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Glutathione-Rich Foods: Boost Your Levels With These Nutrient-Dense Options

Mar 23, 2023
Glutathione-Rich Foods: Boost Your Levels With These Nutrient-Dense Options

Glutathione is an antioxidant that neutralizes free radicals in your body, protecting your liver and other organs from damage. Glutathione is a tripeptide composed of L-glutamine, glycine, and L-cysteine. Since glutathione is so essential to overall health and stress and aging are known to cause glutathione deficiencies, there are many benefits to taking glutathione injections or supplements or consuming glutathione and its precursors in your diet.

What Causes Low Glutathione Levels?

Stresses on your body contribute to low glutathione levels, such as:1,2

  • Poor nutrition
  • Smoking
  • Excessive alcohol consumption
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Environmental toxins
  • Pollution
  • Aging
  • Increased exposure to heavy metals
  • Infections
  • Chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer
  • Excessively strenuous physical activity

Aging and stress deplete glutathione, which leaves your liver vulnerable to damage from Tylenol and other toxins.

What Are The Symptoms Of Low Glutathione?

Glutathione levels decline in body cells during the aging process, even if you are overall healthy.3

Symptoms associated with low glutathione levels include:

  • Weight gain
  • Male infertility
  • Fatigue
  • Frequent infections
  • Skin damage
  • Joint and muscle aches
Glutathione-Rich Foods: Boost Your Levels With These Nutrient-Dense Options

How Can I Increase My Glutathione Naturally?

Glutathione is produced naturally in our body in three ways:4

  • De novo synthesis: making glutathione from its precursor amino acids
  • Regeneration from reduced glutathione (GSH) by glutathione reductase: cycling back and forth between accepting and donating electrons
  • Recycling of cysteine from conjugated glutathione

Getting glutathione intact from the mouth through the gastrointestinal tract, across the intestine, into the bloodstream, and into cells is challenging. Glutathione is broken down into its component amino acids in the gastrointestinal tract. There is a balance between the amount of glutathione produced in the liver and excreted into the bloodstream and glutathione absorbed through the gut. Body cells have a hard time absorbing glutathione intact. Ensuring your diet is high in L-cysteine, L-glutamine, and glycine provides the building blocks it needs to produce glutathione.5 The glutathione precursors are found in many foods and drinks, such as the following. 5,6

two people eating healthy foods


Your body makes cysteine from methionine, an essential amino acid. Neither cysteine nor methionine is stored in the body, so consuming them in your diet or taking supplements is essential. 6

Foods high in cysteine or methionine include:

  • Poultry
  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Tuna
  • Legumes
  • Lentils
  • Oatmeal and whole grains
  • Dairy: yogurt, cheese, eggs
  • Nuts and seeds
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Mustard greens
  • Watercress
  • Garlic
  • Shallots
  • Onions
health sign and fruits and vegetables


Your body can make glycine, and it is found in:

  • Gelatin
  • Bone broth
  • Red meats
  • Legumes
  • Seeds
  • Turkey
  • Chicken
  • Pork
  • Peanuts
  • Cheeses
  • Grains
  • Dairy products
healthy foods


Glutamate can be made in your body and consumed in your diet. Glutamate is found in:

  • Cheese
  • Sauces
  • Flavorings
  • Nuts
  • Processed meats
  • Asparagus
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Peas
  • Spinach
  • Tomatoes,
  • Seafood
  • Green tea
  • Fermented soy products

In addition to building a healthy diet around these nutritious foods, choose foods and drinks rich in vitamin C and selenium. Like glutathione, vitamin C is an antioxidant. Supplementing with it can help spare glutathione.

Selenium is a glutathione cofactor and an essential mineral. It can help optimize glutathione function.

Besides good nutrition, getting plenty of restful sleep and exercising regularly can increase glutathione levels.

If you’re wondering how to get enough glutathione for good health, reach out to the treatment specialists at Invigor Medical.

Looking to purchase and get a Glutathione prescription? Shop Invigor Medical today!

While we strive to always provide accurate, current, and safe advice in all of our articles and guides, it’s important to stress that they are no substitute for medical advice from a doctor or healthcare provider. You should always consult a practicing professional who can diagnose your specific case. The content we’ve included in this guide is merely meant to be informational and does not constitute medical advice.

Glutathione-Rich Foods: Boost Your Levels With These Nutrient-Dense Options

Leann Poston, M.D.

Dr. Leann Poston is a licensed physician in the state of Ohio who holds an M.B.A. and an M. Ed. She is a full-time medical communications writer and educator who writes and researches for Invigor Medical. Dr. Poston lives in the Midwest with her family. She enjoys traveling and hiking. She is an avid technology aficionado and loves trying new things.


  • Kanagasabai T, Ardern CI. Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Antioxidants Contribute to Selected Sleep Quality and Cardiometabolic Health Relationships: A Cross-Sectional Study. Mediators Inflamm. 2015;2015:824589. doi:10.1155/2015/824589
  • Flora SJ, Mittal M, Mehta A. Heavy metal induced oxidative stress & its possible reversal by chelation therapy. Indian J Med Res. Oct 2008;128(4):501-23.
  • Lang CA, Naryshkin S, Schneider DL, Mills BJ, Lindeman RD. Low blood glutathione levels in healthy aging adults. J Lab Clin Med. 1992 Nov;120(5):720-5. PMID: 1431500.
  • Pizzorno J. Glutathione! Integr Med (Encinitas). Feb 2014;13(1):8-12.
  • Gould RL, Pazdro R. Impact of Supplementary Amino Acids, Micronutrients, and Overall Diet on Glutathione Homeostasis. Nutrients. May 11 2019;11(5)doi:10.3390/nu1105105
  • Minich DM, Brown BI. A Review of Dietary (Phyto)Nutrients for Glutathione Support. Nutrients. 2019;11(9):2073. doi:10.3390/nu11092073


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