What Is Manganese & What Foods Can I Find It In?

Manganese is an essential trace mineral. It’s involved in the synthesis and activation of many enzymes.

It’s easier to find manganese in plant sources than from animal foods.

Manganese is found in foods like cereals, nuts, and seeds for instance.

We need manganese because it's essential to the growth of good bacteria in the colon and the prevention of harmful bacteria.

It also helps the body absorb some nutrients and helps to break down the foods we eat.

Table of Contents

Manganese Is An Important Nutrient

Manganese is an essential element in the human body that’s mainly obtained from food and water. (source )

Manganese is an essential micronutrient for all life, with a central role in energy metabolism and iron-sulfur cluster biogenesis.

Manganese In Our Body

Our body uses dietary manganese from food sources, but most manganese is absorbed from the intestine.

The absorption of manganese is tightly regulated in the gut and therefore toxicity from dietary manganese is extremely rare.

However, environmental manganese overexposure is harmful to our health. (source )

Benefits Of Manganese

Manganese is essential for the proper function of the brain and the immune system.

Manganese is required for proper immune function, regulation of blood sugar and cellular energy, reproduction, digestion, glucose, and carbohydrate metabolism.

But also bone growth and formation, blood coagulation, and homeostasis and defense against reactive oxygen species.

Deficiency Of Manganese

Deficiency of manganese is associated with a range of neurological and systemic diseases, including anemia, developmental disorders, and diabetes mellitus.

Manganese And Iron

Dietary iron intakes and iron status appear to be inversely associated with manganese absorption.

Men appear to absorb dietary manganese less efficiently than women. This might depend on the fact that men usually have higher iron status. (source )

Manganese In Food

Plant sources have much higher manganese concentrations than animal sources.

Whole grains, rice, and nuts contain the highest amounts of manganese. Chocolate, tea, mussels, clams, legumes, fruit, leafy vegetables, seeds, and spices are also good food sources for manganese. (source )

Due to its numerous dietary sources, manganese deficiency is exceptionally rare. (source )

Foods You Can Find Manganese In

You find Manganese, Mn mostly in beverages, baby foods, spices and herbs, and fruit products.

Examples of food sources include

Foods in our nutrition tool

You can find regularly updated top-ranked lists of foods for over 200+ nutrients in our nutrition tool.

If you are interested in what foods contain the most Manganese we recommend you visit our tool.

Here's our top-ranked list of foods that contain Manganese, Mn.

Sara Niemelä

co-founder Care Omnia, Head Content Creator

Author Image of Sara Niemelä

Nutrition is my passion. I've spent thousands upon thousands of hours reading, analyzing, categorizing and comparing research studies.

I’m a wife and a mother of three. I enjoy the outdoors, cooking, and spending time with my family.