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Benefits of Annatto Seeds

About Annatto Seeds

Annatto is an orange-red food colouring or condiment made from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana), which grows in tropical regions in South and Central America.

It has several other names, including achiote, achiotillo, bija, urucum, and atsuete.

It’s most commonly used as a natural food coloring, as it imparts a bright color that ranges from yellow to deep orange-red, similar to saffron and turmeric.

Its color comes from compounds called carotenoids, which are pigments that are found in the seed’s outer layer and many other fruits and vegetables, such as carrots and tomatoes.

Additionally, annatto is used as a condiment to enhance the flavor of dishes due to its slightly sweet and peppery taste. Its aroma is best described as nutty, peppery, and floral.

The cosmetic industry has used annatto in the formulation of lipsticks, shampoos, soaps and other skincare products.

Nutritional Value of Annatto

Annatto contains amino acids, calcium, iron and phosphorus, as well as vitamins B-2 and B-3. They also contains beta-carotene and vitamin C, which are both potent antioxidants that help to prevent free-radical induced damage to cells and DNA.

In addition, annatto contains the phytochemicals cyanidin, ellagic acid, salicylic acid, saponins and tannins. Phytochemicals are naturally found compounds in plants that help to prevent and treat disease in humans.

Benefits of annatto Seeds

Antioxidant Properties

Annatto seeds are high in antioxidant compounds. It is particularly high in antioxidants that benefit skin health, which is one of the reasons it is often added to cosmetic products. Annatto powder paste applied to the skin helps fight wrinkles, sun damage and other signs of aging, while consuming the seeds provides similar benefits from the inside out.

Antioxidants are compounds that can neutralize potentially harmful molecules known as free radicals, which can damage your cells if their levels rise too high.

Research has found that damage caused by high free radical levels is linked to chronic conditions, such as cancers, brain disorders, heart disease, and diabetes.

Antimicrobial properties

Research suggests that this food coloring may have antimicrobial properties.

In test-tube studies, annatto extracts were shown to inhibit the growth of various bacteria, including Staphylococcus aureus and Escherichia coli.

In another test-tube study, annatto killed various fungi, including Aspergillus niger, Neurospora sitophila, and Rhizopus stolonifer. Moreover, adding the dye to bread inhibited the growth of fungi, extending the bread’s shelf life.

Similarly, one study found that pork patties that were treated with annatto powder had less microbe growth than untreated patties after 14 days in storage.

This research indicates that this food coloring may have a promising role in food preservation.

Accelerates Wound Healing

Due to the antioxidant properties of annatto, it is effective for healing minor skin wounds. The antioxidants facilitate the production of healthy cells and tissues that will reduce scarring and skin damage. When in pain from burns injury or wounds on the skin, or also any skin problem.

For Cancer Prevention

Antioxidants have an extensive role in preventing the growth of cancer. Norbixin, one of the pigments found in annatto seeds is known to be a powerful antioxidant. In recent research, it was found that norbixin has an anti-mutagenic effect on healthy cells exposed to cancerous cells and free radicals, meaning that the seeds may be able to help prevent a variety of different cancer cells from spreading.

Protect and Strengthen the Kidneys

Annatto seeds and leaves have diuretic, antibacterial and bitter properties. In addition to this, annatto seeds and leaves help to guards and enhances the kidneys. Annatto has been widely considered as an aphrodisiac and enhances weight loss, heals fevers, hepatitis, malaria, and dysentery.

Strengthens Bones

The higher proportion of Calcium in Annatto seeds assure bone strength and durability. It increases the bone density strength and helps in preventing osteoporosis.

Reduces Gonorrhoea

Annatto power has been proven to be an effective herbal treatment for gonorrhoea for decades. For those suffering from this painful condition, using annatto paste either internally or topically can be very effective for clearing up the STD.

Get Relieve From Stomach Issues

Stomach ache, Heartburns and stomach cramps can be mitigated by the usage of Annatto seed powder. It can be consumed with tea or warm drinks or even directly to prevent any stomach discomfort.

May aid heart health

Annatto is a good source of vitamin E compounds called tocotrienols, which may protect against age-related heart issues.

May reduce inflammation

Several test-tube studies indicate that annatto compounds may reduce numerous markers of inflammation.


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