Want Strong Bones And Healthy Heart? Foods Rich In Manganese Can Do The Job

Want Strong Bones And Healthy Heart? Foods Rich In Manganese Can Do The Job

Some nutrients are so vital for the body that without which we are vulnerable to several diseases. At the same time, these minerals are not much talked about that makes us believe that they are insignificant or are of less importance. Let’s learn about one such mineral called as manganese and why it is considered optimal for health.

Manganese – What is it and why it’s so important?

Manganese is a mineral that is found in small amount in various parts of the body including liver, kidneys, bones, and pancreas. Manganese has several functions to perform in our body right from the production of numerous enzymes to forming bones tissues, fight inflammation and regulating the nervous system.

Although manganese constitutes about 15-20 mg of total adult bodyweight, it is responsible for performing several important chemical processes including:

  1. Aids bone health and helps prevent chronic condition such as osteoporosis. This is done in combination with zinc, calcium, and copper, reducing bone loss, especially in old women.
  2. Manganese works as a powerful antioxidant that fights free radicals, lower inflammation and prevents heart diseases and cancer. It also helps in the formation of important bone enzymes.
  3. It is needed for the adequate production of digestive enzymes which are responsible for gluconeogenesis, a process that regulates sugar in the bloodstream. Studies have shown that manganese can prevent high blood sugar levels.
  4. A reasonable percentage of manganese is present in the vesicle within the brain. So this mineral is tied to electro physical activity of the neurons which are responsible for cognitive functioning.
  5. Foods high in manganese improve arthritis symptoms by reducing inflammation in joints and tissues.
  6. Helps improve respiratory health in people with lung disorders by reducing oxidative stress and reducing inflammation.
  7. One study suggests adequate manganese in the blood can improve symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) such as muscle pain and mood swings.
  8. Boost wound healing when taken with calcium and zinc.
  9. Manganese helps regulate hormone and antioxidant activity that prevents infertility.

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Daily dietary intake of magnesium – How you need?

Presently, there is no standard recommended dietary intake of manganese. But other institutes such as National Academy of Medicine suggest following Dietary Reference Intakes (DRIs) for manganese. These are nearly similar to what USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) suggests.


  • Girls 1-3 years - 1.2 mg/day
  • Girls 4-8 years - 1.5 mg/day
  • Boys 1-3 years - 1.2 mg/day
  • Boys 4-8 years - 1.5 mg/day

Elder children and teenagers

  • Girls 9-18 years - 1.6 mg/day
  • Boys 9-13 years - 1.9 mg/day
  • Boys 14-18 years - 2.2 mg/day


  • Women 19+ years - 1.8 mg/day
  • Men 19+ years - 2.3 mg/day

Pregnant and breastfeeding women

  • Pregnant women - 2.0 mg/day
  • Breastfeeding women - 2.6 mg/day

Risks of manganese deficiency and toxicity

Manganese deficiency is rare especially in developed countries where there are hardly few cases of malnourishment. Human body closely monitors stable levels of manganese in majority of the cases. That is why cases of manganese deficiency are rare.

However, manganese deficiency can occur in people with diabetes, epilepsy, osteoporosis, dialysis, and children with rare genetic conditions. A person deficient in manganese may experience poor bone growth, reduced fertility, abnormal metabolism, anemia and impaired glucose intolerance.

On the flipside, too much manganese is usually dangerous especially in the developmental stages when the brain is still forming. Disproportionate levels of manganese in the nervous system may cause birth defects and cognitive problems in a child. But manganese toxicity is also considered a low risk as excess of this mineral is excreted via bile.

Foods rich in manganese

As in the case with all other nutrients, manganese should be derived from the healthy balanced diet rather than supplements. A wholesome diet provides a mix of several different vitamins and minerals that work in coherence for a healthy body. In case you are deficient in manganese, below foods can fill up the scarcity as well as give you other health benefits.


Besides rich in manganese, oats have a reputation for being a rich store of antioxidants and fiber. Oats serves as one of the healthiest breakfast options and also helps lower cholesterol levels and improves heart health.

Dietary value – 1 cup cooked oats contain 0.98 mg of manganese, that’s 54 percent of the daily dietary intake.

Brown rice

There are several studies that suggest eating brown rice can reduce bad cholesterol levels. Proper intake of brown rice also helps in treating diabetes as it cut blood sugar levels.

Dietary value – 1 cup cooked brown rice is equaled to 2.1 mg of manganese, 116 percent of the daily recommended intake.

Black beans

These legumes are known for their high protein and fiber content. Black beans are considered a healthy food for lowering blood pressure and controlling diabetes. It can be enjoyed with rice for healthy manganese combination.

Dietary value – 100 grams of serving can give you 0.44 mg of manganese. This equals to about 20 percent of the total daily dietary intake.

Whole wheat bread

Packed with fiber, whole wheat bread is a good source of manganese. Moreover, whole wheat also contains antioxidant lutein which is good for eye health.


These nuts are one of the best foods on the planet. Filled with vitamin E, calcium, magnesium and other rich minerals, almonds have high amount of magnesium. Sprinkle almonds on oatmeal in the breakfast for a great start of the day.

Dietary value – 1/4 cup of almonds can give 0.53 mg of manganese, 23 percent of the total dietary intake.

Buckwheat (Kuttu ka aata)

Buckwheat is high in magnesium, zinc and serves as a powerful antioxidant. Buckwheat is also a solid source of manganese and beneficial for skin and hair health.

Dietary value – 1 cup cooked groats contain 0.6 mg of manganese. This is 33 percent of the daily dietary intake of manganese.

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This fleshy fruit is not only relishing but also helps boost the immune system and improves the digestive tract. And if you are in search of vitamin C foods, pineapple can serve that purpose as well.

Dietary value – 1 cup serving can provide about 1.5 mg of manganese, this equals to 76 percent of the total recommended dietary intake.


This plant based food is a rich store of protein. Having soybean as part of your meal can lower cholesterol levels apart from providing a healthy dose of manganese. Cook it or enjoy as a curry or soup.

Dietary value – 1 cup cooked soybean contains 4.7 mg of manganese. This is more than double the daily requirement.


Corn is filled with proteins and contains more antioxidants than most of the other common cereal grains. It contains lutein and zeaxanthin that is vital for eye health.

Dietary value – 1 cup serving of corn can provide 0.8 mg of manganese, which is 40 percent of the daily dietary requirement.


Loaded with calcium, potassium and other essential minerals, banana reduces blood pressure and prevents from a heart attack. Moreover, the fiber present in bananas improves digestive health as well. Mash bananas in corn flakes or oatmeal in the morning and you are filled with energy.

Dietary value – 2 medium sized bananas can give about 0.6 mg of manganese, which is 26 percent of the daily need.

A well-balanced diet will typically not create deficiency or overdose in otherwise healthy people. However, if you are really deficient in manganese or suffering from symptoms and conditions mentioned above, don’t hesitate to talk to a doctor or dietician for better guidance.


1. Lee SH, et al.(2013, March).Manganese supplementation protects against diet-induced diabetes in wild type mice by enhancing insulin secretion read more
2. Penland JG and Johnson PE (1993, May).Dietary calcium and manganese effects on menstrual cycle symptoms read more
3. Manganese(2015, February 15). MedlinePlus read more
4. Aschner JL and Aschner M(2005, August).Nutritional aspects of manganese homeostasis read more
5.Takeda A(2003, January).Manganese action in brain function 
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