(WellnessNova.com) - There are six chemical elements that make up 99 percent of your body mass: oxygen, carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, calcium and phosphorus. And the next five that kick in the last 1 percent include: potassium, sulfur, sodium, chlorine and magnesium.
Among those, sulfur seems to be a forgotten mineral in terms of how we utilize it for our health. But it shouldn’t be. In fact, it’s the third most abundant mineral in the body, but scientists are now saying there’s potential people aren’t getting enough of it in their diet.
MIT science researcher Stephanie Seneff noted that:
“Sulfur is known as a healing mineral, and a sulfur deficiency often leads to pain and inflammation associated with various muscle and skeletal disorders.
Sulfur plays a role in many biological processes, one of which is metabolism. It is present in insulin, the essential hormone that promotes the utilization of sugar derived from carbohydrates for fuel in muscle and fat cells.”
Dietary sulfur is essential, however, since the body cannot produce it on its own. But there are plenty of common foods you can get it from, including high-protein foods like organic, pastured eggs, grass-fed meats, nuts and wild-caught Alaskan salmon. You can also consume leafy greens like kale, spinach and broccoli, along with onions and garlic to get your daily dose of sulfur as well.
Sulfur, simply put, does the body good. Let’s dive into four reasons you should make sure you’re getting enough in your diet:
1. Sulfur functions as a powerful antioxidant.
The body needs to detoxify in order to remain healthy. Sulfur plays an important role in this process by producing the antioxidant glutathione, which is the body’s natural detoxifier. Without sulfur, this antioxidant wouldn’t be effective.
One study outlined the importance by looking at how sulfur and some of its compounds may protect against exposure to UV light, X-rays, and radiation, and can be used for detoxification.
Without sulfur, the body can’t naturally detoxify substances like environmental toxins, heavy metals and pharmaceuticals, which can lead to long-term health problems, which digestive care expert Brenda Watson discusses in her book “The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps.” She explains that there is a link between improper detoxification and illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, autism, arthritis, and multiple chemical sensitivity.
2. Sulfur can heal the body.
Glucosinolates are among the beneficial compounds containing sulfur that express themselves by healing the body. Found mostly in cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and broccoli, and leafy greens like kale, collard greens and arugula, these sulfur-containing compounds give these foods a pungent odor, caused by the glucosinolates being released.
This beneficial phenomenon is twofold, according to The George Mateljan Foundation:
“The cutting process may actually increase certain health benefits since some of the newly formed (and transformed) sulfur-containing molecules have been shown to have cancer-preventive properties.
This includes the sulfur-containing glucosinolates, which are formed when an enzyme called myrosinase is activated.”
3. A sulfur deficiency may cause obesity.
Obesity is a common word in today’s society, with more than one-third considered to be obese in America. One of the biggest concerns is the Western diet. But how is this linked to sulfur?
“A diet high in grains like bread and cereal is likely to be deficient in sulfur,” Seneff explains. “Increasingly, whole foods such as corn and soybeans, are disassembled into component parts with chemical names, and then reassembled into heavily processed foods. Sulfur is lost along the way, and so is the awareness that this loss matters.”
Sulfur plays an important role in many biological processes, one of them being metabolism. Present in insulin, the essential hormone that promotes sugar to be used for fuel in muscle and fat cells, Seneff suggests that obesity is:
“a condition driven by a need for abundant fat cells to convert glucose to fat because the muscle cells are unable to efficiently utilize glucose as fuel.
With sulfur deficiency comes the answer as to why muscle cells would be defective in glucose management: they can’t come up with enough cholesterol sulfate to seed the lipid raft needed to import the glucose.”
4. Sulfur helps keep your complexion clear.
Sulfur is referred to as nature’s “beauty mineral” for its ability to keep the complexion clear, youthful and radiant, while also allowing hair to shine and remain smooth. This is because collagen production in the body relies on sulfur to produce healthy skin and heal scars.
For instance, sulfur resolves acne by removing toxins from the skin. The healthy new skin cells it produces allow the resulting scars to resolve. Sulfur baths are designed to treat a variety of skin disorders, including acne, rosacea, psoriasis, eczema, dandruff, folliculitis, warts and more.
The Cellular Matrix Study (referred to here as “The Sulfur Study”), discusses the importance of sulfur for cell regeneration, saying “Sulfur enables the transport of oxygen across cell membranes, and oxygen is necessary for healthy cellular regeneration in mammals.” Because of this, the skin is more beautiful if cells are capable of regeneration they say. “The skin is the backup for the liver, and someone in liver distress shows it in the cells of their face and skin. When the internal filters are working well, the extracellular fluids are not polluted and the immune system is allowed to protect the body from infections.”
Now that you know about the importance of sulfur, make sure you’re getting enough of it in your diet.