Berries have been known to be rich in antioxidants, but did you know many other foods contain them?
Not only that but by eating a range of fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, legumes and seafood you can nourish your body with a wide variety of antioxidants (some that might not have been discovered yet)!
Today we’re going to focus on one antioxidant that has been studied by researchers but is little-known by the public: astaxanthin (pronounced asta-ZAN-thin).
What is Astaxanthin?
Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, a classification for the pigments that give various fruits, vegetables, and plants their color.
In this case, astaxanthin gives a red hue that’s responsible for making those brilliant flamingo feathers pink and for giving lobster, crab, shrimp, salmon, and krill their red tone.
Astaxanthin’s role goes far beyond providing color to the organisms it resides in; it fulfills its antioxidant duty by reducing oxidative stress within our bodies and more.
Antioxidants and Oxidative Stress
Most know that antioxidants are essential nutrients…but why?
You may have heard the term oxidative stress.
During this process, reactive oxygen species (also known as ROS or free radicals) have an extreme “want” to bind to other cells and will attack our healthy cells to fulfill that need. This is where antioxidants like astaxanthin come to the rescue!
By decreasing oxidative stress within the body, our cells are able to operate smoothly and healthily whether they’re skin cells, joint cells, or brain cells.
Where can you find astaxanthin?
Like all other carotenoid antioxidants, astaxanthin cannot be produced naturally within animals (that includes us, humans, too). The primary source of astaxanthin is found in sea-dwelling algae. Don’t worry, though, because these algae serve as food for many of the popular fish and crustaceans you’ll find on a seafood menu!
Astaxanthin is unique to marine life, so the next time you’re in the mood for seafood, try including one of these in your meal:
- Red trout
Not a fan of seafood but still want to reap the health benefits of astaxanthin?
As mentioned above, astaxanthin can’t be naturally produced within our bodies, and it’s only found in marine animals and algae.
These factors can make astaxanthin a difficult antioxidant to consume on a daily basis, especially if seafood is not in your taste palette nor in your budget.
Thankfully, you can fight joint inflammation by taking astaxanthin in supplement form! Artic Flex Krill Oil contains naturally occurring astaxanthin from sustainably and ethically-sourced Antarctic krill.