Silicon is a mineral associated with youth as the ratio of silicon to calcium in the body is highest when we are young. The highest concentrations of silicon in the body are found in the hair and nails, but it is also associated with healthy skin, bones, and teeth. A controversial theory states that silicon is actually transmutated into calcium by enzymes during digestion, making foods rich in silicon more important than those with calcium for building and repairing bones.

Silicon has not been well studied and the USDA does not consider it to be an essential mineral. There are indications, however, that silicon deficiency can lead to weakened bones, teeth, and connective tissue, and an increased risk of heart disease. Silicon is primarily found in raw, unprocessed produce, so deficiencies are more likely in the Western world, where cooked and processed food is the norm.

Health Benefits of Silicon

Bones Helps to strengthen and repair bones. High levels of silicon are found in growing and healing bones.
Circulation Helps keep the blood warm and maintains the elasticity of arterial cell walls.
Hair Can help prevent and reverse grey hair.
Muscles Maintains muscle elasticity and flexibility. Healthy muscles contain at least 2% silicon.
Nails Strengthens nails and gives them a healthier appearance.
Skin Improves wrinkled and aging skin.
Teeth and Gums Helps prevent tooth decay and bleeding and receding gums. Some believe it can help reverse cavity formation. In children, silicon can lead to beautiful teeth and jaw formation.
Tendons and Ligaments Helps maintain elasticity necessary for strong tendons and ligaments.

Food Sources of Silicon

Bell Peppers N/A N/A Found in the skin.
Burdock Root N/A N/A
Cucumbers N/A N/A Found in the skin. Avoid cucumbers that are waxed and always eat organic.
Grasses N/A N/A
Hemp N/A N/A Use the hemp leaves.
Horsetail N/A N/A One of the best sources of silicon. Can be made into a tea.
Nettles N/A N/A One of the best sources of silicon. Can be juiced, blended, or made into a tea.
Radishes N/A N/A Red radishes have the highest silicon content of all the radishes.
Romaine Lettuce N/A N/A
Tomatoes N/A N/A Found in the skin.