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What is glutathione and why should we ensure its intake?

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We all know that antioxidants are super important when it comes to our health. But there is one particular antioxidant, glutathione, which is called the “mother of all antioxidants” by experts like Dr. Mark Hyman, which is 14 times NYT bestseller, a family doctorand an international leader in the field of Functional Medicine.

In one of his recent Instagram posts, Dr. Hyman calls glutathione “an essential soldier in our line of defense.” He goes on to share that in addition to our body making glutathione on its own, “we even have mechanisms that recycle and reuse it.”

“But what happens when our toxic load gets too high?” Elaborating, Dr Hyman wrote: “Our genetic detox software was designed to deal with naturally occurring toxins, not the 85,000 industrial toxins. chemical products present in our environment today. Bad diet, pollution, drugs, stresstrauma, infections, and electromagnetic radiation also contribute to our depletion of glutathione. As a result, toxins begin to accumulate and damage our cells.

He added that “we need a detox software update, but we are at the mercy of evolution, which takes longer than the time we have. Fortunately, there are ways to increase your levels naturally using foods like drugs, certain supplements and lifestyle changes.In his article, Dr. Hyman shared his top nine tips for increasing your glutathione intake:

Eat foods high in sulfur

Dr. Hyman suggested eating crucifers vegetables such as Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cauliflowerturnips, cabbage as well as dark leafy green vegetables such as kale, collard greens, watercress, bok choy as well as “allium vegetables” such as onions, garlic, shallots, leeks.

Mash or chop the vegetables

This will help activate glucosinolates; “the bioactive molecules that increase glutathione enzyme activity.” He added that you can also “stick to steaming or eating raw for maximum benefits.”

Eat foods high in selenium

Foods like Brazil nuts, wild fish, grass-fed beef that increase selenium needed to fuel glutathione peroxidase, the enzyme that scavenges free radicals from inside the cell.

Foods containing vitamin B

Dr. Hyman noted foods like grass-fed meats, pasture-raised eggs, chickenwild salmon and leafy greens as excellent sources of the B vitamin, essential for the production and recycling of glutathione.

Vitamins C and E

You can get your vitamin C and E intake from leafy greens, citrus fruits, kiwi and nuts, seeds and avocado respectively.

Cysteine

The limiting amino acid needed to make glutathione is found in pasture-raised chicken, turkey, eggsgrass-fed dairy and sunflower seeds.

Foods Containing Alpha Lipoic Acid

“Like glutathione, alpha-lipoic acid (ALA) is an antioxidant made by the body,” Dr. Hyman noted, adding its functions which include recycling vitamins C and E, helping with glucose metabolism, supporting the nervous system and overall liver function. ALA can be found in grass-fed meats, organ meats, broccoli, tomatoes, and Brussels sprouts.

Exercise to get more glutathione

Apart from dietary supplements, glutathione can also be acquired through exercise. “Start slow and work your way up to 30 minutes a day,” Dr. Hyman advised, adding that brisk walking, jogging, or cycling are great for cardio with 20 minutes of strength training three times a week. He also warned not to overdo it as it can have the ‘opposite effect’.

Good quality sleep

Finally, he insisted on good quality sleep, because “chronic lack of sleep depletes glutathione levels”.

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