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How to Raise Glutathione Levels in Your Body

author image Maura Shenker
Maura Shenker is a certified holistic nutritionist and health counselor who started her writing career in 2010. She leads group workshops, counsels individual clients and blogs about diet and lifestyle choices. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rhode Island School of Design, a Master of Fine Arts from The Ohio State University and is a graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition.
How to Raise Glutathione Levels in Your Body
Egg yolks are a rich source of cysteine. Photo Credit: PaulCowan/iStock/Getty Images

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant created by your cells to fight destructive free radicals. Glutathione helps create lymphocytes, the cells of your immune system, which keep your body's defenses strong and producing antibodies. Although glutathione supplements are available, your body might not absorb them very well. To raise your glutathione levels, you want to increase your dietary consumption of glutathione and of the precursors to glutathione -- the amino acids glycine, glutamate and cysteine. Of these three, cysteine is the most important, and the one that is hardest to get from the standard American diet.

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Step 1

Eat foods rich in vitamin C.
Eat foods rich in vitamin C. Photo Credit: Ferumov/iStock/Getty Images

Eat foods high in vitamin C, which contain some glutathione, but will help your body manufacture more. Eat these foods raw, as cooking destroys glutathione. 100 g of raw grapefruit has 70 mg of glutathione, while cooked grapefruit has none. Cooked tomatoes also have no glutathione, but 100g of raw tomatoes have 166 mg. You can choose to take a vitamin C supplement -- which may increase blood glutathione levels by 50 percent in healthy individuals.

Step 2

Eat more cherries.
Eat more cherries. Photo Credit: klagyivik/iStock/Getty Images

Increase your melatonin intake. Melatonin raises glutathione levels in the tissues of your muscles, brain and liver. Eat tart cherries, which contain significant amounts of melatonin.

Step 3

Take milk thistle supplements.
Take milk thistle supplements. Photo Credit: SergeyChayko/iStock/Getty Images

Take an herbal supplement. Milk thistle, also known as silymarin, can help your liver regenerate cells and heal itself. The liver has the highest concentration of glutathione because it's the main organ of detoxification.

Step 4

Eat foods like walnuts and avocados.
Eat foods like walnuts and avocados. Photo Credit: RafalStachura/iStock/Getty Images

Eat foods high in cysteine, such as egg yolks, poultry, yogurt, red peppers, oatmeal and wheat germ. Other beneficial foods include asparagus, avocado and walnuts.

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