The main foods rich in sulfur are eggs, red meat, chicken, fish, and milk and their derivatives. Vegans satisfy sulfur intake through the consumption of soy, seeds, grains, and nuts. Sulfur is the third most abundant mineral in the human body, in percentage terms, relative to the total body weight.
Sulfur is the sixth mineral present in breast milk in terms of quantity. In addition, it is directly involved in the energy metabolism of the body. The liver uses it for the elimination of alcohol and its detoxification from other chemicals, toxins and heavy metals. Sulfur maintains connective tissues, muscle function and the nervous system and is an essential element for life. There is no recommended value for daily intake of sulfur and no toxic effects or caused by lack of this element have been reported.
However, it has been suggested that an intake of 0.2 to 1.5 grams of sulfur per day is enough to get all the benefits of this mineral and at the same time ensure that it is consumed responsibly and without falling in excess.
What are the foods that are rich in sulfur?
In order for you to have a healthy and balanced diet, it is very important to include foods that are rich in sulfur to your daily menu. Below, we have divided a list of the top ones!
1. Broccoli and other cruciferous vegetables
These are the main foods that are rich in sulfur. All cruciferous vegetables usually have a greenish tinge and are rich in fiber, vitamins A and B complex, and sulfur. To eat them, take in food items like broccoli, arugula, kale, collard greens, watercress, cabbage, asparagus, turnip greens, and coleslaw.
2. Onions and garlic
They also have a good dose of the mineral in their make-up. In addition to that of the mineral of the onion and the garlic cloves are rich in substances with anti-inflammatory and antibacterial.
The avocado is also extremely high in sulfur! Many people know the fruit as a source of “good fats” (like omega-9), and for certain medicinal properties that are present in the food and it is good for the body. So, here is all the more reason to eat the fruit.
4. Beans and nuts
Foods such as lentils, beans, and nuts, which belong to the group of grain and oilseeds) are also great sources of iron! In addition to the sulfur, and they are rich in iron, folic acid (vitamin B9), protein, and antioxidants.
5. Milk and dairy products
They are important for the health of your bones because they are sources of calcium, milk, and dairy products (like yogurt and cheese) are also composed of sulfur, and even though a lot of people don’t know it’s there. They don’t have a number as significant as that of other foods, but they are considered to be sources of iron!
Possible side effects of ingesting too much sulfur
Although following a diet that contains enough sulfur is vital to health, ingesting too much of this mineral can cause some unpleasant side effects.
Drinking water containing high levels of sulfur can cause diarrhea. Excessive amounts of this mineral in the water can also give an unpleasant taste and present a smell similar to that of a rotten egg.
Sulfur-rich foods can worsen the symptoms of people who have ulcerative colitis or Chron’s disease – two inflammatory bowel diseases that cause chronic inflammation and ulcers in the intestine. Research suggests that sulfur-rich foods can help a specific type of sulfate-reducing bacteria (BRS) proliferate in the gut. These bacteria release sulfide, a compound that breaks the intestinal barrier, causing damage and inflammation.
However, not all sulfur-rich foods can have the same effect. While a diet rich in animal foods and low in fiber can increase BRS levels, a diet rich in sulfur-containing vegetables seems to have the opposite effect. In addition, many factors in addition to the mineral content of food can influence the balance of intestinal bacteria. Therefore, more research is needed before strong conclusions can be made.
Despite the possible disadvantages of ingesting too much sulfur, it is important to include this nutrient in the diet. It plays a critical role in gene expression and maintaining the integrity of body tissues. It also helps to metabolize food and protects the body from inflammation and oxidative stress.
In addition, sulfur-rich foods are often rich in a variety of other nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. Avoiding these foods in the diet can generate a deficiency in daily nutrient needs. Certain foods rich in sulfur, such as garlic and cruciferous vegetables, can even help protect against diseases such as Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, as well as age-related losses of brain function.
Therefore, drastically limit the intake of these foods is not recommended, unless it is really necessary. If you suspect that sulfur-rich foods are causing intestinal discomfort, consider the guidance of a registered dietitian to ensure that your low-sulfur diet continues to meet your daily nutrient needs.