Protecting our health is a priority for us right now, and many of us are finding ways to boost our immune system and to stay healthy. Some of us have been adding high-antioxidant foods and supplements to our diet, and if you haven’t already added astaxanthin to your routine, there is a list of reasons why you should start!
What is it? Astaxanthin (pronounced asta-zan-thin) is a naturally occurring deep, red-colored carotenoid with powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that support our health in numerous ways. You may be familiar with carotenoids as providing fruits and vegetables their bright shades of red, orange, and yellow; astaxanthin is found primarily in microalgae (Haematococcus pluvialis), but also in salmon, shrimp, lobster, crab and other organisms, and is responsible for their red tones.
Astaxanthin is a fat-soluble antioxidant that is able to integrate itself into every cell, tissue and organ in the body, therefore is found to provide greater antioxidant protection compared to other carotenoids. Its antioxidant activity also has the capacity to be 6000 times more effective than that of vitamin C, more than 800 times of CoQ10, and 550 times that of vitamin E at neutralizing free radicals.
Like other carotenoids, astaxanthin helps strengthen the immune system and reduce inflammation. It can be converted into vitamin A, which plays a significant role in promoting the appropriate function of our immune response, and with its high antioxidant properties, it truly stands out within the list of immune-boosting antioxidants.
Eye and Brain Health
Since it is a fat-soluble antioxidant, it can help support in keeping our eyes and central nervous system healthy. It has the ability to cross through the blood-retinal and blood-brain barrier to help reduce the risk of inflammatory-related damage that can lead to conditions such as eye fatigue, cataracts, macular degeneration, dementia or neurological disorders.
There is growing research with the potential of astaxanthin and heart health; the high antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties help prevent oxidation of fats and protein in the body and may help protect arterial wall health as well.
For the athletes and fitness gurus, astaxanthin may provide benefits for improved physical activity. Research suggests it helps support with the recovery of muscles by fighting free radicals and reducing muscle soreness, while enhancing endurance, strength and energy levels.
This amazing antioxidant also helps support skin health as well. Astaxanthin helps reduce damage caused by ultraviolet radiation from the sun, and helps protect and support healthy skin cell function by improving skin moisture levels and elasticity while reducing wrinkles and spots.
Overall, astaxanthin is a powerful antioxidant with reasons to include in your diet. This healthful antioxidant though cannot be produced by the body naturally though, so to gain all of its glorious benefits, we need to add some wild salmon and shrimp to the diet regularly or obtain it through a supplement!