Despite its less-than-sexy name, glutathione is an antioxidant that deserves special attention. Renowned for its immune-boosting properties, this compound is essential for protecting our cells from free radicals and putting us at a reduced risk of developing chronic diseases. Glutathione is relied on by other antioxidants like vitamin C to do their job effectively, which makes its proper functioning within the body super important. Not just a one trick pony, eh?
It’s a peptide comprised of three amino acids; cysteine, glycine and glutamic acid (doesn’t make it sounds any more glamorous, does it?) and the compound is found in both animal and plant cells.
Here’s what you need to know about glutathione, and how you can incorporate it into your diet:
As previously mentioned, the immune system is one of the biggest beneficiaries of glutathione. When your frazzled bod is battling an infection, disease or you’re just feeling pretty damn run down—your glutathione stores dive full-throttle into trying to combat the problem, making it even more important to boost levels when health is compromised.
By boosting glutathione levels (and keeping them maintained), you are taking preventative measures against illness and infection, before the nasty little bugger has a chance to take hold and become a real issue.
The darling of detoxification, glutathione is hard at work turning toxins into bile, which in turn assists with the body’s digestion of fat.
Lifestyle choices, diet, stress and too much toxicity in the products we use constantly bombard our livers, which can dramatically compromise its function; leading to disease and compromised health. Glutathione is your go-to gal for improving liver function (and don’t forget to load up on these foods, too!).
In addition to aforementioned toxins, we absorb heavy metals each and every day through the water we drink, foods we eat and also from personal care products.
With ample glutathione levels, the body is capable of excreting these heavy metals from the body, which relieves the stress and potential havoc they can wreak on our cells. Pairing glutathione with savvy lifestyle choices that minimise toxic exposure will have a stellar impact on your health.
Free radicals and oxidative damage are easily the biggest threats to youthful, healthy skin and bodily processes. Because it minimises the damage caused by oxidative stress—by supporting glutathione levels, you are improving the quality of your skin, which means more glow and less wrinkles. We are so keen, y’all.
Luckily, you don’t have to scour the dusty back shelves of health food stores in order to unleash the benefits of glutathione on your body. Whilst supplementation is an option, there are foods that you can incorporate into your weekly meals in order to give your glutathione levels a hefty boost.
Sulfur-rich foods and cruciferous veggies should be your first port of call if you’re looking to up your glutathione ante. Asparagus, broccoli, brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, kale and collard greens should all feature heavily on your plate, and milk thistle is a herb that you’ll really wanna get your hands on. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine says that milk thistle has been shown to increase the level of glutathione in the liver by up to 35%, making it a dream of a source.
And FYI, you can also increase the glutathione levels in your body by consuming foods that are high in selenium and alpha-lipoic acid, as they aid in glutathione production. Think; almonds, brazil nuts and sardines.
Happy glutathione-inspired snacking, ladies! (Okay, so the catchphrase could use a little work—but regardless, enjoy!).