Manganese is a trace mineral, which means your body only needs a very small amount of it. Incidentally, manganese is also naturally found only in small amounts in food. However, this also means that you have to ensure that you get enough manganese in your diet, because manganese deficiency can lead to problems like osteoporosis, glucose intolerance, and even epilepsy.
Manganese is important in helping the body utilize vitamin C, as well as in the manufacture of fat, sex hormones, and breast milk. The recommended daily intake of manganese is between 1.8 to 2.3mg for adults, which doesn’t seem a lot, until you see just how little manganese there is in most foods. That’s why we’re helping you get your daily fix with this list of 10 foods high in manganese.
1. Raisin Bran Cereal
It’s hard to go wrong with raisin bran cereal, regardless of which brand. Just make sure to not get the sugary ones—they’re usually the ones that have cartoon characters drawn on the box to attract children. Raisin bran cereal is packed with nutrients and has very few calories, making it perfect for weight watchers. It also is one of the best sources of manganese, containing up to 1.88 milligrams of it per 1-cup serving. Start your day right with raisin bran!
Pineapples, whether eaten or drank in juice form, is an important source of vitamins and antioxidants. It has also been used to treat various ailments such as inflammations and digestive problems. It is also almost synonymous to dietary fiber; ask anyone what to eat to get enough fiber in your diet, and they are more than likely to say pineapple. In juice form, pineapple can give as much as 2.5 mg of manganese per cup, and a half-cup of raw diced pineapple can give 1.28 mg.
3. Instant Oatmeal
Among oatmeals, instant oatmeal is usually the black sheep. It has been accused of having significantly lower nutrients than regular oats, being too sugary, and containing other unnecessary ingredients like sodium. While the last two may be true, the first accusation is not – it has just as much nutrition as its more traditional brethren. If you don’t mind the sugar, instant oatmeal is a rich source of manganese, with 1.20 mg per packet. If you need a quick breakfast and don’t have time to prepare oatmeal the traditional way, instant oatmeal isn’t a bad choice at all.
Pecans are one of the most delicious members of the nut family. They impart a buttery, rich taste, which makes them great for pies. They’re also densely packed with vitamins and minerals, and have many health benefits like controlling bad cholesterol and keeping certain cancers at bay. A mere 30-gram serving of pecans can give you 1.12 mg of manganese, half of the daily recommended dose for most adults.
5. Brown Rice
Brown rice, or whole-grain rice, is touted as the healthier alternative to white rice. There is plenty of scientific evidence that supports this, and it also contains significantly more nutrients due to its unrefined nature. White rice isn’t even in the top 10 foods that contain manganese! Brown rice, on the other hand, has 0.88 mg per half cup serving. As an added bonus, it has far fewer calories per cup than its white counterpart, and also keeps you feeling fuller longer thanks to its fiber content. Swap your white rice for brown rice now!
The almond, native to the Mediterranean, comes in sweet and bitter forms, with the latter being used to make almond oil. The former can go directly into your mouth after being roasted and dried, or be used in cakes, pies, breads, and salads. Almonds have many therapeutic benefits, and it helps alleviate respiratory disorders, heart problems, anemia, and dental problems. It is also used to make a lactose-free alternative to milk, called almond milk. Almond has 0.74 mg of manganese per 30 grams, making it a decent source of dietary manganese.
7. Whole Grain Bread
Like brown rice, the fact that whole-grain bread (at least 90% grain) is unrefined and uses the whole grain makes it significantly more nutritious. It also has a much lower glycemic index, making it perfect for diabetic and glucose-intolerant individuals. And much like its rice counterpart, it also has fewer calories. One singular slice of whole-grain bread can give as much as 0.65 mg of manganese, which makes it an even better choice not just for diabetes patients but for everyone.
The common, unassuming peanut, present everywhere and available for cheap, actually packs quite a lot of health benefits. It is good for the heart, contains many antioxidants that help prevent cancer, helps reduce weight, has a lot of protein, and provides energy. Peanuts are also an excellent source of manganese, containing 0.59 mg per 30 g serving. No wonder peanut butter sandwiches are popular!
9. Sweet Potato
Sweet potatoes are fun to eat because they’re naturally sweet and require little to no preparation aside from cutting and boiling. But of course, you can use them as an ingredient in dishes like pies, cakes, and salads. You can even make French fries with them! It would be healthier too, as sweet potatoes contain tons of beta-carotene, and large amounts of vitamins A and C. It’s also one of the better sources of manganese, containing about 1.10 mg of it per cup.
Tea has enjoyed widespread popularity within health-conscious communities due to its potential to reduce heart attacks significantly, help in weight loss, keep bones strong, boost the immune system, and many other things. It’s also a good substitute for coffee if you simply want to drink something hot, as it has only 1/4 of the caffeine content of coffee.
Like other trace minerals, manganese’s rarity makes it difficult to get enough of, unless you know where to look. Fortunately, many common foods have this mineral; however, like with many things in life, do not take in too much of it, as that can cause problems as well. As long as you include the recommended amounts of the foods listed above in your daily diet, you’ll have enough manganese in your diet.