We may not deliberately poison ourselves, but we are exposed to poisonous toxins in our air, water, food and drinks, and clothing. Our body works hard to keep toxins from entering into our tissues and cells. The #1 most important antioxidant for free radical protection is also mega important for detoxification: glutathione. We make glutathione in the body (it’s called glutathione conjugation), and we can also find it in our food.
Glutathione prevents accelerated aging and many diseases associated with toxins and the degeneration of the body: cancer, liver disease, dementia, mood disorders, cataracts, etc. Many lifestyle factors and diseases use large amounts of glutathione, thus causing a deficiency, which leads to liver dysfunction and disease. Heavy alcohol consumption, cigarette smoking, exposure to organophosphates (food pesticides) and other environmental chemicals all use existing body levels of glutathione. We need to actively replenish our glutathione levels.
Asparagus is the highest tested food of glutathione. The second highest is avocado, and the third is purslane (Continue reading about wonder-food purslane in the previous post). An important note about avocado: not only does it contain glutathione, but it also contains GOOD fats. An avocado-enriched diet will lower bad LDL cholesterol more than a diet high in complex carbohydrates, according to clinical trials.
In addition to the three powerfoods listed above, a diet rich in fresh fruits and vegetables, cooked fish, and grass-fed meat will also contribute to your glutathione reserve. Glutathione is easily absorbed from digested food, so work these into your menu plan as often as you can.
Other ways of increasing glutathione are by eating foods and herbs that enable the synthesis or conjugation of glutathione to occur. Silymarin, a constituent from milk thistle (Silybum marianum), increases the rate of glutathione conjugation. It also prevents damage to the liver through protection from free radicals and increasing the rate of liver tissue regeneration. 70-200mg three times a day is a reasonable dose.
Foods in the Brassica family (cabbage, broccoli, brussels sprouts) and limonene-containing foods (dill weed oil, caraway oil, and citrus peel) all help with glutathione conjugation, as well.
Be kind to your liver. It is the source of longevity and vision (both literal eyesight and metaphorical insight, dreams, and creative life plans). Your liver is under considerable stress everyday. If you give it a hand, you will reap the benefits of a long and healthy life.