Why is Salmon Pink?

It’s the astaxanthin…say THAT ten times really fast!


Part of the carotenoid family, astaxanthin is a relative of beta-carotene, zeaxanthin, and lutein. A potent antioxidant, this member of the carotenoid family is found in many creatures of the sea — including salmon, crab, shrimp and lobster. Astaxanthin gives this seafood its pink and red color.

Found in red algae calledHaematococcus pluvialis, a main staple of the salmon diet, astaxanthin has been shown to protect cells against free radical damage, repair UVA-irradiated cells, and reduce inflammation.

The human body cannot produce astaxanthin, therefore we must get it in our diet. Wild Pacific salmon, in particular sockeye salmon, have the highest astaxanthin content. Here is a great, simple recipe for SLOWER COOKER SALMON.

When you think of a slow cooker, you probably think of stews, chilis or soups, but did you know that the crockpot is a great way to cook heart-healthy fish to tender, moist perfection?


  • 2 six-ounce wild caught salmon fillets
  • 4-6 sprigs of fresh dill
  • 1 lemon sliced
  • ½ cup of water
  • sea salt & pepper

Line a 6 quart slow cooker with aluminum foil by folding a 14” piece of foil in half and putting it length-wise into the cooker. It will come up about 3 inches on the long sides, which will be a sling for you to pull it out after cooking. Arrange the lemon slices on the foil and top them with the sprigs of dill. Add ½ cup of water, just up to the top of lemons. Place fish on top, skin side down. Salt and pepper fish. Cover and cook on low for 1 hour or until fish flakes easily when forked.

That’s it. Pair with steamed or roasted veggies. You’ll never want your fish cooked any other way.

Dr. Dean Mitchell
Mitchell Medical Group, NYC & Long Island

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