Michael van Straten
Michael van Straten
australiaphen375.com

Manganese

Manganese is a vitally important essential mineral which few people are aware of. In the body it's stored in the pituitary gland, the liver, pancreas, kidneys and bone, and is an essential component in the function of many of the enzymes which control the body's own chemical reactions. One of these important enzymes is called SOD - Superoxide Dismutase - which destroys damaging free radicals which attack the heart and cause some cancers.

Although you need this mineral in tiny amounts, without it your body can't utilise protein and has a reduced ability to manufacture the sex hormones. It's part of the mechanism which builds strong bones, it contributes to the creation of thyroid hormones which in turn control the whole metabolism, plays a part in blood sugar chemistry and is needed for the formation and protection of healthy nerve tissue. With all these functions it's surprising that general awareness of the importance of manganese is so low.

People suffering from diabetes, heart disease, rheumatoid arthritis, fatty deposits in the arteries, disc problems and general muscle weakness are often found to have low levels of this essential mineral in their blood. Manganese deficiency is most commonly the result of getting too little in your food and over-processing and food refining are a serious cause of manganese losses from raw ingredients, yet another reason for making sure your diet contains as little processed, packaged and precooked food as possible.

Anyone who's extremely ill and being fed either through an intravenous drip or by a tube directly into the stomach will certainly be short of manganese and the same is true for those on very reduced low calorie diets, restricted diets for other medical reasons or with greatly increased nutritional needs - serious athletes, anyone recovering from severe illness and of course during pregnancy and breast feeding. If you're taking large doses of calcium, magnesium or phosphorous the ability to absorb manganese may be decreased and antibiotics, oral contraceptives and excessive alcohol can lower the blood levels of this mineral.

There is no official recommended daily allowance for manganese but the minimum requirement is 1.5 mg per day. Ideally you should aim for 2.5-5 mg and this should all come from your food. Although it should be widely distributed through the foods in your shopping basket, many people do not eat the simple healthy foods that are the best sources. Apart from the essential functions, getting more manganese into your diet is healthy for everyone, and has special benefits for some. For diabetics manganese helps control blood sugar levels, it speeds the growth of collagen which is important for wound healing, it boosts the immune system, can reduce the frequency of epileptic attacks, and lowers the risk of osteoporosis by helping to strengthen the bones.

BEST SOURCES

TEA
0.22 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 26% from one cup
Manganese score: 3/10

WHOLEMEAL BREAD
1.9 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 40% from one slice
Manganese score: 4/10

GRAPE JUICE
This delicious juice is widely available in all supermarkets now and it's not only a good source of manganese but a very rich source of the protective plant chemicals that make red wine, so good for your heart and circulation.
0.4 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 60% from a tumbler
Manganese score: 6/10

HAZEL NUTS
4.9 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 163% from 50 g serving
Manganese score: 10/10

BLACKBERRIES
It won't be long before the hedgerows are lush with a wonderful crop of these highly nutritious fruits, and they're all free. Huge amounts of vitamin C, lots of vitamin E, as well as manganese.
1.4 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 140% from 150 g serving
Manganese score: 10/10

PINEAPPLE
1 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 100% from 150 g serving
Manganese score: 10/10

OKRA (Ladies Fingers)
An important ingredient in most Indian cooking, Ladies fingers have a unique flavour, lots of potassium for a healthy heart, some calcium, folic acid and this essential mineral. If you've never tasted them, make sure you order a portion next time you go for a ruby (Ruby Murray - curry)
0.9 mg / 100 g
Percentage of daily requirement: 90% from 150 g serving
Manganese score: 9/10

 

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