7 Rich Sources Of Manganese & It's Important Health Benefits

Manganese is a trace mineral required for various bodily processes. Although your body stores some of this essential nutrient in your organs, you still need to consume adequate amounts through your diet.

Although most people get enough manganese from foods, the key mineral may be lacking in the diets of many others. Manganese deficiency has been associated with weak bones, osteoarthritis, and many other health conditions. This article discusses the health benefits of manganese and foods you can eat to get more of the nutrient.

Health Benefits of Manganese

Manganese helps the body activate enzymes, and it is essential for various bodily processes. On average, it is recommended that adult women get 1.8 milligrams of the mineral while men get 2.3 milligrams daily. Some benefits of manganese include:

Bone Development

One of the primary functions of manganese is bone development and maintenance. Manganese supports bone mineral density when combined with other nutrients such as calcium, zinc, and copper.

One study found that men and women aged 50 or older are likely to suffer from an osteoporosis-related bone break. Research has shown that taking manganese with calcium, zinc, and copper may limit spinal bone loss in older women.

Another study found that taking a supplement with manganese, calcium, zinc, and copper, as well as vitamin D, magnesium, and boron, may improve bone mass among women with brittle bones.

Reduces Inflammation

Manganese is one of the components of inflammation-reducing antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD). Research indicates that SOD can be used as a therapeutic agent for inflammation. 

Furthermore, there is evidence that consuming manganese with glucosamine and chondroitin can reduce osteoarthritis pain. Osteoarthritis is a disease that causes joint pain and loss of cartilage.

Regulation of Blood Sugar

Manganese may be helpful for blood sugar regulation. Studies show that deficiency of the mineral can lead to glucose intolerance in some animals. However, the results of human studies are mixed.

What’s more, multiple other studies have found that people with diabetes have lower manganese blood levels. Researchers are trying to determine if manganese deficiency contributes to diabetes or if diabetes causes manganese blood levels to drop.

Nutrient Metabolism

The body requires manganese for the activation of enzymes during metabolism as well as other chemical processes. Experts believe that the trace mineral promotes amino acid digestion and utilization. The body also needs it for the metabolism of cholesterol and carbohydrates.

Additionally, manganese allows your body to effectively utilize various vitamins, including choline, thiamine, and vitamins C and E, while ensuring liver function. It also contributes to other vital activities such as energy production, immune response, and reproduction.

Good Thyroid Health

Another benefit of manganese that goes under the radar is its role in thyroxine production. Thyroxine is a vital hormone that the body requires for the thyroid gland to function correctly.

Thyroxine helps you maintain appetite, supports metabolism, and allows your organs to work efficiently. Therefore, manganese deficiency could lead to a hypothyroid condition where you gain weight excessively.

Sources of Manganese

Manganese is present in various kinds of foods. Since the body only needs small amounts, you can easily get enough in your diet without taking supplements. These are seven healthy sources of manganese:

1. Hazelnut

You can eat hazelnuts to meet your manganese requirements. They contain 1.6 milligrams of manganese per ounce, meaning eating 17 hazelnuts allows you to meet your daily manganese requirement. You can eat these nuts straight from the bag or whip them into peanut butter.

2. Spinach

Cooked spinach is packed with various nutrients, ranging from higher amounts of vitamin A to fiber. It can also contribute to your manganese intake as it contains 0.8 milligrams per half-cup.

3. Mussels

You can get manganese from various shellfish, including mussels. A three-ounce serving of mussels contains 5.8 milligrams of manganese, about 250% of your recommended daily intake.

4. Sweet Potato

This starchy and tasty root vegetable can help increase your manganese intake. A medium-baked potato has 0.3 grams of manganese if you eat it with its skin. In addition to manganese, potato skin also contains fiber, iron, and several vitamins.

5. Soybeans

Eating soybeans can help you reach your daily requirement of manganese quickly. One cup of soybeans packs 4.7 milligrams, meeting your daily value. In addition to manganese, soybeans are rich in protein and fiber.

6. Garlic

Garlic is often used to combat sickness and the common cold. However, you can eat it to increase your manganese intake. A cup of garlic contains 2.3 milligrams of manganese, 114% of your daily value.

7. Pineapples

Pineapple is your go-to fruit when seeking to increase your manganese intake. It contains 76% of your daily value in each cup. Pineapples are also packed with vitamin C, which improves immunity and combats ailments.

Bottom Line

Your body cannot carry out several essential chemical processes without manganese. If you lack this nutrient, try out any of the foods listed above. Avoid turning to supplements without first contacting your doctor.