Sulfur is the third most abundant substance in your body. It is found in methionine and cysteine, which are two amino acids that you use to make proteins. Both of these amino acids are present in your skin, hair, and nails where they help to make these tissues stronger and more flexible.
You get the sulfur your body needs from animal and plant proteins and other chemical compounds such as sulfinates, allicin, and sulfides. Sulfur is also present in thiamin (vitamin B-1) and biotin (vitamin H).
Why Your Need Sulfur
Your body needs sulfur to build and repair your DNA and to protect your cells from damage that can lead to serious illnesses, such as cancer. Sulfur also helps your body digest food and contributes to the health of your skin, muscles, and tendons.
The two amino acids that makeup sulfur are methionine and cysteine. Methionine is an essential amino acid that can be absorbed by your body and should be consumed from protein-based sources. Cysteine, on the other hand, is an essential amino acid and is absorbed by your body. You do not need to eat it directly, but you do need to use sulfur in forms that can be used to produce this mixture.
Sulfur is also found in glucosamine sulfate, chondroitin sulfate, and methylsulfonylmethane, (which you can see as MSM). These three supplements are often used to relieve pain associated with inflammation. Some environmentalists believe they can also improve the quality of the skin, nails, and other tissues.
These therapeutic benefits are not fully proven or understood, however, it has been suggested that this may be due to, in part, the availability of serum sulfates in them.
No daily recommended ratio for sulfur consumption. However, it has been suggested that in some cases, excess sulfur in the diet can lead to intestinal problems, including:
- inflammatory bowel disease
- ulcerative colitis
These conditions can occur when bacteria in the gut convert large amounts of sulfates into hydrogen sulfide gas (H2S).
Foods with Sulfur
Dietary sulfur comes in many forms. It was once thought that animal-based proteins were a major source of sulfur, but we now know that they are also found in a variety of plant foods and non-protein foods. The recommended daily allowance (RDA) for methionine is set at 14 milligrams per kilogram of body weight, or about 1000 milligrams per day. No RDA is set for other types of sulfur.
Sulfur-containing foods below have been shown to provide health benefits. However, some consumers have reported that they experience intestinal dysfunction, with cases leading to intestinal ulcer disease in drinking water and certain allium and cruciferous vegetables.
Turkey, beef, eggs, fish, and chicken
Turkey, beef, eggs, fish, and poultry are animal-based sources of methionine, an essential amino acid that should be consumed in your diet because it cannot be absorbed by your body.
Nuts, seeds, grains, and legumes
It is also possible to get methionine from a vegetarian diet. Peanuts, seeds, grains, and legumes are the main sources of plant amino acids.
Chickpeas, couscous, eggs, lentils, oats, turkey, and walnuts
Chickpeas, couscous, eggs, lentils, oats, turkey, and walnuts are good sources of cysteine for your diet.
Apart from protein, allium vegetables are one of the main sources of dietary sulfur. This group of vegetables is rich in various forms of sulfur, including sulfides, thiosulfates, sulfoxides, vinyldthiins, and ajoenes. These vegetables include garlic, leeks, onions, scallions, and shallots and are associated with benefits for heart health, bone health, blood sugar control, and detoxification.
Cruciferous vegetables are another major source of dietary sulfur. They give it a form known as glucosinolates. They are high in fiber and go with a healthy diet. There have been claims that these vegetables help reduce the risk of cancer, but unfortunately, clinical studies remain inconsistent to date. The cruciferous vegetable group includes broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, arugula, kale, and radishes.
Whole grains are a good source of sulfur in the form of thiamin (vitamin B-1). Like the essential amino acid methionine, thiamine cannot be produced by your body and should be found in your diet.
Leafy Green Vegetables
Green leafy vegetables provide sulfur in the form of biotin (vitamin H), which is involved in the formation of fatty acids. This lesser-known vitamin is also produced by intestinal bacteria.
Potential Side Effects of Excess Sulfur
While following a diet high in sulfur is important for your health, too much of this mineral can cause a few side effects.
Drinking water containing high levels of sulfur can cause loose stools and diarrhea. The high levels of minerals in your water can also give it an unpleasant taste and make it smell like rotten eggs. You can test the sulfur content in your water by using sulfur rods.
On the other hand, there is currently no strong evidence that eating large amounts of sulfur-containing foods has the same laxative effect.
Sulfur-rich foods can make symptoms worse for those with ulcerative colitis (UC) or Chron’s disease (CD) – two inflammatory bowel diseases that cause chronic inflammation and ulcers.
Emerging studies show that a high-sulfur diet can help certain types of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) grow in your gut. These bacteria secrete sulfide, a circular substance thought to break down the intestinal barrier, causing damage and inflammation.
That is, not all foods containing sulfur can have the same effect. For example, while foods rich in animal products containing sulfur and low fiber can increase SRB levels, one rich vegetable with sulfur-containing vegetables appears to have a different effect.
In addition, many substances other than sulfur content in food can affect the balance of bacterial intestines. Therefore, further research is needed before conclusions can be drawn.
Is cheese high in sulfur?
Eggs and dairy: whole eggs, cheddar, Parmesan and gorgonzola cheese, and cow's milk. Dried fruit: especially dried peaches, apricots, sultanas, and figs.
Does turmeric contain sulfur?
The turmeric powder contained: moisture 11.3%, carbohydrate 64.33%, crude protein 10.7%, crude fat 3.2%, crude fiber 3.87% and ash 6.6%. The processed sulfur contained 100% sulfur.
Are sweet potatoes high in sulfur?
Vegetables like broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, and cauliflower are high in sulfur and can cause bloating and gas. Try some of these vegetables to see if they are easier to digest: carrots, spinach, sweet potatoes, zucchini, green beans, celery, and squash.
Does coconut oil contain sulfur?
The dried coconut, copra is the main source of coconut oil. Naturally, it contains 70% of moisture content and it is dried to about 7% for the production of coconut oil. The sulfur is added as a preservative which acts as an anti-microbial agent for preventing bacteria, fungus, etc.
Does olive oil contain Sulphur?
So many things are chemically manipulated, heat-treated, or somehow processed. Even pure things like wine, which has admittedly been around for millennia like olive oil, have sulfites added to it. Extra virgin olive oil is the oil from the olive fruit. No more, no less.
Do potatoes have Sulphur?
The potato crop has a demand for sulfur in similar quantities to magnesium. Where potassium sulfate is commonly used, supplies are usually adequate.
Does vegetable oil have sulfur?
Sulfur content in vegetable oils, animal fats, and waste vegetable oils varied greatly among the samples tested. Oil seeds can contain sulfur as high as 15,000 ppm. It was observed that sulfur levels higher than 15 ppm can be reduced when the oils and fats were processed into biodiesel.