Foods With Sulfur: What You Should Know (2023)

Sulfur is one of the main elements of the atmosphere (1).

It's all around you, including in the soil where your food grows, making it an integral part of many foods.

Your body uses sulfur for several important functions, including building and repairing DNA and protecting your cells from damage. Therefore, getting sulfur-rich foods in your diet is vital to your health (2).

However, some people report that they feel better when they eliminate or drastically reduce high-sulfur foods from their diet.

This article provides an overview of the latest evidence on whether sulfur-containing foods are beneficial or should be avoided.

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Sulfur,soccer, and phosphorus are the three most abundant minerals in the human body (3).

Sulfur plays an important role in crucial functions in your body, such as making proteins, regulating gene expression, building and repairing DNA, and helping your body metabolize food (2).

(Video) 11 Sulfur-Rich Foods You Need To Eat

This element is also important for the production and recycling of glutathione, one of the body's most important antioxidants, which helps to reduce inflammation and prevent cell damage caused by glutathione.oxidative stress(2).

Sulfur also helps maintain the integrity of connective tissues such as skin, tendons, and ligaments (3).

Many foods and beverages, including drinking water from certain sources, naturally contain sulfur. Some medications and dietary supplements, including certain antibiotics, pain relievers, and joint pain relievers, also contain varying amounts of this mineral (4,5).


Sulfur is a mineral your body uses for a variety of functions, including making and repairing DNA. Many foods and beverages, as well as drinking water, medicines and dietary supplements contain sulfur.

Sulfur is found in a variety of foods. Larger categories include (2,5,6):

  • Meats and poultry:especially beef, ham, chicken, duck and turkeyoffallike heart and liver
  • Fish and seafood:most types of fish, as well as shrimp, scallops, mussels and prawns
  • Legumes:especially soybeans, black beans, kidney beans, peas and beans
  • Nuts and seeds:especially almonds, Brazil nuts, peanuts, walnuts and pumpkin and sesame seeds
  • Eggs and dairy:whole eggs, cheddar, parmesan and gorgonzola cheeses and cow's milk
  • Dry fruits:especially dried peaches, apricots, sultanas and figs
  • Specific vegetables:especially asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, red cabbage, leeks, onions, radishes, turnips and watercress
  • Specific grains:especially barley, oats, wheat and flour made from these grains
  • Some drinks:especially beer, cider, wine, coconut milk and grape and tomato juice
  • Spices and condiments:especially horseradish, mustard, jam, curry powder and ground ginger

Depending on where you live, drinking water can also contain significant amounts of sulfur. This may be especially the case if you get water from a well (5).

Additionally, sulfites, a sulfur-derived food preservative, are often added to packaged foods like jams, pickles, and dried fruit to extend their shelf life. Sulfites can also form naturally in fermented foods and beverages, such as beer,Wein, and cider (5).


Sulfur is found naturally in a variety of foods and beverages. Sulfur-derived sulfite is another form of sulfur commonly added to some packaged foods.

(Video) Are You Getting Enough Sulfur in Your Diet?

While a diet high in sulfur is vital to your health, too much of this mineral can have some unpleasant side effects.


Drinking water with a high sulfur content can cause loose stools and diarrhea. Excessive amounts of this mineral in water can also cause an unpleasant taste and make it smell like rotten eggs. You can measure the sulfur content of your water with sulfur bars (5).

On the other hand, there is currently no clear evidence that eating large amounts of sulfur-rich foods has the same laxative effect.

intestinal inflammation

A high sulfur diet may worsen symptoms in patients with ulcerative colitis (UC).Chronic disease(CD) – two inflammatory bowel diseases that cause chronic inflammation and ulcers in the bowel.

Recent research suggests that sulfur-rich foods may help a certain type of sulfate-reducing bacteria (SRB) thrive in your gut. These bacteria release sulfur, a compound that breaks down the intestinal barrier and causes damage and inflammation (7,8).

However, not all sulfur-rich foods can have the same effect. For example, while a diet high in sulfur-containing animal products and low in fiber may increase SRB levels, a diet high in sulfur-containing vegetables appears to have the opposite effect (8).

Also, many factors besides the sulfur content of foods can affect the balance of gut bacteria. Therefore, more research is needed before firm conclusions can be drawn.


Drinking water with a high sulfur content can cause diarrhea. People with CD and UC may benefit from limiting the amount of certain high sulfur foods in their diets, but more research is needed.

(Video) Top 10 Best Foods Rich In Sulfur

Interestingly, some people report that they feel better when they are on a low sulfur diet. However, there is currently limited research on sulfur intolerance.

Instead, most studies focus on the side effects ofsulphite– a sulfur-derived preservative added to some alcoholic beverages and packaged foods to prevent spoilage and extend shelf life.

About 1% of people appear to have a sulfite sensitivity, which causes itching, hives, bloating, nausea, or asthma-like symptoms when exposed to sulfite-rich foods. In extreme cases, exposure can even lead to seizures or anaphylactic shock (9).

People who are sensitive to sulfites benefit from avoiding foods that contain them. Currently, however, there is little evidence that they also benefit from limiting high sulfur foods.

If you're sensitive to sulfites, check food labels and avoid ingredients like sodium sulfite, sodium bisulfite, sodium metabisulfite, sulfur dioxide, potassium bisulfite, and potassium metabisulfite (9).


Some people are sensitive to sulfites, a sulfur-derived preservative added to some alcoholic beverages and packaged foods. As such, they should avoid sulfite-rich foods. However, there is little evidence that sulfur-rich foods should also be avoided.

Sulfur-rich foods can also be beneficial.

(Video) Are sulfur containing foods bad for you?

Despite the potential downsides of consuming too much sulfur, it's important to include this nutrient in your diet.

Sulfur plays a crucial role in gene expression and maintaining the integrity of body tissues. It also helps metabolize food and protects your body from inflammation and oxidative stress (2,3).

Additionally, sulfur-rich foods often have a variety of other nutrients and beneficial plant compounds. Eliminating these foods from your diet can make it difficult to meet your daily nutritional needs.

What's more, certain sulfur-rich foods, like garlic and cruciferous vegetables, may even help protect against conditions like type 2 diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and age-related losses in brain function (10,11,12,13,14).

Therefore, it is not recommended to drastically limit the intake of these foods, unless absolutely necessary.

If you suspect that high-sulfur foods are the cause of your intestinal discomfort, seek advice from a registered dietitian to ensure your low-sulfur diet continues to meet your daily nutritional needs.


Certain sulfur-rich foods can protect against certain diseases. Sulfur-rich foods tend to have a variety of other nutrients as well, and eating too few of these foods can make it difficult to meet your nutritional needs.

the end result

(Video) Sulfur Rich Foods: Benefits and Best Sources

Sulfur is a mineral involved in many important processes in your body, including DNA manufacturing and repair. Therefore, eating plenty of sulfur-rich foods is essential for your health.

However, drinking water that contains too much mineral can cause loose stools and diarrhea. Additionally, a high-sulfur diet can potentially worsen symptoms in people with certain inflammatory bowel diseases.

Keep in mind that most sulfur-rich foods also contain a variety of other beneficial nutrients. Those who suspect that high-sulfur foods are contributing to intestinal upset should speak with a nutritionist to ensure their diet continues to meet their daily nutritional needs.


1. SULFUR: The Most Important Element in Detoxification – Dr.Berg
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
2. 7 Signs You Have Sulfur Deficiency
3. Foods You Should And Should Not Eat With Ulcerative Colitis
4. What is Sulfite? – Sulfite Sensitivity Symptoms – Dr.Berg
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
5. Sulphur Rich Foods | BoldSky
6. How to Increase Glutathione, the Master Antioxidant
(Dr. Eric Berg DC)
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