Manganese is an essential nutrient that plays a role in the various chemical process, the formation of bone mass, and naturally balancing hormones. Furthermore, it is needed in balancing the body’s levels of calcium (to fight calcium deficiency) and phosphorous; production of digestive enzymes, nutrient absorption, immune system defense and bone development.
Foods containing manganese include whole foods such as sprouted grains, beans or legumes, and certain nuts and seeds. It is also present in fruits and vegetables but usually, whole grains are considered to be its best source. Also, iron can be found in foods containing manganese – these two works together closely.
Risks for Manganese Deficiency and Toxicity
Often times, manganese deficiency is brought by the lack of manganese-rich foods in a person’s diet. There were also cases wherein chronic digestive disorders cause the body to hardly absorb manganese.
People deficient from this nutrient may suffer from serious health threats with the most common symptoms as follows:
- Chronic fatigue syndrome
- Low immunity and frequently getting sick
- Weak bones (osteoporosis)
- Worsened symptoms of premenstrual syndrome (PMS)
- Changes in digestion and appetite
- Hormonal imbalances
- Impaired glucose sensitivity
- Impaired reproductive abilities or infertility
On the other side of the story, obtaining too much manganese brings more threat to your health – particularly during the time when the brain is still forming. An excessive accumulation of manganese in the central nervous system may cause cognitive problems and birth defects.
Persons with existing liver damage, gut or digestive problems may have trouble in eliminating manganese out of their body.
Recommended Daily Intake of Manganese
As much as possible, always get the best and enough manganese from whole food sources for it contains proper mix of various minerals and vitamins that work together to balance one another as well as enable functioning.
According to USDA, daily AI levels for manganese depend on someone’s age and gender and are listed below:
Infants up to 6 months: 3 micrograms
7 to 12 months: 600 micrograms
1 to 3 years: 1.2 milligrams
4 to 8 years: 1.5 milligrams
Boys 9 to 13 years: 1.9 milligrams
Boys 14 to 18 years: 2.2 milligrams
Girls 9 to 18 years: 1.6 milligrams
Men 19 and older: 2.3 milligrams
Women 19 and older: 1.8 milligrams
Pregnant women age 14 to 50: 2 milligrams
Breastfeeding women: 2.6 milligrams
Health Benefits of Manganese
Supports Bone Health and Helps Prevent Osteoporosis
In combination with other minerals (such as calcium, copper, and zinc), manganese can help with the formation of bone regulatory hormones and enzymes involved in bone metabolism thus, naturally useful in treating osteoporosis.
Helps Maintain Cognitive Function
In the synaptic vesicles within the brain, a percentage of the body’s manganese supply exists. This makes manganese closely tied to the electrophysiological activity of the brain’s neurons that control cognitive function. This nutrient is released into the synaptic cleft of the brain and affects synaptic neurotransmission, it is more possible that a manganese deficiency can make people more prone learning disabilities, epilepsy, mental illness and mood changes.
Fights and Prevents Diabetes
Manganese helps with the proper production of digestive enzymes responsible for the process called gluconeogenesis.
Involved in this process are the conversion of protein’s amino acid into sugar and the balance of sugar within the bloodstream. Manganese helps in preventing the overly high blood sugar levels contributing to diabetes.
Helps Prevent Arthritis and Osteoarthritis
Manganese, alongside with supplements that contain chondroitin sulfate or glucosamine hydrochloride, can naturally treat arthritis. Frequently consuming foods with high level of manganese, in addition to taking supplements, has the effect of reducing inflammation in the joints and tissues, therefore, sufferers from arthritis feel more comfortable.
Supports Lung and Respiratory Health
When taken, manganese together with minerals like selenium and zinc can help people suffering from lung disorders – including chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Manganese has been beneficial for those in need of lung healing as it helps lower inflammation and oxidative stress through the production of SODs (superoxide dismutase).
Speeds up Wound Healing
Speed up wound healing by applying manganese, zinc, and calcium to serious and chronic wounds.
Reduces PMS Symptoms
Manganese together with calcium helps improve symptoms of PMS (such as muscle pain, anxiety, tenderness, trouble with sleeping, and mood swings) – it is also a very effective remedy for this health problem.
Needed for Antioxidant and Enzyme Function
Manganese is needed by numerous important enzymes (arginase, glutamine synthetase, and manganese superoxide) to work as antioxidants in the body. This lowers the level of oxidative stress and inflammation that can lead to cancer or heart diseases.
Manganese also assists in the formation of important enzymes associated with bone formation, including xylosyltransferases and glycosyltransferases. Moreover, it also helps form important enzymes related to bone formation, including glycosyltransferases and xylosyltransferases. And finally, it plays a part in important digestive enzymes that turn compounds found in food into useable nutrients and energy within the body, including glucose and amino acids.
Helps Balance Iron Levels and Prevent Anemia
Studies have found out that there was a strong inverse relationship between high manganese levels and deficiency in iron. As high level of manganese can be linked to anemia, it also helps the body in storing and using iron to help prevent anemia (low iron).
May Help with Weight Loss
Overweight or obese people may benefit in a specific form of manganese called 7-Keto Naturalean when combined with L-tyrosine, root extract, copper, choline, asparagus, and potassium. It’s probably because of manganese’s ability to balance hormones and improve digestive enzymes.
Since manganese helps with hormone regulation and antioxidants, manganese deficiency can contribute to infertility.
Best Food Sources of Manganese
Percentages based on the adult women’s AI of 1.8 milligrams/daily:
Teff (9) – 1 cup cooked: 7.2 milligrams (400 percent DV)
Macadamia Nuts (16) — 1 ounce: 1.1 milligrams (61 percent DV)
Hazelnuts (13) — 1 ounce: 1.5 milligrams (83 percent DV)
Black Beans (19) — 1 cup cooked: 0.7 milligrams (38 percent DV)
Rye (10) — 1 cup cooked: 4.3 milligrams (238 percent DV)
Amaranth (12) — 1 cup cooked: 2.1 milligrams (116 percent DV)
Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans) (15) — 1 cup cooked: 1.2 milligrams (66 percent DV)
White Beans (17) — 1 cup cooked: 1.1 milligrams (61 percent DV)
Buckwheat (20) — 1 cup groats cooked: 0.6 milligrams (33 percent DV)
Adzuki Beans (14) — 1 cup cooked: 1.3 milligrams (72 percent DV)
Oats (18) — 1/3 cup dry/about 1 cup cooked: 0.98 milligrams (54 percent DV)
Brown Rice (11) — 1 cup cooked: 2.1 milligrams (116 percent DV)
Preparation Time: 5 minutes
2 cans garbanzo beans
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 cup raw sesame seeds
Sea salt to taste
- Drain and rinse garbanzo beans, reserving 1/4 cup liquid.
- Place all ingredients in a blender and blend.
- Add more water or olive oil until desired consistency is reached.
Black Bean Brownies Recipe
Preparation Time: 55 minutes
1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained
1/2 cup cacao powder
1/2 cup gluten-free flour
2 teaspoons stevia
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons coconut oil melted
3/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup water
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- Blend all ingredients together.
- Grease 8 x 8 pan with coconut oil.
- Bake for 40 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Allow it to cool for 10–15 minutes.
Brown Rice Salad Recipe
Preparation time: 5 minutes
3 cups cooked brown rice
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
½ cup walnuts, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 apple, diced
¼ cup coconut vinegar
3 tablespoons coconut oil
Black pepper and sea salt to taste
In a bowl, combine cooked rice with all ingredients, mix lightly and serve.