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You’re Probably Not Getting Enough Of This “Master Antioxidant”

There are some foods that naturally contain glutathione–fruits and vegetables have moderate amounts, while freshly prepared meats are high in the antioxidant.

In addition to eating a diet rich in produce and consciously raised animal proteins, Hyman also recommends including sulfur-rich foods like garlic, onions, and cruciferous vegetables (think broccoli, kale, cabbage, cauliflower, and collard greens) in your daily diet. Since sulfur helps your body make glutathione, eating these foods regularly can contribute to keeping your levels in a good place.

And since glutathione consists of three amino acids, it’s also important to eat adequate protein, which ensures that your body has an ample pool of amino acids to produce glutathione from.

That said, thanks to stressors, like poor diet and/or regular exposure to toxins through food, household products, or our environment, our daily demand for glutathione may be higher than what we can support through food, according to Hyman. Basically, the more stressed you are, the more glutathione your body uses up. Because of this, you may want to consider taking a glutathione supplement (more on that later) to ensure your body gets as much as it needs, he suggests.*

Other important factors that come into play are exercise and sleep since not getting enough of either is linked with lower glutathione levels, Hyman notes. So, if exercise isn’t already a daily habit, build up to 30 minutes of sweat-inducing aerobic activity every day and 20 minutes of strength training three times per week. As for sleep, seven to nine quality hours per night is a good, science-backed goal.

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