This essential trace mineral is needed by the body, in small amounts. Manganese is connected to iron and other minerals, and plays an important role in numerous chemical processes, including the synthesis of nutrients like cholesterol, carbohydrates and proteins. Also manganese supports the formation of bone mass and helps to naturally balance hormones, which has a positive affect on nearly every aspect of health.
What is Manganese?
Manganese is a mineral that is found in foods such as nuts, legumes, seeds, tea, whole grains, and leafy green vegetables. It is also found in fruits and other vegetables, although whole grains are usually considered the best natural source. Wherever manganese is found, iron is usually present since these two work closely together. This mineral is stored in the body’s bones, kidneys, and pancreas.
Manganese is needed for many vital functions, including nutrient absorption, production of digestive enzymes, bone development and immune-system defenses. It also helps balance levels of calcium…fighting calcium deficiency…and phosphorus, all of which work together in many crucial ways.
Health Benefits of Manganese
Manganese most often works in connection with other minerals to keep the body operating at a healthy level. The mineral provides these health benefits:
• Supports the thyroid and pituitary gland.
• Improves bone health and prevents osteoporosis.
• Necessary for antioxidants that lessen inflammation, and for enzyme function, which aids bone development and digestion.
• Helps to maintain cognitive function, easing mood swings, depression, and mental illness.
• Lowers high blood sugar levels that contribute to diabetes.
• Supports lung and respiratory health.
• Reduces inflammation in the joints and tissues, especially the knees and lower back, easing pain and discomfort.
• Reduces PMS symptoms.
• Aids in weight loss by improving digestive enzymes and balancing hormones.
• Speeds up the healing of wounds.
• Prevents anemia by helping the body use iron.
• Helps to treat infertility by balancing hormones.
The best way to get enough manganese is by eating foods that are rich in it. Since the body only needs small amounts, including short grain brown rice, oats, legumes, spinach and other dark leafy veggies, nuts, seeds and fruits such as berries and pineapples to the diet is usually adequate. Using black pepper, cinnamon and cloves to season foods is beneficial. Black tea is also high in manganese, however the tannin in black tea can inhibit its absorption.
For those who are deficient in manganese, taking a daily supplement is helpful. Those with liver disease or anemia should consult a doctor before taking additional manganese.
This mineral is one of those vital nutrients that I was unaware of before becoming more health conscious. My favorite way of including manganese is by being aware of the foods that I eat. It’s simple to add pineapple, strawberries and raspberries to morning smoothies and create salads with spinach and other dark green leafy veggies. Hummus is a great way to include chickpeas in my diet and I add cinnamon sticks and cloves to a wonderful hot cider drink.
Higher awareness, and a little planning, keeps me at optimal health.
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