Having a hard time differentiating between anti oxidants, superfoods and all the other health terms floating around? I try to focus on the big ones in order of importance, add one to your diet every week and before you know it you will be a wealth of knowledge and health.
Now I know all you gym buffs out there have heard of glutathione (GSH) but did you know it just so happens to be one of the most important antioxidants on the list? It’s one of the rare ones that the body produces on it’s own. We create this molecule in the liver and seeing as it is required by every cell in our bodies if we are deficient in it we won’t be able to properly utilize other antioxidants (such as vitamin C and E).
So what does it do exactly? It’s known to be one of the master anti-oxidants as well as a detoxifier. It attacks free radicals (those are the bad guys) and is able to prevent cellular inflammation from happening. This is one awesome antioxidant enzyme! Inflammation has been linked to many diseases so getting that under control is key to good health and antiaging.
Since the liver, where GSH is produced, has to be detoxifying the body 24/7 – with no breaks, we want to make sure there is plenty of GSH around otherwise the liver can’t function properly. We want want to rid your bodies of the bad guys such as environmental toxins, drugs, heavy metals like mercury etc. GSH does this while also ridding the body of harmful bacteria, viruses and of course the aforementioned free radicals. Are you starting to see how important GSH is?
On a cellular level GSH gets the nutrients around to where they are needed as well as getting proteins into our cells. Having low GSH levels is an issue, if we don’t have enough then no matter how much nutrient dense food you are consuming you aren’t absorbing and utilizing them properly, essentially you are starving your cells of nutrients. Beyond all that there is also the added benefit of making your skin, nails and hair healthier. Insomnia can sometimes be helped by simply upping your GSH levels, that’s right GSH aids in better sleep and helps prevent serious disease which have been linked to lack of proper restful sleep.
Now I can hear all of you thinking you want to get out and get some of this awesome supplement… not so fast. Taking GSH in pill form is extremely difficult for the body to assimilate but taking the pre cursors to it will help your body naturally produce more. Foods high in sulphur such as garlic are a great way to increase it naturally. Raw eggs are high in cysteine which is also known to increase GSH. Now not everyone wants to eat raw eggs so this isn’t one I recommend.
One of my personal favourites is broccoli sprouts, I sprout pretty much everything I can get my hands on. The nutrient density from sprouted foods just can’t be beat. Broccoli sprouts contain high levels of sulforaphane, which is a powerful anti oxidant on its own but also raises GSH – double whammy!
Another personal favourite is curcumin, I love cooking with this. Curcumin is a nutrient derived from turmeric root and is amazing all on it’s own. From anti inflammatory properties, fighting alzheimers and all the way to cancer it’s benefits seem boundless.
Now let me talk about vitamin D3 for a minute. While it is known to greatly increase GSH it may not be something that you are getting naturally from the sun, especially living in a colder climate or for those who were sunscreen at all times. I’m not one for advocating supplements but this is one that I can get behind. I tend to tell people to try the liquid form as its more easily absorbed especially if there are any gut issues (which most of us have).
Here is another little tip for all you Scandinavian spa lovers or those who are a fan of the polar dip. Taking a dip in freezing cold water has also been shown to increase GSH levels. Good news guys, this means all those cold showers weren’t wasted!