Astaxanthin [A-STA-‘ZAN-THIN] is a chemical compound. It’s a carotenoid, meaning it’s a pigmenting chemical of a bright red or pink color. A number of plants and animals have astaxanthin in their bodies, as well as encompassing trouts, algae, yeasts, shrimps, and other living things in the ocean. It’s the element that gives its coloring to flamingos, Pacific salmons, red algae, fish eggs, lobsters, etc.
A Rise In Popularity
As of now, astaxanthin is rapidly gaining popularity in the healthy lifestyle community, being more and more used as a supplement. It seems that soon, astaxanthin will overtake the most popular supplement that comes from the ocean, omega-3 fatty acids. You might be wondering: “Why is astaxanthin popular all of a sudden? I’ve never heard of it.”
The growing interest in this supplement happens thanks to the public’s discovery of the astaxanthin’s peculiar and healthy feature. It’s an antioxidant, meaning something that decelerates or cancels out the oxidation of your body. Antioxidants are connected to a plethora of health benefits that we’ll discuss below.
Astaxanthin is known as the “king of carotenoids,” being the strongest antioxidant found naturally. It means that astaxanthin is the most effective supplement if you’re into carotenoids. The astaxanthin supplement differs from many other options that can be found in everyday foods and don’t boost your health. So, let’s review what makes astaxanthin so special, and how to incorporate it into your diet.
The General Health Benefits
Firstly, astaxanthin makes your skin tighter, decreasing the number of wrinkles or at least making them much less noticeable. It will result in you looking younger than your actual age. Astaxanthin allows this effect because it is able to block out skin-degrading UV rays from the sun very efficiently.
Secondly, a systematical and thoughtful intake of astaxanthin leads to eyesight improvements. In collaboration with other antioxidants, zeaxanthin and lutein, it can lower the amount of glare and blurriness.
As astaxanthin is great at blocking out UV rays, it slows down the eventual degradation of your eye nerves. You might even have to put off buying glasses by years (and, hopefully, decades), if you start taking the supplement as a young adult.
Thirdly, it boosts the function of the heart, minimizing the effects of cholesterol and preventing deadly heart diseases. Most importantly, astaxanthin mitigates the results of our body interacting with air, meaning the oxidation of cells. Unfortunately, even air is, in some way, detrimental to our bodies.
Lastly, astaxanthin has a proved positive effect on the brain and nervous system. The supplement is so effective that it significantly diminishes the aging of brain cells. Additionally, it increases the brain’s attentiveness and sharpness, resulting in overall better reaction time and getting a hold on memory loss.
Astaxanthin – An Athlete’s Choice
This supplement also has a range of other health benefits that deserve to be set apart. The thing is that astaxanthin is extremely useful for all kinds of athletes, professionals and amateurs. Here are the sports-related pros of taking astaxanthin:
- Greater performance. When you work out, your muscles produce lactic acids as a way of coping with the stress put on them. These acids induce fatigue and pain. Astaxanthin prevents the build-up of lactic acids and accelerates the detoxifying process. It allows your muscles to recover quicker, and you to perform more of each exercise.
- Better endurance. This supplement helps greatly in weight training and cardio. Astaxanthin is capable of bringing an increase in muscle endurance of 150%, meaning you’ll have stable output even after burning up all of your carbohydrates.
- Faster fat loss. Losing fat is pretty easy if thinking that you just need to burn more calories than you take in. Greater performance, quick muscle recovery, and better endurance skyrocket the fat loss process because you can work out more and for longer.
Astaxanthin Helps with Many Medical Conditions
Astaxanthin can be not only a preventative measure but also a cure, according to medical researchers. First of all, small-sample researches indicate that purified astaxanthin can reduce the number of breast cancer cells. Moreover, there is evidence that astaxanthin increases male fertility by improving sperm mobility and count.
Appropriate dosages of astaxanthin can help with digestive problems and even ulcers. Moreover, according to Healthcare Weekly, astaxanthin is being currently heavily researched as a measure against Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s diseases. They mainly attack the nerve cells via increased oxidation processes. Astaxanthin, in turn, is a great way to manage the oxidation. Alzheimer’s patients show concrete, observable improvements as a result of the intake of this supplement.
Endorsed by NASA
Astaxanthin is so critical that even NASA is promoting its use. In 2015, at the 66th International Astronautical Conference, NASA clearly stated that they believe that algae produce many useful components, which can be used by people as biofuels.
These components, of course, include astaxanthin. NASA emphasizes the supplement’s benefits that are sure to aid human exploration of the space. Reportedly, natural astaxanthin should mitigate the effects of exposure to radiation on the whole body, pure UV rays on the eyes, and weightlessness on the bones. So, NASA is considering implementing astaxanthin into their cosmonauts’ rations.
How to Incorporate Astaxanthin
You have two options when it comes to introducing astaxanthin into your diet:
- You can eat salmon daily. Salmon is rich in astaxanthin because this fish eats a lot of astaxanthin-rich plankton. Eating Sockeye salmon is exceptionally healthy in these terms. It is a great way to get astaxanthin into your system. However, you need to eat naturally caught salmon because the farm-grown one doesn’t have access to the astaxanthin-rich plankton.
- If you don’t want to eat salmon every day, you can take astaxanthin as a supplement. Such supplements are available online and are sure to be at your local pharmacy because of the supplement’s recent spike in popularity.
There are many options to choose from, and they all differ in the combinations of elements. So, consulting with your doctor is recommended before taking up astaxanthin supplements (or any other supplements for that matter).
Astaxanthin is a wonderful element that can improve the overall quality of your life, prevent the development of various diseases, and mitigate some health problems. NASA considers giving this supplement to their cosmonauts, so, it’s worth your attention, too.