Manganese may be the catch-22 of nutrients. If you are deficient, your body is going to break down. But if you have too much, your body is going to break down. (Fortunately, too much manganese is fairly rare.)
The benefits of manganese
Manganese is part of the antioxidant enzyme superoxide dismutase, (SOD), considered one of the most important antioxidants. In this role, manganese helps eliminate disease-causing free radicals, which can not only contribute to premature aging but also heart disease. Interestingly, SOD may also be beneficial in reducing inflammation.
Additionally, this nutrient may help in regulating blood sugar. And it may reduce PMS symptoms in women. Another important benefit for women, it appears that in combination with other nutrients, manganese supports bone mineral density.
Sexual benefits for women
Besides helping to reduce PMS symptoms, manganese is not often talked about but is a vital nutrient to women’s sexual health. That’s because the female hormone estrogen requires manganese for its metabolism. Manganese deficiency is even considered a cause of infertility.
Benefits for men
While manganese is an important nutrient for women’s sexual health, it may be even more important for men when it comes to sex drive and sexual performance.
According to Nature’s Aphrodisiacs, in laboratory studies with male subjects, manganese deficiency caused loss of sex drive, lack of semen, and the degeneration of seminal tubules.
And keep in mind that since manganese is scientifically linked with heart health and the reduction of inflammation, it may support healthy blood flow and healthy sexual performance in men.
Getting manganese from food sources
So how do we get the right amount of manganese? The body does produce it. Just not enough. Therefore, we need to incorporate the right foods into our diets. The health of your skin, bones, metabolism, sight, hearing and nervous system depends on a sufficient level of manganese.
For men, the RDA is 2.3mg and for women, it is 1.8mg. (The RDA is slightly higher for pregnant and lactating women. Consult your doctor before making any drastic changes to manganese intake.)
What foods are high in manganese?
- Steamed blue mussels 5.8mg/3oz serving
- Roasted pecans 1.1mg/oz
- Brown rice 1.1mg/1/2 cup serving
- Cooked clams .9mg/3oz serving
- Pineapple .8mg/1/2 cup serving
- Steamed soybeans .7mg/1/2 cup serving
- Cooked oatmeal .7mg/1/2 cup serving
- Roasted peanuts .5mg/oz
- Lentils .5mg/1/2 cup serving
- Blueberries .3mg/1/2 cup serving
Drinking water also contains trace amounts of manganese, as does coffee, one of our favorite aphrodisiac drinks.
Equally as important to incorporating manganese-rich foods into your diet is trying to limit your intake of antibiotics, alcohol and drugs that deplete manganese. Ensure you’re ingesting your daily dose and get ready to reap the benefits of glowing skin, pumping blood and recharging the reproductive system.
Overnight Steel-Cut Oats
Savory Porridge with Turmeric, Kimchi and a Fried Egg
Salty, Spicy Edamame
Brown Rice Salad with Leeks, Golden Beets and Kale
Wild and Brown Rice Pilaf
Spanish Chicken with Lentils
Meatless Meatloaf with Ancient Grains
Spanish Mussels in Sailor’s Sauce
Mussels in White Wine Tarragon Broth
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