What is Astaxanthin?

Astaxanthin is a xanthophyll carotenoid, a plant pigment found in single-celled freshwater algae. Under stressful conditions, the unicellular green cell Haematococcus Pluvialis (the main source of astaxanthin) makes astaxanthin in lipid droplets. This turns the cells bright red and protects them from the harsh environment. This red substance goes up the food chain and is the source of almost all of the red in crustaceans, fish, and birds. In humans, astaxanthin helps with cellular survival too.

A Few Impressive Numbers

In The Kaufmann Protocol, Dr. Sandra Kaufmann explains that, “When antioxidant capacities are compared, […] astaxanthin is 10x greater than lutein and zeaxanthin, 14x greater than vitamin E, 54x greater than B-Carotene, 65x greater than Vitamin C and 100x greater in antioxidant activity than alpha tocopherol. Astaxanthin is simply more powerful than its competitors.” 

Benefits of Consuming Astaxanthin

Being a remarkable antioxidant and free-radical scavenger, astaxanthin offers many health benefits, as highlighted at draxe.com

  • Improves brain health
  • Protects your heart
  • Keeps skin glowing
  • Eases inflammation and improves immunity
  • Enhances your workout
  • Supports healthy vision
  • Improves cognitive function

In Summary

In a previous post, Eating the Rainbow: Is it Important? I had mentioned the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables of various colors. These colors are the product of different chemicals such as anthocyanins, chlorophyll, and various carotenoids that offer high antioxidant values. Astaxanthin is yet another carotenoid to include in our diet. It is found in abundance in wild-caught sockeye salmon, krill, algae, red trout, lobster, crab, shrimp, crawfish, salmon roe, and red seabream. So pick seafood that contains the “king of carotenoids” whenever you can!

Until next time!


Greenfield, Ben. Boundless : Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging. Las Vegas, Victory Belt Publishing Inc, 2020, p. 533.

Kaufmann, Sandra, et al. The Kaufmann Protocol : Why We Age and How to Stop It. Kaufmann Anti-Aging Institute, 2018, pp.153-168.

Link, Rachael. “This ‘King of Carotenoids’ Is Even More Beneficial than Vitamin C.” Dr. Axe, 6 Dec. 2018, draxe.com/nutrition/astaxanthin-benefits/. Accessed 13 Sept. 2020.

You can also find me on Instagram.

Why green tea?

I have recently gotten into the habit of drinking green tea in the afternoon and thoroughly enjoy it! As we all know, green tea is a very healthy beverage to drink. Green tea has been consumed for approximately 5,000 years, first in China. Last year, I purchased the book, The Kaufmann Protocol: Why We Age and How to Stop it, which has a section on EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), the main component in green tea. What differentiates green tea from black tea and oolong tea is that green tea is not fermented. The plant’s (Camellia sinensis) leaves and buds are simply brewed. Dr. Sandra Kaufmann states: “Let’s answer the big question first. Can EGCG actually help you live longer? The answer is a resounding yes….”

Green tea’s health benefits

The above book mentions green tea’s known health benefits. Among others, it has: 

  • Antioxidant qualities
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Anti-tumorigenic effects
  • Weight loss effects (over time)

Also, green tea may help strengthen bones: “EGCG has an osteo-inductive effect on stem cells, meaning the cells are steered into making bone cells versus any other cell.”

And when it comes to the brain, consuming green tea helps with “learning and other brain activities…EGCG exerts protective effects against seemingly eventual age-related cognitive declines and neurodegenerative diseases.”

In summary

This is a precious beverage indeed! With all these health benefits no wonder people have been drinking green tea for centuries! A cup of tea has between 70 and 90 mg of EGCG. Right now, I consume an organic sencha green tea, but there are numerous other organic options. Matcha, a green tea in powder form, is one of them. And to get more of the benefits green tea has to offer, I also take one capsule of Thorne Green Tea Phytosome each day. (Of course, you want to check with your physician first if you decide to do the same). Maybe it’s a cup of green tea a day that keeps the doctor away. Who knows?


Kaufmann, Sandra, et al. The Kaufmann Protocol : Why We Age and How to Stop It. Kaufmann Anti-Aging Institute, 2018, p. 249-57.

You can also find me on Instagram.

The importance of herbs and spices

Herbs and spices can not only bring up any dish with wonderful aromas and colors, but they contain a host of health benefits. That is the very reason why they have been used for centuries in food and medicine. Chinese herbal medicine is a prime example of how herbs and spices can be used in a very powerful way to help alleviate and cure various ailments. The spice trade highlights what important merchandise spices were between continents in the past centuries. I am not going to list the array of health benefits you get from consuming herbs and spices as they are so numerous beyond the primary fact that most have strong antioxidant properties – suffice to say that herbs and spices are not to be bypassed. 

Basic herbs and spices

Here’s a short list (as mentioned in the Primal Blueprint 21-Day Total Body Transformation) of basic herbs and spices that can easily be used in any meal you prepare:

  • Basil
  • Black pepper
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Chili pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Coriander seeds
  • Cinnamon
  • Cloves
  • Cumin seeds
  • Dill
  • Ginger
  • Mint
  • Mustard seeds
  • Nutmeg
  • Oregano
  • Paprika
  • Parsley
  • Peppermint
  • Rosemary
  • Sage
  • Tarragon
  • Thyme
  • Turmeric

I would like to add to this list horseradish powder, leek powder, and sea vegetable powder which I like to sprinkle on most of my meals. When buying herbs and spices, you want to make sure they are well-sourced, that is, organic (and mold-free). Growing your own herbs is a plus and helps to guarantee that your herbs and spices won’t be tampered with!


You want to avoid the conventionally processed table salt as it has fillers, anticaking agents, and very few nutrients. One more good reason to give up processed foods as this traditional salt abounds in them. Sea salt is what to pick. I like to use Celtic sea salt. Himalayan sea salt is another great option.

A word about garlic

Garlic, an allium, was a favorite of hunter-gatherers. American Indian tribes used wild alliums “to treat infected wounds, restore appetites, boost energy, repel scorpions, soothe bee stings, relieve colic and croup, lower fevers, and as a general tonic for colds, sore throat, and earaches,” as explained by Jo Robinson in Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health. Some of garlic’s benefits can be destroyed by heat, so if you are going to cook with garlic, Robinson explains that after chopping or slicing the garlic, you want to let it sit for ten minutes before incorporating it to your recipe. That way, a specific chemical reaction needed to obtain garlic’s healing attributes has the time to occur before exposing the garlic to heat. Nice tip!

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!


Asprey, Dave. The Bulletproof Diet : Lose up to a Pound a Day, Reclaim Energy and Focus, and Upgrade Your Life. New York, Rodale Books, 2014, p. 210

Robinson, Jo, and Andie Styner. Eating on the Wild Side: the Missing Link to Optimum Health. New York Little, Brown, 2013, pp. 47–8, 51.

Sisson, Mark. The New Primal Blueprint : Reprogram Your Genes for Effortless Weight Loss, Vibrant Health, and Boundless Energy. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2017, pp. 233–34.

The Primal Blueprint : 21-Day Total Body Transformation. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2016, pp. 121-22.

You can also find me on Instagram.