Manganese-Rich Foods Boost Bone Health, Especially In Seniors
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In high school science class, you would have heard of potassium permanganate. You remember the color, you remember the formula (KMnO4), and you may even have done some fun experiments with it in the lab. But did you know manganese is also an essential nutrient responsible for many vital activities in our bodies? Manganese, in fact, plays a crucial role in numerous tiny processes within our cells, including helping enzymes with activities like digestion, metabolism, growth, reproduction, and energy production.

The human body needs about 30 different micronutrients in varying amounts. Vitamins and minerals constitute micronutrients. Manganese is one such essential mineral that needs to be consumed in foods and supplements.

Manganese has antioxidant properties, which can hinder cellular oxidation and may stop the onset of chronic illnesses. Eating enough of it on a regular basis could also have other health advantages, including:

    Aiding in the maturation of bones. During childhood, manganese contributes to the formation of bones. It may also help stop bone deterioration in elderly people.

    Could be advantageous for diabetes. Several studies involving humans have concluded that the more manganese people consume, the lower their risk of type 2 diabetes.

    May influence blood pressure. Even though more research is needed to comprehend the association, some current studies have observed links between blood pressure and the amounts of manganese in the blood and urine.

    Can have an impact on brain health. Not only does manganese take part in brain development, but maintaining normal blood concentrations of the mineral could avert neurological ailments such as Parkinson's disease and epilepsy.

According to the Linus Pauling Institute, the adequate daily intake for manganese is 2.3 milligrams per day in adult men and 1.8 milligrams per day in adult women. Getting too little manganese can result in seizures, bone deformities, developmental retardation, irregular menstrual cycles, and other problems. On the other hand, getting too much of it is also a cause for concern, as is the case with most trace minerals. Excessive exposure to manganese from sources like welding fumes or polluted water can be hazardous. It can even have adverse impacts on brain activities, muscle coordination, recollection, and behavior. Studies have also linked excessive manganese exposure to an increased risk of osteoporosis in women and intellectual impairment in children.

The best way to combat manganese deficiency is by consuming manganese-rich foods and/or supplements. A few examples of manganese-rich foods include nuts, such as almonds and pecans; beans and legumes, such as lima and pinto beans; oatmeal and bran cereals; whole wheat bread; brown rice; leafy green vegetables, such as spinach; fruits, such as pineapple and acai; and, happily for chocolate lovers, dark chocolate.

Chickpeas are an excellent source of manganese. Here is a great, quick, and easy recipe to add this vital micronutrient to your food. The prep time is under five minutes, and the dish is ready in ten. The dish serves two.

Chickpeas with poached eggs


  • 4 large eggs
  • 400g can chickpeas in water, drained but liquid reserved 
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 yellow/red pepper, diced
  • ½ - 1 red chilli, deseeded and chopped – can increase based on spice tolerance 
  • ½ bunch spring onions, tops and whites sliced but kept separate 
  • 1 tsp coriander 
  • 3 tomatoes, cut into wedges.
  • 1 tsp cumin 
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • ⅓ pack coriander



Heat the oil in a non-stick sauté pan, add the garlic, pepper, chilli, and the whites of the spring onions, and fry for 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, put a large pan of water on to boil.


Add the spices, tomatoes, most of the coriander, and the chickpeas to the sauté pan and cook for 1-2 minutes more. Stir in the liquid from the chickpeas to moisten everything, and leave to simmer gently. The liquid is rich in protein, so it is best to use it.


Once the water is at a rolling boil, crack in your eggs and poach for 2 minutes, then remove with a slotted spoon. Stir the spring onion tops into the chickpeas, then very lightly crush a few of the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher. Spoon the chickpea mixture onto plates, scatter with the reserved coriander, and top with the eggs. Serve with an extra sprinkle of chili powder if you like your food spicy. You can also add a little lemon juice.