The Glutathione is an antioxidant enzyme, i.e. a type of antioxidant that is produced by our own body. It is very important, since it helps to counteract the effects of excessive free radicals, protecting the organism from possible alterations in the DNA and in the acceleration of the aging of our body.
Glutathione is composed mainly of three amino acids: glutamine, glycine and cysteine. These substances are found in each of our cells to protect them from oxidative stress.
Knowing the importance of this powerful antioxidant, we show you 8 healthy ways to increase your glutathione levels. But, before that, we will explain the reasons why your levels of this antioxidant can decrease.
Why are glutathione levels weakened?
There are several reasons why our glutathione levels may be weakened or depleted, among which we can mention the following:
- Poor nutrition or poorly balanced diet.
- Chronic diseases.
- Periodic infections.
- The stress that we face daily
To prevent our glutathione levels from weakening, we invite you to take into account the following natural recommendations.
8 Natural ways to increase glutathione
1.Eat foods rich in sulfur
Sulfur is an important mineral that occurs naturally in some plants and foods rich in proteins and is necessary for the synthesis of glutathione.
Sulfur is derived mainly from proteins such as beef, fish and poultry. You can also find it in different sources such as:
- Vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, watercress and mustard greens.
- In allium vegetables, such as garlic, shallots and onions.
A series of studies in humans and animals have shown that eating vegetables rich in sulfur reduces oxidative stress by increasing glutathione levels. Therefore, we invite you to incorporate foods rich in sulfur in your diet.
2.Increase your vitamin C intake
The Vitamin C is a water soluble vitamin and is found in a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables. You can also get it in vitamin supplements.
A group of researchers discovered that the consumption of vitamin C, both in supplements and in fruits and vegetables, can help you increase your glutathione levels.
2.1 Where to find vitamin C?
- Fruits such as strawberries, citrus fruits, papayas and kiwi.
- Vitamin C supplements. In fact, researchers have discovered that taking vitamin C supplements increases glutathione levels in white blood cells in healthy adults.
A study of a group of adults who took 500 to 1,000 mg of vitamin C daily for 13 weeks showed that they managed to increase glutathione in white blood cells by 18%. Likewise, another study showed that taking 500 mg of vitamin C supplements per day helps increase glutathione in red blood cells by 47%.
3.Incorporate foods naturally rich in glutathione into your diet
Our body naturally produces glutathione. However, it is necessary to incorporate foods that help increase their levels to our diet.
3.1 Foods rich in glutathione
4.Consume whey protein
The production of glutathione in our body depends on certain amino acids. One of them is called cysteine, which helps in the synthesis of glutathione.
The whey protein is a rich source of cysteine, so consumption helps increase production of glutathione. In fact, one study confirmed that whey protein consumption increases glutathione levels and, therefore, helps reduce oxidative stress.
5.Consume turmeric extract
Turmeric is a vibrant yellow herb used for the preparation of meals in India. In addition, it is used to attack and prevent some diseases as heart disease, depressive disorders and cholesterol.
Studies in animals have shown that turmeric and curcumin extract not only help you to counteract the diseases described above, but also has the ability to increase your glutathione levels. Therefore, we invite you to incorporate turmeric into your diet.
6.Get enough sleep
Research has shown that chronic lack of sleep can lower your glutathione levels, causing oxidative stress and even hormonal imbalances.
A study conducted to measure glutathione levels in 30 healthy people and 30 people with insomnia problems, found that glutathione peroxidase activity was significantly lower in people with insomnia. Therefore, make sure you have a good night’s sleep every night so you can help maintain or increase your levels of this antioxidant.
It is no secret to anyone that continuous exercise is beneficial for physical and mental health. Recent research also shows that exercise is also useful to maintain or increase antioxidant levels, especially glutathione. Therefore, we invite you to do cardiovascular exercises accompanied by an exercise circuit with weights to increase glutathione.
It is important that when you start your exercises, you have a balanced diet and adequate rest; because if you do not, you can generate a reverse effect and exhaust your glutathione levels.
8.Avoid drinking too much alcohol
It is well known that excessive alcohol consumption has adverse effects on health, such as liver cirrhosis, brain damage and pancreatitis. Similarly, although not as well known, lung damage is also an adverse effect of alcoholism.
One research found that the levels of glutathione in the lungs of people who regularly consume excessive amounts of alcohol, decreased by 80-90%. Also, the small airways of the lungs require optimal levels of glutathione to work properly. In fact, healthy lungs have up to 1,000 times more glutathione than other parts of the body.
Therefore, if you want to keep your lungs and airways healthy, limit the consumption of alcohol so that your glutathione levels remain optimal.