Want Glowing Skin and Lustrous Hair? THIS Mineral Is ImportantLuke Coutinho
Did you know sulfur is the third most abundant mineral element in the human body after calcium and phosphorus? From glowing skin, lustrous hair, and healthy fingernails to DNA repair – sulfur plays a crucial role in your body. And while you may read about it in scientific journals and your textbooks in school, the truth is, not many people give it too much significance because your body does not need too much of it.
Sulfur is found in only two out of 20 amino acids in your body – methionine, and cysteine. As we all know, amino acids are the building block of protein. Your body cannot synthesize methionine. So it needs to be supplied by your diet. Similarly, while your body can synthesize cysteine, it needs a steady sulfur supply to make it happen. So what does this mean? If you are eating good and clean quality protein with every meal and your diet is balanced, you are chewing, assimilating, and absorbing all your nutrients the right way, you should have sufficient sulfur.
What is the use of sulfur in the human body?
Apart from building and repairing DNA, your body needs sulfur to boost metabolism and maintain the health of your skin, tendons, and ligaments. Let us look at each of these functions in detail.
For the synthesis of B vitamins
Your body needs sulfur to synthesize Vitamin B1. Vitamin B1 helps you metabolize carbohydrates and digest fat from your food. Like we always say, digestion is not just food going into your stomach and your stomach acids breaking it down. Vitamins and micronutrients help this breakdown process. So many people today are speaking about building good metabolism to lose weight. You must remember that it starts with your meals, not just your exercise. If you have the right amount of B vitamins, your body metabolizes carbohydrates, protein, and fats way more efficiently.
You can stuff yourself with protein and healthy fats. But if you don’t have the correct enzymes or vitamins to break them down, they are practically useless.
Similarly, sulfur also works with the B vitamins to help your liver secrete bile. Why do we need bile? It emulsifies fats. Those who have gallbladder issues or have undergone surgery for gallbladder removal face issues digesting fat. It can slow down. Sulfur can be particularly beneficial for them.
For glowing and radiant skin
You can chase all the creams in the world, but you must understand that their effects are temporary. Skincare is an inside-out approach and doesn’t always come in a bottle. Glowing skin, good quality hair, and nails reflect what you add to your system. Quick fixes may be convenient. But sooner or later, you will run out of these.
If you want that glowing skin, you need sulfur. Take a look at cosmetic creams that promise you radiance. You will find sulfur as one of the main ingredients.
So ensure you eat balanced meals and check your sleep quality, movement, and emotional health.
For lustrous and strong hair
If you have ever faced dandruff, scalp psoriasis, thinning, or premature graying, your doctors or dermatologists will prescribe shampoos and hair creams containing sulfur. It is powerful when it comes to maintaining the health of your scalp and nourishing your hair follicles. It works externally but is even more powerful when you get your source of sulfur through your diet.
For brittle nails
It is excellent for your nails. Especially for patients going through chemotherapy, arthritis, and radiation, whose nails tend to get brittle, fall off or turn black. It happens due to sulfur depletion during the treatment or even post-surgery. You can strengthen your nails and get the color back when you eat meals that manage the side effects of your treatment. You need to put sulfur back into your body through your foods. It is required only in small quantities. So you don’t necessarily have to rely on supplements (unless you have a medical condition that demands it). You can look at your food sources.
For joint pain
Sulfur is powerful when it comes to relieving joint pain. It is fantastic for arthritis, provided you do not have an allergy to sulfur. Supplements, for instance, MSM (Methylsulfonylmethane), a powder used to reduce inflammation and pain management in arthritic and bone cancer patients, has high amounts of sulfur. Even athletes use MSM when they train very hard for quicker recovery. So, sulfur is highly anti-inflammatory and can help boost your bones, tendons, and ligaments.
What if you are allergic to sulfur?
Remember, many people can be allergic to sulfur. So, the next time your doctor prescribes you antibiotics that contain sulfur, be sure to check with them to avoid an allergic reaction.
Where do you find sulfur?
If you eat rainbow meals, you will never be sulfur-deficient. Sulfur is present in foods that are good sources of protein. Here are some sources of sulfur:
- Cruciferous vegetables (radish, cauliflower, cabbage, broccoli, kale, radish, and so on)
- Allium vegetables (garlic, onion, leeks, chives, scallions, shallots, and so on)
- Millets (ragi, sorghum, pearl millet, foxtail millet, Kodo millet, barley, and so on)
- Legumes and lentils (red gram/pigeon pea, green gram/mung, soybean, black bean, kidney beans, and so on)
- Chickpeas. One of the best ways to enjoy it is by whipping the superfood hummus.
- Ethically sourced whole eggs. Remember to eat the yolk.
- Nuts and seeds (pistachios, almonds, walnuts, cashew nuts, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, watermelon seeds, brazil nuts, and so on)
- Whole grains. Eat them in the right quantity and quality (if they suit you)
- Green leafy vegetables (raw, semi-cooked, or steamed cooked). Remember, the more you cook your green leafy veggies, the more sulfur you lose. So cook and consume them the right way.
Try this nutritious and sulfur-rich hummus recipe:
Serves: 1 ½ cups
- 1 ½ cups (250 grams) of cooked chickpeas
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice (1 large lemon)
- ¼ cup well-stirred tahini
- 1 small garlic clove (minced)
- 2 tbsp (30 ml) extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for serving)
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- Pink Himalayan salt to taste
- 2 to 3 tbsp water
- In a food processor, combine tahini and lemon juice. Process for a minute, scrape the sides and bottom, and process for another 30 seconds. This extra whip to the tahini will give your hummus a smooth consistency.
- Add olive oil, minced garlic, cumin, and half a teaspoon of salt to the whipped tahini and lemon juice. Process until well blended.
- Add half of the cooked chickpeas to the food processor and process for a minute. Add the remaining portion and process until thick and smooth.
- Add 2 to 3 tablespoons of water until you reach the perfect consistency. Adjust salt as required.
- Serve with a drizzle of olive oil and a dash of paprika.
- Store this homemade hummus in an airtight container and refrigerate it for up to one week.
Check out more hummus recipes here.
Don’t overdo sulfur
Just because you want glowing skin and hair, don’t fall into the trap of overdoing sulfur. It can lead to nausea, diarrhea, and IBS (irritated bowel syndrome) by irritating your gut lining.
Don’t fall prey to fad diets that deprive you of nutrients and minerals that your body needs to function optimally. Fad diets are dangerous, never work, and are not sustainable in the long run. So aim for a balanced diet. Make your plate look like a rainbow with different colored fruits and vegetables and have a diversity of nutrients and vitamins.
Just keep it simple, soldier.
And remember, if you find that your nails are brittle and your skin is dull-looking even though you are not sick, are exercising, sleeping, and drinking enough water – address the root cause. It could point to a sulfur deficiency.
Are you getting an adequate amount of sulfur in your meals? Did these tips help you? Have a question? Let us know in the comments.
Disclaimer: Please keep your healthcare provider in a loop before introducing any new food item into your lifestyle, especially if you have a medical health condition or are on medications. In case you are allergic to certain foods, please avoid the same.
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