Foods that Supply High Levels of Manganese

You may not think that manganese is important to your health, but this belief could not be any more wrong. Manganese is required for proper functioning of enzymes, absorption of nutrients, and development of bones. In addition, proper amounts of manganese contribute to antioxidant protection and relief of PMS symptoms, anemia, and arthritis. This nutrient is also crucial to controlling blood sugar and maintaining skin health.

Foods High in Manganese 

While manganese deficiency is rare, it can result in weak bones, joint pain, and even fertility issues. It is very important to eat a well-balanced diet that incorporates manganese-rich foods. Read on to learn about some of the best natural sources of manganese.

1. Seafood

Seafood is an excellent source of manganese, with items like clams, at 43% DV per ounce, and crayfish, at 22% ranking towards the top. The single best source of manganese within the seafood realm is mussels, packing in 289% DV in one 3 oz serving.

2. Nuts

In just 2 ounces of hazelnuts, you will receive 156% of your daily recommended value of manganese. Other nuts that are good sources include pecans (55%), walnuts (48%), macadamia (43%), almonds (32%), cashews (23%), and pistachio (17%).

3. Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are your best bet, coming in at 293% of your recommended daily value per cup. The next best finishers in the seed department include chia seeds, ringing in at 38%, along with sesame and flax seeds, both finishing at 35%. If you are headed to a ball game, grab a pack of sunflower seeds and munch on those to get 30% of your daily manganese needs in one serving.

4. Bread (whole wheat)

Whole wheat bread, per two slices, will deliver 70% DV of manganese. If you get bored of regular ol’ toast, you can opt for whole-wheat English muffins (59%), pitas (56%), or rolls (32%). Try substituting these whole wheat options for your white bread options.

5. Tofu

Firm, raw tofu can pack a punch with ¼ block delivering 1.2 mg of manganese, which translates to 48% DV.

6. Beans

Butter or lima beans are your best bet for a good source of manganese. These beans deliver 106% of your recommended daily value of manganese per one cup of beans. Other beans that are good sources of manganese include winged beans (103%), chickpeas (84%), white beans (57%), black-eyed beans (47%), and kidney beans (42%).

7. Fish

A 3 ounce serving of cooked bass will deliver 48% DV of manganese. Other excellent fish options include trout (46%), pike (44%), and perch (38%).

8. Spinach

One cup of cooked spinach will take care of 84% of your daily manganese needs, not to mention providing you with a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients. Other veggies that are good sources of manganese include frozen spinach (as opposed to fresh) (68%), beet greens (37%), Swiss chard (29%), and Napa cabbage (11%). Kale is another excellent option and one that is rising in popularity; kale contains a measly 33 calories per one cup chopped, and delivers 22% DV of manganese.

9. Tea

Brewed black tea, per cup, can take care of 26% of your daily manganese needs. If you opt for the instant kind, you’ll actually get in return 47% DV.

Other Manganese-Rich Foods

Other good sources of manganese include pineapple, brown rice, wheat germ and bran (rice and oat), and a variety of spices and herbs. And one more reason to enjoy your chocolate is its high dose of manganese per serving; dark chocolate and pure cocoa are your best choices.  Chili powder can easily be added to many dishes to boost the overall manganese intake as well as the flavor, and edamame (soybeans) is a great snack that is full of manganese.

Final Words

Manganese is crucial for your body to function properly and maintain overall health. The jobs assigned to manganese include fat and carbohydrate metabolism, calcium absorption, regulation of blood sugar, normal brain function, and fighting free radicals in the body. This element also assists with collagen production and maintaining healthy, youthful-looking skin.

A healthy amount of manganese is easy to obtain from a rounded, well-balanced diet. If you do have difficulty obtaining enough manganese, try to incorporate some of these manganese-rich foods described above into your daily diet. While manganese deficiency is rare yet dangerous, so is too much manganese, so make sure you stay within a healthy range.


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