Astaxanthin is a potent antioxidant sourced from the microalgae Haematococcus pluvialis. This antioxidant has a naturally bright red color meaning that it “bioaccumulates in organisms that eat it, and it is responsible for the pink to reddish hue of krill, shrimp, salmon, and even flamingos.”
Why is astaxanthin so good for us? It’s all about the protective quality that all antioxidants have. Studies have found that astaxanthin “provides significantly greater antioxidant protection than the carotenoids [including] beta carotene, lycopene, and lutein, [as well as] alpha-tocopherol.” In short, astaxanthin is a powerful protectant of cellular membranes, while also helping to rid the body of free radicals.
Along with boosting athletic performance — “astaxanthin boosts heart health due to its ability to fight oxidative stress [and] this quality also [has] a surprising effect on cardiac performance” — astaxanthin has been found to have a variety of other health benefits including increasing heart health, decreasing age-related skin decline, boosts brain health, helps joint pain, and even aids with vision!
The beauty of astaxanthin is that the raw source is naturally vegan and vegetarian, given the fact that animals can’t produce it and is found in “microalgae, which [grows] in the salt water oceans as well as fresh bodies of water.” Therefore, you’ll need to find microalgae sources, specifically Phaffia Yeast (Xanthophyllomyces dendrorhous) or Green Algae (Haematococcus pluvialis). The easiest way to get this antioxidant into your recipes is via the Green Algae powder, such as this WonderLand Herbs Pure Haematococcus pluvialis Extract Powder or this Naturegrail 2% Astaxanthin Powder.
Once you find the perfect powder, now it’s time to find the perfect recipe! Here are 15 recipes — from puddings to smoothies to chili — which are super easy to enrich with your astaxanthin powder!
We also highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App — with over 15,000 delicious recipes it is the largest plant-based recipe resource to help you get healthy! And, don’t forget to check out our Whole Foods Archives!
This Sea Moss Banana Smoothie recipe by Trudy Geneus is already developed to integrate some good sea-sourced algae. Plus this smoothie is packed with banana-sourced potassium to get you going in the morning or keep you going in the afternoon!
This Roasted Tomato and Pepper Soup recipe by Stephanie Davies already has the beautiful deep red tomato coloring to mask the hardy reddish-pink hue of that astaxanthin powder. With a smoky undertone, this tomato soup is a great addition to your winter menu!
Take your traditional chocolate pudding recipe to the next level by mixing in some astaxanthin powder in this Chocolate Pudding Bowls With Coconut Cream and Cherries recipe by Emily von Euw!
This Silky Strawberry Avocado Smoothie recipe by Nele Liivlaid is infused with a broad spectrum of nutrients thanks to a creamy base of avocado and strawberries! Perfect for mixing your astaxanthin powder to give it a powerful boost of antioxidants.
Looking for a smoothie with a bit of beauty to start out your morning? This Beautiful Berry Coconut Smoothie Bowls recipe by Tori Cooper is loaded with plant-based nutrients such as bananas, mixed berries, flaxseed, oats, and coconut water. Simply mix in a bit of that astaxanthin powder to top of your antioxidant load for the day!
Chili is one of those meals that is perfect for sneaking in extra nutrients! This Hearty Black Bean Soup recipe by Julie Zimmer is a simple recipe to start with and a great recipe to mask that additional astaxanthin powder.
This Breakfast Oats Peach Smoothie recipe by Kristina Jug and Mitja Bezensek is hardy enough to overpower astaxanthin powder, yet surprisingly light making it great for an early morning empty stomach meal. Oats will power you through the day, while that astaxanthin will provide antioxidant protection.
If you’re looking for an even more resplendent chocolate pudding recipe, this one will definitely do! This Luxurious Dark Chocolate Apricot Pudding recipe by Amy Height takes the pudding up a notch in both texture and nutrients with apricots, plus add a bit of that astaxanthin powder to sneak in more powerful antioxidants!
This Mexican Black Bean Soup With Sweet Corn, Tortilla Chips, and Avocado Cream recipe by Cassidy Payne is packed with flavor! Infused with sweet tomatoes, spicy chili, tangy lime juice, and avocado cream, you can add even more astaxanthin powder!
Another great chili recipe to experiment with your astaxanthin powder! This One-Pot Spicy Three Bean Chili recipe by Danielle Clark is protein loaded with three different types of beans and is also a great recommendation for those food preppers!
Chia seed is an excellent source of protein and fiber, plus they make a bomb pudding! This Berry and Chia Pudding Smoothie recipe by Vicky Coates already has that reddish hue, perfect for masking astaxanthin powder.
This Blood Orange Crème Brûlée recipe by Vegan: The Cookbook is a great option for that special occasion or dinner party dessert! This crème brûlée is beautifully textured — velvety and creamy — and uses blood orange, which makes it perfect for hiding a bit of your astaxanthin powder.
One more chili recipe that hits all the marks! This Bean and Tomato Chili recipe by Julie Zimmer is already hued red from tomatoes, protein-rich with beans, yet provides a jalapeno derived kick. Great for adding astaxanthin powder.
Want to learn more about antioxidants? Get your knowledge on with these articles!
- Antioxidants in Mushrooms Could Help Prevent Age-Related Health Problems
- Your Antioxidant Powerhouse Plant-Based Menu: What, Why, and How
- Astaxanthin: a Powerful Antioxidant that May Improve Exercise
- Weekly Meal Plan: Antioxidant Vegan Meals!
- 15 Antioxidant-Rich Vegan Recipes to Help You Embrace Purple Food in 2017
- 10 Uncommon Sources of Antioxidants You Never Knew
- The Importance of the Antioxidant Quercetin for Your Health and Where to Find It
- Do Antioxidants Really Matter for Cancer Prevention?
Learn How to Cook Plant-Based Meals at Home!
Reducing your meat intake and eating more plant-based foods is known to help with chronic inflammation, heart health, mental wellbeing, fitness goals, nutritional needs, allergies, gut health and more! Dairy consumption also has been linked many health problems, including acne, hormonal imbalance, cancer, prostate cancer and has many side effects.
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