Eating salmon is known to have many health benefits. It is high in essential omega-3 fatty acids, high in B vitamins and potassium and a good source of protein. You might not know however that salmon also contains a unique antioxidant called Astaxanthin, and that Astaxanthin is what is responsible for the salmon’s distinctive colour.
Many assume that salmon is a red fish like tuna, but surprisingly enough, it’s actually a white fish. A salmon’s flesh is white from the time that it is born in a river until it swims downstream to the sea. However, as it swims around in the sea it eats shrimps and other crustaceans, which are rich in Astaxanthin, which gradually turn its flesh red. Crustaceans obtain it by eating algae.
So why do salmon need to consume Astaxanthin?
Salmon return to rivers from the sea, swimming back upstream to spawn. They swim against the flow, so they need a great deal of power. While in the sea, salmon accumulate reserves of Astaxanthin to serve as a source of energy when they set out on their arduous journey. They also need Astaxanthin to protect their flesh from damage from the sun’s rays that beat down on the shallow waters at the banks of the rivers that the salmon traverse.
Then, having completed their journey safely, they eventually spawn, the salmon transfer all of their red vitality, Astaxanthin, to their roe. This source of energy on a salmon’s arduous journey is passed on to the roe, like a manifestation of a mother’s love for her offspring, becoming a force that protects each and every fish egg and supporting Mother Nature’s mysterious life cycle.
In salmon, Astaxanthin provides in vivo protection to omega-3 fatty acids against oxidative damage during their exhaustive upstream marathon. Research suggests that without Astaxanthin, salmon would lose their resilience, not survive the oxidative spike, and experience consequent physical burnout during migration.
Thank goodness then for the power of Astaxanthin! As the most powerful antioxidant in the world (6,000 stronger than vitamin C) natural Astaxanthin is by weight one of the most expensive ingredients to purchase, and many companies save money by buying synthetically manufactured Astaxanthin. This is not the same quality as natural Astaxanthin and will not have the same health benefits.
At Ingenious we recognise the power of natural Astaxanthin and include it in all our supplements. If you read some of our other blogs you will learn more about Astaxanthin and how it can:
- improve skin condition
- protect against UV damage
- help protect the body from ill health and disease
- enhance performance in athletes
- improve eye health
- boost brain function