By Ellie Kempton of Simply Nourished
When was the last time you were told: “Be sure to eat your sulfur?”
Few know much about sulfur besides the fact that it has a very distinguishable... stink.
Don’t shun sulfur just yet though.
Clinically, sulfur is a mineral that plays a huge role in our physiology, yet it doesn’t get much of the spotlight like calcium, magnesium or zinc do.
Let’s break it down...
WHERE IS SULFUR FOUND?
Cruciferous vegetables such as cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, mustard greens and bok choy
Alliums such as onions, shallots, garlic and leeks
Edible stalks and stems such as celery, fennel and asparagus
HOW DOES SULFUR WORK?
Sulfur increases the activity of the liver's Phase 2 detoxification enzymes. These enzymes are responsible for clearing a wide variety of toxic compounds from the body including carcinogens, as well as, many reactive oxygen species [a particularly harmful type of free radical].
By jumpstarting these important liver detoxification enzymes, sulfur provides protection against cell mutations, cancer and numerous other harmful effects that would otherwise be caused by these toxins.
2 SHOW STOPPING BENEFITS OF SULFUR:
Hormone balance support- proper estrogen elimination depends upon the consumption of sulfur. When our liver is unable to eliminate estrogen efficiently, symptoms of estrogen dominance such as water retention, PMS, mood swings and decreased libido can develop.
Cancer protection - Cruciferous vegetables [broccoli in particular] have become well known for their anti- cancer properties. The organosulfur compound sulforaphane is one of the primary compounds responsible for this effect. In order to amplify the effect of sulfur consider sprouting broccoli seeds or lightly steaming your broccoli [instead of heavily roasting it] keeping the sulforophane intact.
GO THE EXTRA MILE:
If you’re ready to go one step further, consider culturing your cruciferous vegetables. Sauerkraut [made from the cruciferous vegetable cabbage], kimchi, and other cultured cruciferous vegetables offer the body a one-two punch. Their sulfur is oh so therapeutic to the liver while the fermentation process nourishes the GI tract by supplying it with beneficial bacteria. Research is re-iterating the benefits of probiotics on a healthy gut ecosystem. Here are just a few that impact you personally:
Digestion support: Beneficial bacteria assist in the breakdown of foods reducing belly bloat, water retention, skin inflammation and brain fog.
Nutrient absorption: Beneficial bacteria transform nutrients from food into their most bioavailable form allowing the body to recognize and utilize food to its full potential. Calcium for instance is better absorbed with the presence of the acid and bacteria found in fermented food.
Skin clarity: The skin is a beautiful reflection of GI health. By supplying the GI tract with beneficial bacteria, the skin will naturally reflect the fruit of your labor.
Next time you are tempted to skip out on sulfur, think again. Your body cherishes its therapeutic presence. And the good news is, you tangibly feel different upon consumption.
Embrace the stink!
To your vibrant health,