used for different purposes in the following ways;
- Cosmetic products: Beauty and skincare industries use it in cosmetics and personal care products to impart color and for its antimicrobial properties.
- Insect repellent: It is also used as and .
- Pharmaceutical products: It is used to impart color to capsules, , and .
- A cure for headaches: Crushed annatto leaves mixed with coconut oil is applied on the to .
- Condiment and dye: The paste and powdered form of annatto are used in a variety of including those of , Caribbean, and America, to impart bold flavor, color, and .
- Annatto Oil: Its seeds are also used to make which is an essential ingredient in many Asian .
- Meat Marination: Annatto-colored meat. are used to marinate
Annatto is relatively safe to use. However, it could have certain side-effects.
- Hypersensitivity: who are hypersensitive may show reactions to annatto, some may even suffer from . So avoid use in case you are allergic to it.
- Pregnant & lactating women: Highly sensitive women could be allergic to annatto. Therefore, pregnant and women are advised to consult a before consuming it.
- Irritable bowel syndrome: People suffering from irritable bowel (IBS) may worsen their conditions if they consume annatto.
- Diabetes: Annatto may either increase or decrease the blood sugar levels in the body. Therefore, should consult a doctor before adding it to their diet.
- Blood sugar levels: Avoid use if you are undergoing surgery in the near future, as it can affect blood levels quite dramatically.
Other than that, annatto is amazing health benefits. Therefore, go ahead and color your food with annatto!