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Foods That Support Glutathione Production

okra-plant-rich-in-glutathione

You strive to keep yourself healthy, to avoid disease, and to age well. However, what you may not know is that a molecule, known as the body’s master antioxidant, produced in the body may be one of the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and prevent disease. This molecule is glutathione (pronounced “gloota-thigh-own”), and it’s known for its anti-aging power as well as its benefit in fighting cancer, heart disease, dementia, and other chronic diseases.

Dr. Mark Hyman, Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, describes glutathione as the most important molecule you need to stay healthy and to prevent disease. He goes on to say that “problems occur when we are overwhelmed with too much oxidative stress or too many toxins. Then the glutathione becomes depleted, and we can no longer protect ourselves against free radicals, infections, or cancer, and we can’t get rid of toxins. This leads to further sickness, and soon we are in the downward spiral of chronic illness.”

bundle of asparagus

The Pros of Consuming Foods Rich In Nutrients That Support Glutathione Production

The good news is that you can do many things to increase levels of this natural and vitally important molecule in your body. You can exercise, get enough sleep, avoid drinking too much alcohol, and, of course, seek out a glutathione promoting diet.

The benefits in doing all of this to boost your glutathione levels include:

  • Reduced oxidative stress
  • Improved psoriasis
  • Reduced cell damage in alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Improved insulin resistance in older individuals
  • Increased mobility for people with peripheral artery disease
  • Reduced symptoms of Parkinson’s disease
  • May help fight against autoimmune disease
  • May reduce oxidative damage in children with autism
  • May reduce the impact of uncontrolled diabetes
  • May reduce respiratory disease symptoms.

Since our glutathione levels are known to decrease with age, as well as due to the oxidative stress and toxin overload, maintaining adequate levels of this antioxidant is incredibly important. The good news is that glutathione levels can be increased by following a healthy diet built along the lines suggested by Kaitlyn Berkheiser, RD, LDN from Healthline:

  1. Consume sulfur-rich foods such as cruciferous vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, kale, watercress, and mustard greens.
  2. Increase your vitamin C intake, which is found in a variety of foods, particularly fruits and vegetables.
  3. Add selenium-rich foods to your diet: While beef, chicken, fish, organ meats, and cottage cheese are recognized sources of selenium we discourage the use of these foods for many other reasons. If you’re following a plant-based diet, then include organic whole grains, brown rice, sunflower seeds, mushrooms, and especially Brazil nuts.
  4. Eat foods naturally rich in glutathione, which include asparagus—the highest plant-based source of glutathione, okra, rice, a variety of spices, rosemary, and avocados, to mention just a few. Cooking depletes the glutathione in these foods.
  5. Supplement with whey protein, but not if following a plant-based diet.
  6. Milk thistle.
  7. Turmeric extract.

Dr. B.J. Hardick, the author of Align Your Health, reminds us that the top ten glutathione-containing foods are actually plants. Keep in mind that, to get the most glutathione out of raw, uncooked foods, be sure your gut is healthy. This means you should address issues such as upset stomach and eliminate processed foods and added sugars. Lower your stress levels, get enough sleep, eat slowly, stay hydrated, take a prebiotic or probiotic, and check for food intolerances.

Also, be prepared to change up your diet to include plenty of fiber-rich plant-based foods. In addition to eating plant-based foods, you could also add some targeted supplementation in the form of the Hallelujah Diet®’s Selenium Glutathione Promoter, which is a combination of selenium and select antioxidants designed to boost your immune system defenses.

fresh broccoli with supplements

The Cons of Consuming Glutathione-Rich Foods

A diet rich in glutathione-boosting foods should not pose any risks to you. However, taking supplements may not be advisable for everyone. One source outlines the following known possible side effects from supplements which may include:

  • Abdominal cramps and bloating, both of which could be related to the topic of gut health mentioned above.
  • Trouble breathing due to bronchial constriction.
  • Allergic reactions, such as a rash.

Another source highlights the possible risks of taking glutathione, also in supplement form:

  • Lower zinc levels when glutathione is taken long-term.
  • Inhaled glutathione may also trigger asthma attacks in people who have asthma. Symptoms may include wheezing.
  • Experts are not sure if taking glutathione is safe during pregnancy and while breastfeeding, and it’s best avoided.
  • There might be side effects or interactions with any medications.

The Clincher

Although not specifically food-related, Dr. Hardick leaves us with this thought: “If you wish to boost your glutathione naturally, get off your butt. The first longitudinal study measuring the effect of exercise on glutathione levels found a positive connection—physical activity increased glutathione. A combination of cardio and weight training was most effective.”

Comments

  1. Annette Whitworth March 26, 2019

    This was some good information. Some of the food that is good to support the Glutathione production is real good to eat. Like the apples and the asparagus and nuts too. Thanks for the good information and direction .

  2. Edie Huenergardt April 2, 2019

    Do you eat okra raw?

  3. Connie April 6, 2019

    Toxins sure are a big factor in interfering with the health of the body. We want our bodies to be able to make glutathion. It is good to learn we can get glutathion from the following foods: Asparagus
    Avocado
    Spinach
    Okra
    Broccoli
    Cantaloupe
    Tomato
    Carrot
    Grapefruit
    Orange

  4. The best time of year for asparagus is in the spring. I like to buy it from the farmer’s market when it is in season. Good to know that asparagus is a good source of glutathione.

  5. Eleanor Cranford February 18, 2021

    What can I eat to prepare my body for my second virus shot?

    • Melody Hord February 26, 2021

      Hi Eleanor, I sent Olin Idol, VP of Health for Hallelujah Diet, your question. I was quite surprised when he sent the information I copied and pasted below. It appears there are many things that we can do to support our bodies after taking a vaccine.
      Starts here: Vaccine Detox.

      • Maintain a whole food plant base diet to support immune system
      • Liver Life to support liver in detox.
      • Insure optimal bowel function (2 to 3 good bowel movements daily) use Fiber Cleanse or Ground flax seed and magnesium supplementation if needed
      • Keep well hydrated with water and vegetable juices
      • Re-mineralize body if on SAD – Zinc very important – supplement discretely a couple weeks prior to vaccine if possible. Use broad high quality multi-mineral supplement
      • Boost sulfur intake – garlic or MSM supplement
      • Bio-Curcumin & Serrapeptase to reduce inflammation
      • High vitamin C intake – both powder/tablet sodium ascorbate and Liposomal Vitamin C
      • Optimize vitamin D levels (optimal blood levels 50 to 80 ng/mlBeneficial bacteria in the gut (if they’re present) manufacture potent immune boosters, such as transfer factor and lactoferrin, right in your intestinal tract. If you use a good probiotic supplement, you substantially boost your immune system by increasing internal production of powerful immune factors.

      Other options:
      A detox usually lasts a month but may last longer if your child suffered an adverse reaction. After the detox is completed, you can narrow in on your child’s specific health condition (if they have one) which is why establishing care with a Naturopath, Naturopathic Physician, Functional Medicine Doctor, or Chiropractor trained in this area is a great idea.
      __________________________
      First of all, if you are choosing to vaccinate – take an ice pack with you and ice the vaccine site immediately after injection to reduce inflammation at the site.
      Detoxification bath – Add 5 drops of Lavender essential oil to your child’s bath with a 2 cups of epsom salt. You can also do this as a foot bath.
      Probiotics – A probiotic is essential to restore gut flora and balance the immune system. Check with your health care practitioner for a good brand and dosage for your child.
      Omega 3 Oil – This is especially important to take if your child suffered an adverse reaction. Cod liver oil is thought to be the most superior of all fish oils. You can also use Udo’s Oil.
      Cilantro – Dr. Yoshiaki Omura discovered cilantro can accelerate the excretion of mercury and aluminum from the body. The theory is that cilantro has a molecular bond that binds to heavy metals and pulls them from the body. Cilantro therapy is certainly gentle and inexpensive.
      Vitamin C – Linus Pauling’s Nobel Prize winning work showed that Vitamin C helps counteract the damage of heavy metals, chemicals, and toxins contained in vaccines and strengthens the immune system. Vitamin C comes in easy to consume chewables for kids, but you can also use the powdered form and even liposomal vitamin C as an option.
      Silica – is an effective non-invasive therapy for reducing the burden of aluminum in the body, it has been show to help the body slow down the accumulation of aluminum.
      Water – When toxins are pulled from the body, they need to be flushed out. Full kidney function is dependent upon there being enough water in the body. Avoid soda, dairy, and junk juices and encourage your child to drink plenty of water.
      Raw Food, Juices, & Smoothies – Shoot for at least 2-3 raw juices or smoothies per day during a detox, in addition to their normal meals. Try to include foods like broccoli, collards and kale, daikon radish, garlic, onions, spices, and sunny-side up eggs from free-range chickens in their diet during this time.
      Make sure to check in with your healthcare advisor or practitioner during this time – and certainly before purchasing and dosing any supplements.
      Sincerely, Patrick Gentempo

      More sources:
      http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v11n09.shtml
      http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v12n07.shtml
      http://www.orthomolecular.org/resources/omns/v12n16.shtml

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