Glutathione Your Bodys Most Powerful Antioxidant

By March 20, 2015 September 26th, 2017 Nutrition Information

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Whether we know it or not we are inhaling and ingesting natural and synthetic toxins all day long.  They are unavoidable from the air in our cities and the pesticides in our foods. When the body is healthy and has the nourishment it needs it works tirelessly to eliminate the toxins and protect itself.

 There is one very important molecule we need to protect the body and get rid of these toxins.  It is called GLUTATHIONE (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own”).  It is the most important antioxidant your body produces.  You need it to stay healthy.

Studies show that higher glutathione levels are associated with longer life, a more youthful appearance and less risk of disease.

Scientist call it the “the master antioxidant”. There is an acronym to describe what it does.

Glutathione is an AID to health A = Antioxidant I = Immunity Booster D = Detoxifier  

Here are a few things Glutathione does for you:
  • Shift metabolism from fat production to muscle development
  • Helps your immune system fight infections and prevent disease
  • Neutralizes free radicals
  • Breaks down toxic and damaging compounds like BPA and other xenoestrogens
  • Removes heavy metals like mercury
  • Protects cell membranes from damage
  • Repairs damaged DNA
  • Binds to carcinogens and helps to remove them from the body
  • Boosts the immune system
  • Recycles vitamins C and E back to their active forms
The levels of glutathione in the liver is critically linked to the liver’s capacity to detoxify. Unfortunately increasing levels of pesticides and environmental pollutants are depleting our liver stores of glutathione more and more rapidly.

What is Glutathione?

Glutathione is a molecule composed of three protein building blocks or amino acids – cysteine, glutamine and glycine.  It is concentrated in the liver although it works inside every single cell in your body. It is the master antioxidant that keeps all the other antioxidants performing at peak levels.

The way it works is glutathione contains sulfur that is sticky like fly paper. The toxins, free radicals, mercury and other heavy metals stick onto the glutathione, which then carries them into the bile and the stool – out of your body. If your body is not overloaded with toxins the glutathione is then recycled back into the liver and other cells.

But, if your liver is overworked due to toxins, chemicals, pollution, alcohol, stress, trauma, aging and infections, then the concentration of glutathione in the liver is substantially reduced.

 This reduction makes the liver susceptible to damage which results in toxins building up in your entire body.

 This is one of the reasons why I like to do a liver cleanse each spring.

 Our liver needs a break from the hard work of detoxification to restore its levels of glutathione.  In the Nourishing Foods Spring Cleanse we remove all the inflammatory, toxic and hard to digest foods from our diet for 5 days.  We bring in foods and herbs to support our liver.  The result is our liver gets a break and the glutathione levels get restored. Your body returns to harmonious balance

Since your body produces its own glutathione it is important to know what enhances glutathione production and what depletes itHere are some tips:

How to Boost Glutathione Levels

You may wonder, why not take a glutathione supplement?  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work, since the body digests protein you won’t get the benefits from it.  You can provide the nutrients and conditions in your body to optimize glutathione production and recycling.  Here are a few ways to start today.

 

  

Eat Sulfur Rich Vegetables

The main sulfur-rich vegetables like garlic, onions parsley and cruciferous vegetables (kale, collards, broccoli, watercress, cabbage) help to raise our glutathione levels.  Also Beets, avocados, squash and tomatoes.  Read my full article on Sulfur-Rich Vegetables 

Turmeric  

Spices to Boost Glutathione

Certain spices – turmeric, cinnamon and cardamom – have compounds that assist in restoring healthy levels of glutathione in your body.  

Non-Denatured Bioactive Whey Protein

Even though I am not a fan of dairy, this type of whey protein is an exception.  It is a great source of cysteine and the amino acid building blocks for glutathione synthesis.  The whey protein must be bioactive and non-denatured. Denatured means it has been cooked at a high temperature that destroys all microorganisms that may harm you.  Pasteurized milk is denatured.

You want NON-DENATURED.  This means the protein is processed in such a way that the harmful organisms are destroyed, but the heat sensitive amino acids that make it bioactive are not destroyed.  You also want a product that contains no pesticides, hormone or antibiotics. Click here to find out more

Move Your Body to Boost Glutathione Levels

Glutathione production is dependent on adenosine triphosphate or ATP, the molecule which supplies cellular energy.  Boost your energy system by including a healthy amount of exercise into your routine.  Excess strenuous exercise causes stress in the body. Interval Training and Rebounding are effective ways to enhance cellular metabolism and minimize stress to the body.

Grass Fed Organic Red Meat and Organ Meats

Alpha lipoic acid is found in grass fed organic meats. Including them in your diet has been shown to regenerate glutathione and support the sustained activity of Vitamin C and E.

This may not be for everyone.  After being a vegetarian for 10 years I find it hard to eat red meat too often but the research shows it is beneficial. I don’t think we need much.  Once a month I eat 2-3 ounces of lamb loin and in the summer chicken livers from the farmers market.  Here is a recipe for Coconut Crispy Chicken Livers  

Free Range Eggs

Eggs are a great source of the glutathione precursor L-cysteine and have been shown to increase your levels of glutathione.

Omega 3 Fatty Acids

These can be found in cold water fish like wild salmon, sardines, anchovies and mackerel.  Also nuts and seeds but in fewer quantities.  You can also take an omega-3 supplement that contains DHA, or docosahexaenoic, acid. This fatty acid substance can increase your level of glutathione, according to the Life Extension Foundation.

Milk Thistle

Milk thistle not only boosts glutathione levels, it also helps to actually repair the liver by promoting the growth of new cells in this large and vital organ.

Stress Reduction

In addition to adding in foods and activities to promote glutathione production, it is also important to minimize chronic stress, which is one of the primary means by which, glutathione is lost.  We are not designed to handle the constant cortisol and adrenaline that is released from prolonged stress.  Find a means to reduce stress through meditation, tappingdeep breathing.  Even 5 minutes a day makes a difference.

I hope you find this information helpful.

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