When it comes to antioxidants, none are more powerful and potent than glutathione. This particular antioxidant seemingly made headlines for its benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic. While we will not make any direct claims in this article, what we will do is showcase how important glutathione is and how you can naturally increase your glutathione levels to support the immune system and overall health.
What is Glutathione?
Glutathione is an antioxidant that can be naturally made and produced by the body but can decrease with age. The role of glutathione is to seek out and destroy free radicals in the body and to prevent oxidative stress from doing damage which can lead to sickness and disease.
What makes glutathione so important is that it plays a key function in helping to protect the immune system and seemingly provides the body with a layer of protection against foreign pathogens that can destroy or mutate healthy cells.
This crucial antioxidant is made up of three particular amino acids – glycine, glutamine, and cysteine.
How Can You Naturally Increase Glutathione Levels?
There are many ways that glutathione levels can be enhanced. Likewise, there are many things (such as consuming alcohol) that can decrease glutathione levels. What we put in our body and how we treat our body plays a critical role in how much glutathione our body is able to produce and maintain at a given time.
Below, you will find five key strategies for increasing your body’s natural production of glutathione. You may use one or multiple of the strategies listed to get the best results possible.
1. Eat Foods High in Glutathione
Yes, there are various food items you can purchase and eat that are naturally high in glutathione. Some of these foods include asparagus, avocado, and spinach. That being said, the body has a difficult time fully absorbing dietary glutathione found in the food you consume. Therefore, you’ll want to include other strategies found in this article along with this to get the best protection and boost immunity.
That doesn’t mean you should dismiss dietary glutathione, though. Try to include the glutathione-rich foods mentioned above in your daily/weekly meals to help further provide your body with added protection against oxidative stress and harmful pathogens.
2. Consume More Protein and Healthy Vegetables
Why protein? Well, for many reasons. Consuming various foods that are high in protein are also generally rich in selenium and sulfur, which can help increase glutathione levels.
While protein may be the main focus for many people who aren’t a fan of vegetables, natural sources of sulfur are also found in green leafy, cruciferous vegetables. Therefore, on top of consuming more beef, fish, and chicken, you should also be reaching for kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts.
When it comes to selenium, you can again reach for things, such as beef, fish, and chicken, but also nuts, cottage cheese, and brown rice.
If you’re into health and fitness, all of this should be nothing new to you as your diet should already be filled with high-quality lean protein sources as well as healthy vegetables (including your greens).
3. Get Better Quality Sleep
It should go without saying just how important sleep is to overall health. The fact of the matter is when you’re sleep-deprived and aren’t getting enough quality rest each night, not only is your body not recovering properly, but it’s also increasing cortisol levels (a stress hormone).
You should strive for a minimum of seven hours of sleep each night. Anything less, and you risk increasing oxidative stress and decreasing natural glutathione levels.
Make sleep a priority and have a set time you go to bed each night according to when you need to wake up the next morning. By creating a sleep schedule, your body will determine when it’s time for you to sleep as it’ll create its own internal clock.
At night, put all of your electronics away and make sure they are turned off or are on silent as not to disturb you while you’re asleep. Waking up in the middle of the night to a ding, ring, or buzz from a device is enough to hinder your overall sleep quality.
4. Exercise and Stay Active
Exercise and physical activity have been shown to elevate stress levels in the body, however, only for a short period of time. If the levels are chronically high, then there would be a reason to be concerned.
Research has shown that engaging in BOTH resistance training and cardio can help increase glutathione levels when compared to completing one or the other.
To get the most out of your training and results, it is recommended that you start your workout with your resistance training and then follow it up with your cardio at the end to finish things off.
5. Leverage Specific Supplements
Last on our list of strategies you can use to increase glutathione levels is to utilize specific over-the-counter (OTC) dietary supplements.
What supplements are the best? Well, there are a few, but as with most things, not every suggestion may work the best for you, personally. Therefore, it may be wise to try different supplements and see how your body reacts as well as how you feel and how your overall health is over time.
The supplements found listed below can all be found at your local supplement store and, in many cases, even your local grocer in the health and supplement section(s).
Disclaimer: You should always consult with your doctor before introducing any supplements into your plan to ensure what you are taking will not do you any harm or interact with any medications you may currently be using.
Some of the supplements that you should consider to help increase glutathione levels are:
Whey protein is one of the most commonly found supplements found in households across the US (other than multivitamins). Those who live an active lifestyle or exercise will generally take a form of whey protein following their workouts to help with the recovery process to support lean muscle mass.
That said, cysteine (an important amino acid that we mentioned earlier) is commonly found in whey protein. Cysteine can directly help increase glutathione levels.
It is recommended that you consume whey protein anytime you need more protein in your diet to meet your daily requirements as well as after your workouts, where you can achieve several benefits, all from one post-workout shake. If you want to further increase glutathione levels in your post-workout shake (and micronutrient content), consider adding some spinach or kale to your shake and mix it all up in a blender.
Curcumin, the active ingredient in turmeric, has many health benefits, and for that reason, it’s one of the hottest supplements on the market. This popular spice has been around for centuries and has been found to help increase glutathione levels and decrease free radicals in the body.
Some people prefer to use a powdered version, while others like the convenience and ease of pills. Either form you decide on will do the job.
When it comes to micronutrients, vitamin C should be high up on everyone’s list. In fact, almost everyone should be taking a supplemental vitamin C for health reasons. While vitamin C is generally thought of as a supplement that helps prevent and fight illnesses such as the common cold, it also can help increase glutathione levels.
One study found that utilizing a vitamin C supplement helped increase glutathione levels in red blood cells by as much as 47%, while another study determined that vitamin C supplementation helped increase glutathione levels in white blood cells by as much as 18%.
Milk thistle (more specifically, silymarin), while a somewhat common supplement found on supplement store shelves these days, is primarily known for its ability to help support the liver thanks to its naturally high antioxidant properties.
However, milk thistle has also been shown to help increase glutathione levels.
Researchers believe that by supplementing with milk thistle, you can better protect your cells from being damaged or destroyed by milk thistle’s ability to help maintain and increase glutathione levels.
When it comes to producing glutathione, NAC (N-acetyl l-cysteine) is an amazing supplement that you can get your hands on. Your body is constantly using up glutathione, and through supplementing with NAC, you can help replenish those levels.
When you exercise, you’re actually producing free radicals and oxidative stress. Therefore, glutathione is needed to help prevent harm from being down to the body. Supplementing with NAC can help you produce more glutathione to seek out and destroy free radicals.
If you want a high-quality NAC supplement that can help neutralize toxins, promote healthy liver function, boost glutathione levels, and prevent damage from free radicals, grab yourself a bottle of NutraBio NAC. This highly bioavailable supplement can easily fit into any supplement regimen and help keep your body protected from oxidative stress and other foreign pathogens that can cause illness.
Support your health by maximizing your glutathione levels with the help of NutraBio NAC!