2018 was a rough year. So with 2019 here, there’s nothing that sounds better than a fresh start.
One way for your body to start anew is by adding antioxidants to your routine through diet and supplementation. Below, learn what antioxidants are and why they’re important, what antioxidant and other benefits astaxanthin has, and the best ways to get astaxanthin and other antioxidants.
What Are Antioxidants?
Antioxidants are molecules that act as “radical scavenger, hydrogen donor, electron donor, peroxide decomposer, singlet oxygen quencher, enzyme inhibitor, synergist, and metal-chelating agents.” Antioxidants include vitamin A, C, and E, and carotenoids. Most importantly, antioxidants may support the body in fighting against free radicals and protecting cells from free radical damage.
Antioxidants And Free Radicals
Free radicals are atoms or molecules that “are highly reactive with other cellular structures because they contain unpaired electrons.” They occur not just as the result of “ordinary metabolic processes and immune system response,” but also from fried foods, alcohol, nicotine, tobacco smoke, pesticides, air pollutants, and more. The problem with free radicals is that they can cause damage to cells, which can lead to cell death, nerve cell injury, and disease. Free radicals can contribute to chronic health problems such as cardiovascular and inflammatory disease, cataracts, and cancer.
Antioxidants are known as “free radical scavengers” because of the way that they reduce the formation of free radicals or neutralize them.
Natural Sources of Antioxidants
High antioxidant activity has been found in fruits such as berries, cherries, citrus fruits, prunes, and olives. Green and black teas also contain high levels of antioxidants, as well as medicinal Indian plants used in ayurvedic medicine, such as: kair, Bengal quince, onion, garlic, Indian aloe, greater cardamom, kiryat, shatavari, neem, brahmi, palas, cinnamon, Indian sarsaparilla, bitter gourd, curry leaf, black cumin, holy basil, fenugreek, winter cherry, ginger, and more.
Antioxidants and Astaxanthin
One natural source of antioxidants is astaxanthin. Astaxanthin is a carotenoid, or a pigment known for its rich red color that is found in algae, plants, and bacteria. Carotenoids like astaxanthin are used both for their color and for their potential health benefits. In the case of astaxanthin, it is used in part for its antioxidant activity.
- Providing antioxidant properties to support a healthy immune system
- Protecting the brain from damage from oxidative stress
- Benefitting eye health
- Supporting gastric health
- Temporarily relieving minor upper abdominal discomfort
- Supporting athletic endurance and performance
- Supporting cardiovascular health
- Promoting nerve health
- Helping soothe sore muscles and protect against muscle damage
- Supporting already healthy cholesterol levels
- Supporting reproductive health
- And more
Astaxanthin can be found in sources such as crustaceans, pink fish, microalgae, birds, bee propolis, and dietary supplements.
In fact, if you want to fight free radicals and the damage done by choices you made in 2018, antioxidant supplements can help.
Metagenics is a natural health brand that focuses on nutrigenomics to treat each individual customer. Metagenics also offers antioxidant support in supplement form. One option includes Pneumo-Carotene, an all-natural blend of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals to support lung health. Another antioxidant blend from Metagenics is E-400 Selenium, which uses a mega-blend of Vitamin E, Calcium, Phosphorous, and Selenium to protect against free radicals and support heart health.
Innate Response is another supplement company that uses whole food derived ingredients to support optimal health in both men and women. Innate Response offers basic antioxidant rich vitamins, such as Vitamin C. However, if you want to try astaxanthin, Innate Response also offers One Daily Cap w/CoQ10 and Antioxidants. Innate Responses’s blend of lutein, zeaxanthin, and astaxanthin, One Daily Cap supports cardiovascular and energy health through an antioxidant boost.
How do you make sure your diet is rich in antioxidants?