Sulfur. Smells like rotten eggs. Fire and Brimstone. Hell. Poisonous Gas… In case you haven’t guessed, I’m brainstorming all the things that sulfur reminds me of.
Anyone who ever lived with well water (and had a high concentration of sulfur in their groundwater) will tell you that you never quite get used to the smell, but it does stop smelling terrible after a while… and you sort of start to enjoy the taste. I don’t know, I grew up in the country. Chlorinated city water never agrees with me.
That’s what sulfur reminds me of.
I never think of it as an essential building block to pretty much everything in my body.
What My Point?
But that’s what sulfur actually is. It’s not just smelly and gross and to be avoided. It’s crucial for keratin (the stuff that makes up your hair and nails), it’s essential for building amino acids that produce proteins. It’s also a critical part of generating glutathione, which is absolutely amazing antoixidant that your body makes to protect you from cell damage (in the form of wrinkles, cancer, and dementia/Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s).
Where Do You Get It?
Are you an omnivore? Do you love bacon, steak, chicken and every kind of fish? That’s all you have to do. Just keep livin’ your life.
Things get trickier if your vegan or vegetarian. Plant sources of sulfur are fewer and farther between and can result in some pretty serious deficiency markers (more below).
For vegetarians: eat eggs. These nifty little superfoods are going to be your best bet in getting your sulfur.
For vegans: Turn your eyes to cruciferous veggies. Add kale, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, and cabbage to your diet. Garlic and onions are a good place to find them too, and can be easier to fit into your meals. You can also try asparagus and wheat germ.
Why Should You Care?
Yeah, yeah, yeah. Sulfur. You need it. But WHY? What’s the big deal? You can get amino acids from other foods sources and you eat a ton of blueberries.
Well, like I said earlier, keratin.
When you’re short of keratin, you hair breaks, leaving you with unsightly split ends, it’s also duller as the fancy coating that keeps it shiny isn’t strong enough without sulfur.
It means your nails break, split, flake, and tear. Which isn’t nice to look at, but also often hurts when it tears into the nail bed (I feel queasy just writing that. I just hate even thinking about it). Thin nails are a sign of this deficiency along with others, so it’s important to get this checked out.
Yeah, this should be big on your list of reasons to get more sulfur. Sulfur is like the buddy of the periodic table – it wants to hang out with everyone. Think about that extrovert at work who spends 9/10ths of their day visiting other people and the rest of it doing all of their work in a matter of seconds (how well they do that is a direct correlation to the type of worker they are – also HOW DO YOU DO THAT?!). That’s what sulfur is. It doesn’t want to spend it’s time alone – it wants to chill with everyone else and works really hard when it gets to do that socializing.
What I mean, is that is what sulfur does. It binds with every harmful metal or mineral in your body and drags them to your kidneys, where you kidneys bounce them out to your bladder. Looking to detox from aluminum or fluoride? Use sulfur.
One of the solutions to osteoporosis is organic sulfur.
So when sulfur isn’t making your hair and nails fabulous and when it isn’t busy helping your kidneys and liver detox your body, it’s busy making an amino acid known as cysteine. Cysteine is essential for making glutathione which helps you fight cancer, dementia, wrinkles and a bunch of other things (like making new cells!)
A lack of sulfur can explain your joint pain. The same antioxidants that keep you looking young (and pretty!), also fight inflammation that causes arthritis and osteoporosis.
Sulfur is also key part of your blood cells. In a huge kind of way. Actually, it’s the part that helps carry oxygen from your lungs to the rest of your body’s cells. So if you’re vegan/vegetarian and you find yourself out of breath after (what should be) an easy work-out, ask your doc to check you out for sulfur deficiency.
What else does sulfur help?
- Diabetes (helps produce insulin),
- Cardiovascular health
- Gastrointestinal Disorders: GERD, IBS, leaky gut, and constipation
- Migraines and headaches
- ADD, ADHD, Mood Swings
Source: The Hearty Soul