Vampires, colds and free radicals don’t stand a chance against this tongue-twisting antioxidant.
When it comes to health heroes, glutathione (gloo-ta-thigh-own) definitely gets a cape, mask and one of those giant embroidered initials. “It’s one of the most important antioxidants in our bodies,” explains US detoxification expert Dr Chris Shade.
“It’s our main line of defence for keeping free radicals under control, helps with detoxification of heavy metals and pesticides, and also has a very strong effect on how our immune system works.” The great news is these simple tweaks can support your stock, naturally.
Makeover your plate
All hail protein and plants. “Glutathione is made of amino acids, so you need enough protein to support that, while plant-based chemicals – known as phytochemicals – stimulate your system to produce it,” reveals Shade.
Look to cruciferous veg like broccoli and cabbage for the latter, plus plenty of three classic flavour-enhancers: garlic, onion and wasabi. “Chronic inflammation can also be an issue, so keep an eye on allergies or sensitivities,” he adds.
Manage your stress levels
Time to cash in that spa voucher! “When you’re under stress, your body shifts into prioritising survival mechanisms,” clarifies Shade. “It doesn’t see cleaning up the body as completely essential, so it turns down glutathione production.”
In an ideal world, stress should be short-lived (think the automatic fight-or-flight reaction) but many of us are constantly in the red zone. The best reason to book that massage – stat.
Create a smarter workout
Interestingly, the light stresses produced by working out actually trigger genes that turn up glutathione production, says Shade. In particular, the cardio kind – walking, boxing et al.
“That said, we need a balance of different exercise types for our overall health,” he adds. The main takeaway? Try not to overtrain. A little R&R is equally important!