Annatto is a tree that is native to the tropical area of the Southern part of America. It is in fact, widely cultured because of its fruit seeds, this is since, it serves as a natural colorant. In addition to its commercial value as an annatto colorant, it has also long been used by some natives in the southern parts of America. They used it as a food dye and textile as well. Furthermore, they also use it in rituals and spiritual ceremonies as a herbal medicine. These are not just the benefits of annatto –there are more to it. It actually has a lot of health benefits that are all beneficial for the betterment of the overall health.
Furthermore, the health benefits of annatto comprise its ability in protecting the respiratory distress, reducing nausea, and eliminating headaches. Moreover, it also helps in boosting the eye health, lowering fever, and promoting healing. Plus, it also helps prevent the neural tube defects, strengthen bones, and promote a healthy digestion.
Annatto: What is it?
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Annatto is actually the food coloring that comes from the achiote fruit seed. This has a wide array of uses all over the world. Furthermore, the achiote tree is actually a tropical shrub that is growing in the South and Central America. Its scientific name is bixa Orellana. The flower of it is white or pink in color. However, its fruit is in fact, the most desirable part of the plant. The fruit is made up of brown and red spiky pods, which grows in clusters.
When these pods dry and opened, you can see its color red seed. This is where the red pigment may be extracted. This is mainly the reason why the achiote tree is also known as the lipstick tree. Moreover, the strong pigmentation of the annatto makes it even beneficial as a natural food coloring. Actually, it has a lot of applications in the field of cosmetics. However, what’s more, important is that it has a lot of herbal and medical benefits.
The cultures of the Central Americans and the Caribbean, they use annatto for about a thousand years now. they use it as a treatment for various illnesses –from mild to worst cases. This is probably the reason why it is known as one of the ancient superfoods to a certain degree.
It is just recently that the chemical compositions present in the annatto has been discovered and studied by the professionals. The good thing about this is that they discover that there is a high concentration of tocotrienols in it. These tocotrienols are actually the same as the structure and effects of the vitamin E. this makes the plant even more powerful
Nutrition Facts of Annatto
Five (5) tablespoon of annatto contains:
- 20 grams of carbohydrates
- 0 gram of fat
- 22% of vitamin B9 or folate
- 5% or 75 milligrams of calcium
- 108 kcal of energy
- 11 grams of dietary fiber
- 4 grams of protein
- 1% or 21 milligrams of vitamin C
- 5 milligrams of sodium
Health Benefits of Annatto
Here are some of the best health benefits of annatto:
Helps in relieving stomach conditions. Annatto is effective in calming an upset stomach. This is because it may function as a stomachic, which is capable of treating heartburn and discomfort.
Helps in promoting a faster healing of wounds. The annatto seed paste is beneficial in speeding up the healing process of the wounds. As well as the reduction of the appearance of the scar.
Helps in preventing birth defects. This is one of the best health benefits of annatto. Annatto is rich in folate content, hence it is beneficial in boosting the number of folic acid in the body. Thus, it can help in preventing any birth defects in infants.
Helps in strengthening the bones. The calcium content of the annatto helps in strengthening the bones making it more dense and durable as you age. Furthermore, it also helps in preventing calcium.
Helps in promoting a healthy digestion. Since there is a high content of fiber in annatto seeds, it is beneficial in human digestion. Furthermore, it helps in the promotion of smooth passage of food into the bowel and of course, the efficient receiving of all the nutrients.
Antioxidant-rich. The tocotrienols, an organic compound present in annatto, is actually an antioxidant, making it a reason why it is a favorable treatment for various skin conditions. Furthermore, it is also effective in preventing aging of the skin. it helps in reducing the appearance of wrinkles, blemishes, and some other imperfections.
Helps in taking care of the eyes. The reason why the annatto seeds are red is that it contains carotenoid. This carotenoid is beneficial in acting as an antioxidant in the ocular system, preventing the cataract development and staving off the macular degeneration –making the vision stronger for years.
Even though annatto has no trace of toxicity, there are some cases that people suffer from a severe type of allergic reactions from it. You must always make sure that you aren’t allergic to it before deciding to take one. Consulting your doctor beforehand is better than treating the condition when you already have it.