A mineral deficiency isn’t the first thing we think to check for when prepping for a cleanse. It usually isn’t the second, third or fourth either. We research the best programs, we plot ways to stick to them, we give ourselves self-control pep talks and we expect to feel amazing when we’ve made it to the other side. But if we’re low in sulfur – an essential mineral for cell health – all our detox attempts may be for nothing, in spite of our best efforts.
Detoxing can be a bit of a puzzle, and if one piece is missing the whole picture becomes incomplete. Browse this page before jumping into your next detox to learn why sulfur is necessary for it, why a deficiency could affect it and how to know if you have enough…
Imagine this: You’ve been feeling rundown and can hear a little voice in the back of your mind whispering that your body needs a kick-start. After some reflection, you decide it’s time to do a detox and set aside precious time to plan, shop and follow through with the program. You’re expecting to feel lighter, brighter and revitalized, but by the end of it you still feel flat! Chances are that maybe you’ve overlooked one important mineral that our body needs to detoxify effectively: sulfur! Discover why sulfur is so important to any detox program and how this mineral can restore our body to vitality…
What Is Sulfur + Why Should i care?
Sulfur is one of the most abundant natural minerals in our body. It’s found in our skin, bones, immune cells, muscles, hair, nails, cartilage and connective tissue. No wonder supplements for joint health – such as glucosamine and chondroitin – are high in sulfur!
Sulfur is also needed for building the structure and regulate the activity of many important enzymes in our body. This makes sulfur integral for many important biological and metabolic processes, such as energy production, insulin function, regulation of B Vitamins and glutathione synthesis. Sulfur also has anti-inflammatory benefits and can potentially help sore, inflamed joints.
Why do i need sulfur for DetoxING?
Did you know that each cell within our body is like a mini-city? These teeny-tiny microscopic cells have their own unique environment and complex internal systems to maintain. Sulfur-containing amino acids help to regulate cellular systems by detoxifying toxins which could threaten the cell’s function. Sulfur also acts to protect ‘cell cities’ against free radical attack. Here’s how:
Cell Strength: Sulfur maintains the integrity of cell membranes, the ‘border’ of a cell that controls what comes in, and what moves out. Therefore, sulfur has an important role in removing self-generated toxins from our cells, which is obviously important for overall detoxification!
Toxin Removal: Sulfur may be helpful for detoxifying environmental chemicals that have artificially made their way into our body. In particular, sulfur can bind with and help our bodies to eliminate toxic chemicals such as mercury, barium and aluminum.
Liver Aid: Sulfur is required for detoxification pathways in the liver (which are called cytochrome P450 if you’d like to do some further research). Sulfur is therefore critical to our body’s most essential detoxifying function.
Antioxidant Boost: Sulfur is essential for forming glutathione, which is a very powerful antioxidant. Glutathione also optimizes the function of other antioxidants in our body. Therefore, sulfur is important for whole-body healing, healthy aging and maintaining wellness
Inflammation: There is some evidence to suggest that sulfur and glutathione work collaboratively with other minerals, fatty acids and vitamins in many healing processes throughout the body. In particular, they (sulfur and glutathione) help our body to make prostaglandins, which reduce inflammation.
As you can see, sulfur is important to the health of our body at a deep, cellular level. It is essential for key detoxification functions in the liver and can potentially impact your entire wellbeing.
How Do I Get more Sulfur In My Diet?
The most common dietary sources of sulfur comes from protein foods. More specifically, sulfur is found in the amino acids called methionine and cysteine.
Methionine is an essential amino acid, meaning that the body cannot make it alone and must get an external supply from the diet. On the other hand, the body can make cysteine, but needs enough sulfur from the diet to use as a building block for making cysteine, first!
The body has limited ability to store excess sulfur. Any leftover amounts are passed through urine or ‘locked up’ in glutathione. In other words, we need plenty of dietary sulfur to maintain adequate levels!
Protein foods such as beef, poultry, fish and eggs are rich in sulfur. Sulfur is also found in smaller quantities within certain plant foods including garlic, onion, legumes, brussels sprouts, asparagus, kale and methylsulfonylmethane (MSM – a plant-based form of organic sulfur).
If you consume adequate protein, fruits and vegetables, it is usually not necessary to supplement with sulfur. However, if your diet has been sub-optimal for some time, you may be deficient. We suggest you chat with a trusted health practitioner and include plenty of sulfur-rich foods in your detox program.
Visit Food Matters to find more information on detoxification and ways to do it best!