Have you ever heard of the incredible health benefits of astaxanthin? Well, it wasn’t even in my health repertoire until recently! Astaxanthin is a form of pigment that is found naturally occurring in plants and animals, and is thought to promote healthy bodily systems. 

You might be wondering how astaxanthin works to promote a healthy body. Astaxanthin is an antioxidant, which is a substance that has the ability to remove possible harmful agents within the body that have the potential to damage cells.

This carotenoid is found naturally in many different foods, particularly in fish and shellfish. Most commonly, astaxanthin can be found in salmon, crabs, and shrimp. This is why, oftentimes, those that do not eat seafood often have lower levels of the antioxidant in their body. However, if you prefer to take a plant based approach to your diet, there are many supplements that are derived from plants and algae. For example, it can be derived from the algae Haematococcus pluvialis, Chlorella zofingiensis, Chlorococcum spp., and Botryococcus braunii, and is also found in the red yeast Phaffia rhodozyma to name a few. 

One thing that really caught my attention about astaxanthin was its growing popularity amongst competitive athletes. Some studies suggest that astaxanthin, when taken over time, has the ability to increase athletic endurance, reduces the buildup of lactic acid in the body (which builds up after intense workouts and is what causes the sensation of “soreness” within one’s muscles), and may possibly reduce the side effects of aging muscles. In other studies, it has been proposed that astaxanthin may possibly be between 10 and 100 times stronger in effect than some of the most commonly utilized antioxidants such as vitamin E. 

As I write this post, I am bussing back to Brown after four grueling water polo games. My body certainly has not been recovering well, and I am incredibly sore after so many games! Because of this, I definitely would love to try taking astaxanthin supplements in order to promote the recovery process for my tired body. 

On top of improved athletic performance, astaxanthin has so many possible health benefits. For example, astaxanthin may possibly be linked to an amplified immune system, reduce oxidative damage within the brain caused by aging, and may reduce minor discomforts in the body. In addition, astaxanthin may also increase gastric, vision, nerve, and cardiovascular health! And, tying this to one of my recent posts on collagen, astaxanthin has also been linked to increased skin elasticity. With so many possible health benefits, I would highly suggest trying out these supplements for yourself.

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