Food

Most Valuable Antioxidant: Glutathione

In the century we live in, human lifespan has increased. Therefore, many methods have become a matter of curiosity to extend this period even more and to prevent diseases. On the other hand, it is almost impossible to eat clean with the chemicals we are constantly exposed to. For this reason, many problems such as hormonal disorders and cancer at an early age can occur.

Glutathione, one of the biggest supporters of a healthy and quality life that we will talk about in this article, comes into play at this point.

What does glutathione do, one of the most valuable substances we have?

Glutathione is a small molecule naturally found in the body, consisting of the amino acids cysteine, glycine, and glutamine. It has a great importance in the prevention of many chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases and dementia.

If we go into detail, it is necessary to talk about free radicals and oxidative stress in the formation of such diseases.

First of all, what is oxidative stress?

Oxygen is one of the most important phenomena for human life. Some reactive oxygen molecules formed as a result of the mechanism of our body are harmful. free radicals is called.

Oxidative stress is the emergence of oxidizing, that is, "corrosive" substances that cause damage to our cells. For example, think of your body as a factory. Imagine that there is some garbage produced as a result of production, and these garbage are naughty free radicals. It is called naughty because free radicals constantly attack cells and disrupt the cell wall, aging and mutating cells.

Antioxidants are the most important factor that protects these cells and prevents the harmful effects of free radicals. Antioxidants and free radicals can exist in our body in balance and harmony. Glutathione is one of the body's most important and most powerful antioxidants. It reduces oxidative stress by fighting free radicals in the body. Remember, most antioxidants are found in the foods you eat, while glutathione is produced by your body. There are several reasons for low glutathione levels in your body, including poor diet, stress, and infection. It should be noted that this level decreases with age.

For all these reasons, keeping the glutathione and antioxidant levels in balance is really important for our health. So, how can we increase this level naturally?

Sulfur-rich foods

Sulfur is an essential mineral found naturally in many plant and protein foods. Vegetables such as broccoli, brussels sprouts, cauliflower and cabbage are known to be high sources of sulfur. However, studies have shown that foods such as garlic, shallots and onions increase glutathione levels due to their sulfur-containing compounds.

Selenium element

Selenium is an important element in the body's production and recycling of glutathione. Brazil nuts, spinach, halibut, sardines, eggs, cottage cheese and brown rice are among the foods rich in selenium.

Vitamin C supplement

Vitamin C, which is water-soluble, is found in a variety of foods, especially fruits and vegetables. It also works as an antioxidant to protect your cells from oxidative damage, allowing the body to supply other antioxidants, including glutathione. such as kiwi, strawberry, red and green pepper Consuming citrus varieties, which are very rich in vitamin C, can help.

Vitamin E supplement

Vitamin E is also an important antioxidant for glutathione. Vitamin E, along with vitamin C, helps recycle glutathione. To consume foods rich in vitamin E, you can choose sweet potatoes, almonds, spinach, avocado, sunflower, pumpkin and olive oil.

turmeric extract

The favorite spice of Indian cuisine, turmeric, is used in many medicinal fields. According to studies, the main component of turmeric, curcumin, helps to regenerate glutathione and activate glutathione-producing enzymes. 

regular exercise

We see the positive effects of exercising both physically and mentally. Recent research shows that exercise helps maintain and increase antioxidant levels, especially glutathione. Especially the combination of weights and cardio can increase your glutathione levels even more. It is equally important to support this exercise system with a balanced diet.

enough sleep

Healthy sleep is very important!

Sleeping too much or too little may not be an indicator of healthy sleep. On the contrary, poor quality sleep can cause oxidative stress and hormone imbalances. Many studies show that chronic sleep deprivation can reduce glutathione levels.

In short, glutathione is a molecule of primary importance for our body. It's also a powerful antioxidant naturally produced by the body and found in a variety of food sources. Unfortunately, the body cannot maintain its glutathione level due to factors such as aging, malnutrition and a sedentary lifestyle. Increasing physical activity, getting enough sleep and adopting a balanced diet help maintain glutathione levels.

More for the curious:

prof. Dr. Serdar Akgun

FITEKRAN / Dr. Can Farmer

About the author:

Alara Dolunay – Be People Editor

Alara Dolunay, who completed her undergraduate education at the Department of Media and Communication Systems at Bilgi University, completed her internships as an assistant to the project manager of ICM Turkey Digital Marketing Agency and Doğan Paksoy Gallery Young Art Magazine Writer. In 2020, she joined the Sotheby's Art Institute, Art History program. He has been working as Creative Editor at Be People since January 2021.

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