Health benefits of Achiote (Bixa orellana)



Annatto or Achiote (Bixa orellana), is a shrub native to tropical areas of America which names derives from the name given to this shrub in the Aztecan dialect Nahuatl.

Achiote is mainly known for being the source of the Annatto, also known as roucou, a carotenoid-based food colorant used very broadly, especially in the United States, where its commercialization doesn't require certification due to the fact that it is considered a natural colorant [3,4]. The main carotenoid detected in annatto seeds is bixin [6], a carotenoid soluble in fats but not in water. Image: See credits under ref. [21] below.


Family: Bixaceae

Genus: Bixa

Common names: Achiote, Annatto, Aploppas


Health benefits of Argan oil


An ancient oil, used by African tribes for its culinary, medicinal and health beneficial properties, Argan oil, became in recent years the subject of studies and research from cosmetic and pharmaceutical companies that were looking for a way to make commercial use of all these health benefits of Argan oil. Image left: See credits under ref. [24] below.


Family: Sapotaceae

Genus: Argania

Common name: English, Argan almond, Argan fruit, Argan oil, Moroccan fodder tree [1].


Health benefits of Physalis minima



Physalis minima (Country gooseberry), is a plant from the Solanaceae family that has been used since centuries ago in Ayurvedic traditional medicine. 

In Ayurveda, this plant is known as Chirpoti, and it is used to treat some well-known ailments and health problems. The fruit of this plant has a characteristic orange color and is covered by paper-like leaves resembling Japanese paper lantern lights.

In spite most of the investigations and research made on this wonderful fruit are focused on its anti-cancer properties, Physalis minima have other important properties, among which we can mention its diuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial [2] and anti-bacterial properties [3]. Image: See credits under reference [15] below.


Family: Solanaceae

Genus: Physalis

Common name: Native gooseberry, Country gooseberry, Wild cape gooseberry and Pygmy ground cherry [1], Physalis parviflora, Physalis pubescens, Chinese lantern




Not so long ago while having lunch I noticed a colleague was having something that looked a bit like couscous, when I asked what it was he said quinoa, a grain-like seed that apparently had many properties and health benefits.  

In fact, quinoa is a grain crop from  the Andes Mountains of South America (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) that gained popularity as a functional food and "nutraceutical" [1], a food source that exerts not only great nutritional values but also other important health benefits.

In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa [2], highlighting the important contribution of this crop as a source of nutrients for those populations in countries suffering from food insecurity.


Family: Chenopodioideae

Genus: Chenopodium

Common name: Quinoa


What is organic farming?



The origin of the term organic farming dates back to 1939, when Lord Northbourne first used it in his book Look to the Land, published in 1940, where he described a holistic, ecologically balanced approach to farming, contrary to the already emerging artificial farming [1] that relied in non-natural chemicals that would artificially promote plant growth and rapidly increase farmers benefits.

In order to be considered organic, foods need to be free of artificial food additives, chemicals, pesticides and the like. It goes without saying that Genetically Modified Organisms fall out of the scope of organic food description.