“Glutathione has been labelled as the mother of all antioxidants and the ultimate free radical quencher and detoxifier. We produce this molecule endogenously, primarily in the liver, using the precursor amino acids cysteine, glutamine and glycine, which come from the food that we eat. Research shows that as we increase in age our levels of glutathione gradually go down and deficiency of this antioxidant has been associated with Alzheimer’s and depression, as well as other chronic illnesses such as cancer. ” (Food for the Brain 2016)
Glutathione helps to regulate and regenerate immune cells, detoxification and oxidative stress. This latter benefit is why it is important to brain health as the brain is particularly susceptible to oxidation
Poor nutrition e.g. too much refined sugar, processed foods, refined vegetable oils, low levels of nutrients, can all negatively impact our glutathione levels.
“So what can we do to help optimise our glutathione levels? Aside from eating a healthy diet, there is a family of vegetables that have been indicated to be particularly helpful in encouraging optimal levels of glutathione. This is the cruciferous group of vegetables, which contain high levels of sulforaphane, a phytochemical that encourages the production of glutathione. For example, in a study at John Hopkins University, forty boys and young men, ages 13 to 27, with moderate to severe autism, were treated for 18 weeks with a daily dose of either a placebo or sulforaphane, a plant chemical derived from broccoli sprouts. The study found that many of those taking sulforaphane substantially improved in several aspects of their behavior during treatment. Apart from broccoli, other cruciferous vegetables include cabbage, artichoke, kale, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, kohlrabi, pak choy, turnips, watercress and rocket.Other studies have shown how sulforaphane can have antidepressant effects due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and neuroprotective activity. ” Food for the Brain 2016