When you think about minerals, you probably think of things like potassium or calcium. They’re few of the most popular ones anyway right? There are, however, another variety of minerals, known as trace minerals. These are the minerals that are found in small doses within the body. One such trace mineral, is Manganese. You might have heard of it before, maybe you saw it on the label of your multi-vitamin but do you know what is its purpose? Why is it required by your body?
The human body only contains about 18-20mg of Manganese and most of it is found situated in and around our bones, kidneys, liver and pancreas. Even though it is only found in small doses it does play an important role in many of the day to day activities that take place in our body.
Manganese is an important mineral when it comes to the proper growth, development and maintenance of the bones. It is widely believed that those who suffer from a deficiency are more prone to bone related issues such as, osteoporosis and other bone degenerative diseases. Women, especially, need to ensure sufficient Manganese intake as most women that go through menopause have been diagnosed with a Manganese deficiency.
Metabolism and Digestion
Manganese also plays an important role in regulating the body’s metabolism. If your metabolism is not functioning properly, you can experience difficulties gaining or losing weight (depending on the irregularity).
Another function is to help with the digestion of cholesterol, carbohydrates, vitamins E and B1 and the amino acid glutamine.
Ensures Healthy Thyroid Function
Along with Iodine, Manganese ensures to keep the thyroid healthy. Manganese forms an essential part of one of the most important thyroid hormones, Thyroxine.
A healthy thyroid ensures proper metabolism regulation as well as aids the body maintain a healthy hormonal balance.
Food Sources of Manganese
Berries, pineapples, green beans, spinach, lettuce, bananas, almonds, garlic, oats, seaweeds, egg YOLKS, beans and brown rice.
Unlike some other vitamins and minerals, cooking the foods does not seem to greatly affect the Manganese content in the food and does not affect the absorption rate within the intestines.
Those with a deficiency should aim for a 10mg daily intake through foods and/or supplements.