Atsuete is an orange-red condiment and is a natural food coloring that is extracted from the seeds of the achiote tree (Bixa orellana). It some parts of the world, it is also known as annatto, chitoe, lipstick tree, onoto, bija, and colorau. Its color comes from various carotenoid pigments, mainly bixin and norbixin, found in the reddish waxy coating of the seeds.
In the Caribbean and Central American cultures, atsuete has been used for many years to treat mild to potentially life-threatening diseases. According to studies, it is packed with amino acids, calcium, iron, dietary fiber, energy, and phosphorus, as well as vitamins B-2 and B-3, and beta-carotene and vitamin C which are both potent antioxidants that help to prevent free-radical induced damage to cells and DNA. In addition to these, atsuete also contains salicylic acid, saponins, cyanidin, ellagic acid, and tannins that can help treat and prevent numerous diseases.
Several Health Benefits We Can Obtain From Atsuete
Has Anticancer Potential
Present in atsuete seeds is a powerful antioxidant known as norbixin. According to studies, norbixin can help prevent cancers from spreading. This is due to its anti-mutagenic effects on healthy cells exposed to free radicals and cancerous cells.
Helps Strengthen Bones
Due to their high amount of calcium, atsuete seeds can help reduce bone-related diseases and can lower our risk from bone breakage and weakening of the bones as we age.
Helps Promote Healthy Digestion
The seeds, as well as the leaves of atsuete plant, is rich in fiber which is good for digestion as it promotes efficient uptake of nutrients and smooth passage of food through bowels. Moreover, it can also manage diabetes and lower cholesterol levels.
Helps Treat Gonorrhea
Gonorrhea is an infection caused by a sexually transmitted bacterium that can infect both males and females. According to experts, atsuete can be an effective remedy for this infection. Using atsuete paste, topically or internally, can help those suffering from this painful condition.
Helps Improve Vision
Atsuete has high carotenoid content that acts as antioxidants in our ocular system. It keeps our vision strong for years and lowers our risk of developing cataracts and macular degenerations.
Helps Strengthen The Kidneys
Atsuete leaves and seeds are a natural diuretic and have antibacterial properties that can help us against irreversible kidney damages, facilitates waste excretion, provides better functioning for our kidneys and balances hormonal levels. When consumed daily, it can also prevent fever, malaria, and hepatitis.
Rich In Antioxidants
Atsuete has antioxidant properties that are beneficial for the skin. It helps remove free radicals and toxins that are one of the mains causes of premature aging. It can help treat wrinkles, dark spots, sunburn and provides a radiant look.
Helps Treat Stomach Pain
Atsuete possesses properties that can help calm an upset stomach, eases the pain of stomach cramps, and relieve heartburn. Once added to herbal teas or other warm beverages, atsuete can help provide stomach-pain relief.
With these numerous health benefits, maybe its time for us add atsuete seeds in our daily meals. We can sprinkle the seeds on our salads or try baking goods with whole seeds.