Some foods contain sulfur compounds that strengthen the defenses and help the body get rid of potentially carcinogenic toxic substances.
Sulfur comes from the interior of the Earth and becomes part of each of the body”s cells, helping with its health.
After emerging through volcanic eruptions, hot springs and mining extractions, it enters a cycle of transformations. When it reaches rivers, lakes or the sea, it is absorbed by algae and small living things and creates organic compounds.
Upon death, the decomposition of organic matter releases sulfur compounds into the water, where they react with ultraviolet solar radiation and oxygen to become gaseous compounds that participate in the creation of clouds. When it rains, the sulfur returns to the earth and contributes to its fertility.
WHERE DOES SULFUR COME FROM?
Plants absorb sulfur compounds through the roots, concentrate them and transform them again. In certain vegetables, molecules are formed with a very beneficial action on the body.
It is an indirect effect, as they help eliminate toxic, potentially carcinogenic substances found in the digestive system.
In the human body, sulfur is found in large quantities, which are concentrated in hair, nails, and cartilage.
The health benefits and properties of sulfur are numerous.
WHAT FOODS CONTAIN SULFUR?
Humans obtain the sulfur they need from a wide variety of plant and animal foods.
We took mostly in the form of organic compounds, including amino acids methionine, cysteine and cysteine, present in abundance in food unfit for vegan diet, such as egg, fish, dairy or the sesame.
Other sulfur compounds are responsible for the virtues of garlic, onions, chives, leeks, and shallots. The characteristic aromas of these healthy foods are caused by sulfur compounds, although not all of them are unpleasant. For example, the aroma of grapes is due to a sulfur monoterpene.
But the sulfur compounds in some vegetables are especially interesting.
- They trap harmful agents that are, for example, in the intestine.
- They also activate liver enzymes that break them down, making it easier to eliminate them before they become a problem.
- Finally, they collaborate with immune cells and substances that ‘sweep away” pathogenic viruses and bacteria.
The most outstanding benefits have been found in glucosinolates found in the cruciferous family (i.e. cabbages, radishes, turnips, and mustards).
DOES SULFUR HAVE A DIRECT ACTION?
It is an antibiotic, which is why it has traditionally been used in agriculture as a natural pesticide or in winemaking to control fermentation.
Many antibiotic medications contain sulfur, such as penicillin, cephalosporin, and monobactams. It is also used in anesthesia.
DOES SULFUR HAVE NEGATIVE HEALTH EFFECTS?
People who are allergic to sulphites in wine and dried fruits can react quite seriously and even have asthma attacks.
In general, it is recommended to consume wines with a low concentration of sulfites –such as organic ones– and dried fruits that do not use it as a preservative (from E-220 to E-228).
WHAT DISEASES DOES SULFUR PREVENT?
Each of the transformations of cabbage glucosinolates –indoles, thiosulfonates, isothiocyanates, dithiolthions, sulforaphane – protects specific tissues.
They block enzymes that promote tumor growth, particularly in the breasts, liver, colon, lung, stomach, and esophagus.
IS THERE A RECOMMENDED DOSE OF SULFUR?
It is advisable to consume foods with sulfur compounds regularly, but a minimum dose has not been established.
Some meal of the day should include onion or another food that contains them. If eaten raw or steamed, they preserve sulfur compounds better.
WHAT IS THE MOST EFFECTIVE COMPOUND?
At the sulforaphane it is attributed a greater protective effect against colon cancer and others. It is found in cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, red cabbage, or Brussels sprouts.
It also collaborates with antioxidant enzymes in the respiratory tract, thus protecting from free radicals found in polluted air.
WHY DO THEY PREVENT BREAST CANCER?
Some molecules such as indole-3-carbinol and sulforaphane, present in cabbages, reduce the negative effects of a high estrogenic activity, which is related to an increased risk of breast, uterine, ovarian and endometrial cancers.
They also favor detoxification processes in general.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF SULFUR IN GARLIC?
The garlic alliin, when mixed with saliva, becomes alliicin, which in turn is transformed into ajoenes. These keep viruses, bacteria, fungi and parasites at bay. They also reduce hypertension and cholesterol.
Studies have shown that garlic protects against a wide variety of diseases.
DOES THE ONION ALSO PROVIDE SULFUR?
Yes. It has several sulfur compounds, mainly S- (1-propenyl) -L-cysteine sulfoxide. Anticancer and anti-inflammatory properties are attributed to onion, in addition to protecting the respiratory tract, preventing infections or lowering cholesterol. It is most effective raw as these compounds are lost with heat.
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