Silica is a trace mineral that is required by the body to function properly, and although it does not have a recommended daily value, there are many benefits of silica that you should know. Silica is a mineral that is abundant in the earth’s crust and is found in whole grains, the skins of cucumbers and potatoes, and the herbs nettle and horsetail. If you eat a lot of processed food then getting enough silica may be difficult, especially since silica levels in the soil are not as high as they were in the past. Yet, getting enough of this mineral is so important that in 1878, Louis Pasteur believed there were so many benefits of silica that it was absolutely necessary for your health!
1. Helps Your Joints
Creating and maintaining collagen is one of the most vital roles silica plays, which is why it is a very important mineral for joint health. I am not very old, but for years I was in ballet class for 22 hours a week. This definitely impacted my joints and turned me into the girl who feels the rain in her knees! As a result, I am extremely interested in the benefits of silica for joints. Silica can help increase joint flexibility and is very helpful for joint repair. In fact, silica is so important for joints that some researchers are now thinking arthritis is attributable to a silica deficiency!
2. Bone Strength
It is common knowledge that calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D are extremely important for bones, but they are not the only nutrients you need to build strong bones. Silica is actually an essential mineral for your bones. A main component of bone is collagen, and silica assists in building the collagen structure in bones. Silica also enhances calcium absorption by directing the calcium into your bones. If you want strong bones, continue getting enough calcium, but also make sure you are getting plenty of silica.
3. Cardiovascular Health
Because I have several family members with cardiovascular problems, I always perk up when I read something about heart health. Surprisingly, silica is very beneficial for your heart. The importance of silica for heart health was noted over 60 years ago, in 1958, when an observation was made that atherosclerosis patients had higher levels of calcium and lower levels of silica! Having an adequate amount of silica in your body helps create supple arteries and veins. It also helps your body remove plaque from artery walls. So, the recommendation to eat whole grains for heart health really should be followed because it boosts your silica intake!
4. Supple Skin
Have you ever read that you should eat cucumbers for great skin? The silica content in cucumbers is the reason they are recommended as a beauty food. Silica boosts collagen production, which is critical for skin because collagen is its primary component. No one wants dry, wrinkly skin. I know I would like to have soft, supple skin for as long as possible, and was happy to learn that silica is the answer to beautiful skin.
Several years ago my mom went through a phase where she ate tons of jello. I am not really sure what prompted this craving, but I do know the gelatin in the jello made her nails grow really fast! Gelatin is essentially cooked collagen, which is why it strengthens nails. However, you don’t have to eat tons of jello or gelatin to get strong nails. Silica acts like a catalyst for increasing collagen production, resulting in strong nails. Eating foods rich in silica, like brown rice and potatoes with their skin, can be just as beneficial for your nails. It is also healthier than turning to jello!
6. Digestive System
If you have digestive complaints, increasing the amount of healthy silica containing foods you eat could help ease your pain. Silica can greatly help problems in the GI tract because it decreases inflammation in the stomach and intestines. Through its use in collagen production, it also helps rebuild the lining of the GI tract. As a person who has the occasional digestive upset, I am definitely going to eat more foods with silica. Fortunately, whole grain oatmeal is a good source of silica because it is my go to food when I have tummy issues.
7. Aluminum Elimination
Aluminum toxicity is a serious problem that causes symptoms such as bone pain, muscle pain, confusion, and muscle weakness. One of the wonders of silica is its ability to remove aluminum from the body. Just like chlorella can remove mercury, silica can shuttle aluminum out of the body. In a world where you are constantly exposed to aluminum, having an adequate silica supply to remove aluminum from the body is very important. Although silica can remove aluminum, if you suspect you truly have aluminum toxicity you need to see your doctor because it is a serious problem that can have very adverse complications.
Until recently, I never knew how important silica is for a healthy body. Now that I know all of the great benefits of silica I am going to make sure that I eat plenty of silica rich foods. Having beautiful skin, healthy bones, and healthy joints are all important to me, and I am pleased to learn that some of my favorite foods can help me achieve this. What foods do you eat that contain silica?