Manganese: The basics

Calcium, iron, zinc, or magnesium. We need them all.

But what about the trace mineral, manganese?

In the 1930s, studies revealed that our bodies need a bit of dietary manganese each day. Adults have just 15-20 mg stored in the body that can actually be ingested in one day.

Manganese is best derived from a largely plant-based diet. Fortunately, this allows for a large variety of options getting the amounts your body needs.

Manganese: The benefits

  • Bone Production

Animal studies indicate that manganese deficiencies lead to poor bone formation. The scientific jury is still out regarding whether low manganese intake might contribute to bone loss or osteoporosis.  Still, beefing up intake may be wise.

  • Skin Integrity

Manganese is  necessary for production of enzymes that help make collagen, a basic component of skin. Manganese is important for skin health too. It  functions as an antioxidant, protecting skin against oxygen-related damage and ultraviolet (UV) rays. In a human study, manganese-deficient people were tested for six weeks. The lack of  manganese led to skin rashes. The rashes disappeared when intake resumed.

  • Blood Sugar Control

Manganese is needed to help multiple enzymes in a process called gluconeogenesis. Gluconeogenesis, “the conversion amino acids or organic acids into sugar,” is possible due to manganese assistance as well.

Though more research needs to be conducted, it is thought that manganese plays a helpful role in daily blood sugar control.

  • Free Radical Damage Protection

Manganese-deficient diets have been shown to exhibit more conditions connected to free radical damage to cells and tissue, like dermatological problems and asthma.

Manganese: Best Practices and Food Sources

Cook and prepare manganese-rich foods the following ways:

In legumes, manganese levels appear to be generally unaffected by cooking.

In vegetables, manganese loss can be mitigated by reducing cooking time and contact with water.

Oats, brown rice, garbanzo beans, spinach, collard greens, pineapple, and spices like cinnamon and black pepper are excellent manganese sources.

Read the full article here: Manganese