Eat your fruits, veggies and take your antioxidant supplements. Do this and you’ll stay healthy, right?
Maybe. But just eating a salad or an orange or popping a vitamin C pill … there’s far more to the physiology behind the strength of your immune system. In fact, it’s only half the equation. Your ability to fight disease also depends on certain molecules in your body that act like vultures, scavenging what are known as free radicals.
These molecules are what’s known as endogenous (internal) antioxidants. In just a bit, you’ll learn a couple of the most important internal antioxidants and which nutrients activate their free-radical-scavenging potential.
Let’s Get Radical!
But first, let’s give free radicals a break. They get a bum rap. That’s because when they overwhelm internal antioxidants, they cause cellular damage. This damage manifests in many ways including poor skin health and autoimmune disease.
Without free radicals, however, your internal antioxidants would have nothing to do. They’d be like bodybuilders showing up to a gym with all the weights missing; your internal antioxidants need to be constantly working out. Besides, every function in life produces free radicals, including a session of heavy weight lifting. Just like yeast and bacteria, your body needs a Goldilocks zone of free radicals for optimal health.
Free radical production is the byproduct of normal cellular processes. But free radicals don’t always play the villain in a James Bond film. In fact, in what’s called an “oxidative burst,” the immune system mobilizes free radicals to kill harmful viruses and bacteria.
But your body is constantly bombarded by free radicals. So you do need your internal antioxidants to be like strong superheroes.
Work On Your “Glutes”
One of the most important internal antioxidants is glutathione. Besides water, it’s the most abundant molecule in the human body! Some people call it “the master antioxidant” while others refer to it as “the mother of all antioxidants.” Glutathione plays a vital role in the health of your immune system because of its role in detoxification.
From heavy metals to other synthetic chemicals as well as excess hormones, glutathione gets rid of this gunk. While you might be aware of the liver’s importance in detoxification, did you know that glutathione is made in the liver? (It’s one of the only antioxidants abundant in the liver.
One reason disease occurs is because of low levels of glutathione. And with the aging process comes the reduction in glutathione. All the more reason to consume superfoods in your diet. That’s because certain superfoods can stimulate your body’s glutathione to bind to toxins and drive them out via elimination.
Sulphur-rich foods such as broccoli, kale, cabbage, parsley spinach, spirulina, chlorella, and sprouts stimulate glutathione enzymes to sweep up the garbage.
Our Organic Superfood Powder is the easiest way to get your daily dose of sulphur-rich foods. All the foods mentioned in the previous paragraph are in Superfood Powder, plus others that are high in sulphur.
Don’t Be a Cheeky SOD, Eat Your Barley Grass!
In the U.K., being called a cheeky sod means that you’re not very intelligent and uncouth. But when it comes to internal antioxidants, SOD is a good thing. SOD stands for superoxide dismutase, which is an enzyme that serves as the first line of defense for your immune system. SOD can only spring into action when bound to minerals.
Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet (SAD) is indeed sad because it’s woefully deficient in minerals. Add to the fact that much of the soil that grows the crops we eat has lost its mineral diversity because of pesticides. Minerals and trace minerals act like spark plugs for your cells, providing you with energy. (Try our Dead Sea Minerals drops if you can use more minerals in your diet.)
Like glutathione, levels of SOD sadly decline with age, which is also associated with disease. A few superfoods that are natural sources of SOD include broccoli, cabbage, and barley grass, which is also one of the 55 ingredients in Superfood Powder.
Vitamin C & Internal Antioxidants
Let’s come full circle and discuss the nutrient most often associated with antioxidant: vitamin C. Vitamin C and other vitamins in superfoods obviously also play an important role in the immune system. It turns out that vitamin C not only neutralizes free radicals, it may help glutathione levels in the body. The more vitamin C you consume (low-sugar sources from superfoods), the less your body has to use up its source of glutathione.
Adaptogenic Herbs & Glutathione
BōKU Superfood powder and ‘Shrooms powder both contain several medicinal mushrooms, many of which are considered adaptogenic. Adaptogens help your body adapt to stress and may help strengthen the immune system, in part by supporting the production of glutathione in the body.
And if you want the ultimate support for your immune system, check out our Ultimate Immunity Kit, which includes ‘Shrooms and another product with the impressive 20 medicinal mushrooms, Organic Coco Love, the best-tasting and healthiest vegan hot cocoa on the planet.