The holiday season could easily be called “the most wonderful time of the year”, as the tune goes, but for many it’s a time for catching a cold, flu or some other form of dis-ease. Why should such a joyous time make us sick? Increased stress, backed up digestive tract & over worked liver. It’s the “perfect storm” for depleting antioxidants, weakening the immune system, and leaving our body vulnerable. Antioxidants are very important when it comes to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. The most important of them all: glutathione (GSH). Glutathione is a molecule composed of three amino acids (proteins) cysteine, glycine and glutamine and is produced naturally in your body all the time. It’s found in every cell and protects the mitochondria (energy producers in the body) from bacteria, viruses and toxins. Your body uses glutathione to protect your cells from free radical damage, to eliminate toxins, to support energy production and to help enhance immune system functions.
Glutathione is concentrated in the liver, which is the body’s primary Detox organ. The secret behind this powerful molecule is the sulfur chemical groups it contains. Sulfur is a stinky, sticky molecule, which acts like fly paper- it attracts all of the toxins in your body and they stick to it and then are excreted from the body. Under healthy conditions and environment, our bodies would be able to produce enough glutathione to meet our daily needs. However, when there is a toxic overload in the body, usually from poor diet, alcohol, caffeine, pollution, stress, medications, aging and other internal and external factors, it depletes the body’s GHS levels and toxins stack up because the liver can’t keep up, much like a traffic jam. When this occurs, it could lead to infections, sickness, muscle fatigue, cardiovascular and inflammatory issues, as well as liver dysfunction. Basically, glutathione is the most critical and integral part of the detoxification system. It is important to maintain adequate levels of this molecule because as you age, your cells begin to lose their ability to repair themselves and produce strong antioxidants.
Research shows that many illnesses have a common factor: low glutathione levels in the body. Luckily there are several things you can easily do to naturally increase this molecule in your body.
Naturally Increase GSH in the body:
- Eat colorful, antioxidant-packed produce: berries, bell peppers, mangoes
- Eat glutathione-boosting foods: garlic, onions, tumeric, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cabbage, kale, collard greens, cauliflower, etc), asparagus, avocados, walnuts
- Exercise regularly
- Stress reduction: meditate, Thai chi, yoga, time spent in nature
- Limit exposure to toxins: buy organic, filter your water
- Cut down on refined, processed food
What to look forward to when glutathione levels are increased?
- Improved energy
- Reduced inflammation
- Improved sleep
- Improved mental focus
- Support for the immune system & liver
- Disease protection
- Circulatory, digestive, respiratory support
- Cellular detoxification
You can still enjoy yourself this holiday season, just take care of your body and it will take care of you. Incorporating any of the above suggestions can help keep you feeling great into the New Year! Check out this month’s recipe as it is loaded with glutathione boosting ingredients.
If you’re sick & tired of being sick and tired, shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. We can set up a time to discuss your goals for your health and wellness, by phone, in person or Skype.