Magnesium is an important mineral for the human body. It drives more than 100 biochemical reactions in the body. It is involved in carrying out brain function, heart activities, and the proper nervous system. Its need and benefits exist for both mental and physical well-being. A deficiency of magnesium can cause many health issues. It is often overlooked due to the lack of serious symptoms.
Magnesium-rich foods should be a part of well-planned vegan diet to maintain optimal magnesium levels in the body, so that our health, internal reactions, mind, and heart do not suffer any setbacks. Vegans have plenty of options to complete their daily magnesium requirement. This article will discover the significance of magnesium and some of the best vegan foods high in magnesium.
Importance Of Magnesium
Magnesium is a less celebrated nutrient in comparison to iron, calcium, or zinc. But, its functions are extremely crucial for a strong immune system and healthy lifestyle. Magnesium is a macro mineral that establishes and performs various bodily reactions and processes, including protein formation, DNA and RNA creation, and energy metabolism.
Magnesium acts as a catalyst for energy production in the body. It has antioxidant properties that fight free radicals and enhance cell growth and activity. Human bone mass, density, and strength depend immensely on a sufficient level of magnesium.
Magnesium is renowned as an anti-stress mineral because of its relieving properties. It is proven to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression by calming down your nerves. Magnesium prevents and relieves acute migraine attacks. It is associated with an anti-inflammation effect. We can safely say that Magnesium is a multi-functional macro mineral for a healthy life.
How Much Magnesium Do You Need?
Being such a versatile and power-packed mineral, more than 50 % of Americans do not get an adequate amount of magnesium in their diet. This decreases the efficiency of their different biochemical reactions as well as affects their physical strength and mental viability. How much magnesium you need in a day depends on your age and other health goals or lifestyle requirements. According to the National Institutes of Health, the daily magnesium intake must be as follows:
|0-6 months||30 mg||30 mg|
|7-12 months||75 mg||75 mg|
|1-3 years||80 mg||80 mg|
|4-8 years||130 mg||130 mg|
|9-13 years||240 mg||240 mg|
|14-18 years||410 mg||360 mg|
|19-30 years||400 mg||310 mg|
|31-50 years||420 mg||320 mg|
|51+ years||420 mg||320 mg|
These quantities change for pregnant or lactating women to 350-360 mg and 310-320 mg, respectively.
Also, studies show men and women need more magnesium while working out, for better muscle pump and lean muscle growth.
Therefore, an active person may require a higher dose of magnesium in their diet. But make sure to talk about your magnesium needs with your dietician. Excess magnesium can cause digestive issues like diarrhea and cramps.
6 Best Vegan Sources Of Magnesium
Vegans have the upper hand when it comes to magnesium-rich foods. Advantageously, most foods high in magnesium are plant-based, which gives vegans easy access to a lot of healthy vegan magnesium sources:
Tofu is a soy milk product that resembles cottage cheese’s texture. It is a very nutritious plant-based curd that is pressed to get a solid texture. 100g of tofu provides 7 % of the daily magnesium value.
Tofu contributes to supplying essential proteins and amino acids to the body. It is also dense in calcium and manganese. Furthermore, It is great for weight loss, containing only 76 calories. You can stir-fry tofu with vegetables or use them in pasta, salads, desserts, etc.
Seeds are small yet nutrient-dense gems. Various plant-sourced seeds like chia seeds, flax seeds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds or sunflower seeds contain a heavy amount of magnesium. Pumpkin seeds win above all with a whopping 535 mg of magnesium per serving of 100 g.
The other prominent runners-up are chia seeds 335 mg, flax seeds containing 392 mg, and sesame seeds 340 mg per 100 g serving. Upon this, seeds are also loaded with heart-friendly fats and protein. You can roast different seed varieties to make a trail mix or include it in granola bars and puddings.
3. Whole Grains
Whole grains have endless advantages for the body and health, one of them is high magnesium content. 100 g of whole wheat flour has 117 mg of magnesium. 1 cup(100 g) of quinoa contains 64 mg, and millet have 44 mg of magnesium.
Whole grains are very versatile to use in many savory or sweet dishes. Hence, it’s very easy to include them in your one-time meal. Whole grains are used to make tortillas, cookies, muffins, bread, pasta, noodles, and more. You can opt for your favorite food form.
4. Leafy Greens
Lush Green Leafy veggies are the soul and whole of a vegan diet. They are loaded with so many vital vitamins and minerals for the body’s proper nutrition. Spinach is the king of magnesium sources, providing 19% of the daily value.
Next comes Kale, with the capacity to provide an 11% Daily magnesium requirement. Cabbage and Bokchoy contain magnesium equal to 3 % of the per day needed. The best way to consume leafy greens is high protein, low-calorie salads, soups, or stir-fried vegetables.
Avocado is a super healthy exotic fruit with a creamy, buttery texture and bag full of nutrients. They are very fulfilling, given their rich composition of monosaturated fats and fiber. 100 g of ripe avocado contains 29 mg of magnesium which equals 7 % of the daily value.
Avocado is beneficial for cardiovascular health and weight loss. You can consume avocado directly or blend it to make wholesome morning and workout smoothies, tropical salads, etc.
Bananas are a great vegan-friendly satiating fruit that one can have for a fulfilling meal, preferably breakfast or pre/post workout meal.100g banana contains 27 mg magnesium, which is 6% of the daily value. 1 medium size banana gives you 31.9 mg of magnesium.
Bananas are high in good carbs, mainly in the form of starch or sugar, based on their ripeness. They also have a low glycaemic index and more fiber. Eating a banana per day is linked to improved gut health. Bananas can be eaten raw, and green bananas can be fried, mashed, or sauteed.
On a yummy note, Banana milkshakes and smoothies are very delicious and nutritive. Whole wheat French banana toast is a match made in heaven.
Symptoms Of Magnesium Deficiency
Magnesium Deficiency is not too common in the population. Minor magnesium deficiency does not cause any noticeable or serious symptoms. But if magnesium becomes too low, people might experience the following symptoms:
- Lethargy: Low magnesium in the body can drop your energy level and make you feel tired easily, even with less exertion. If you feel abnormal and persistent fatigue, it’s time to check your magnesium level.
- Migraine: Magnesium deficiency is linked with increasing the risk of frequent migraines in people due to less brain function or blood flow.
- Muscle Cramps: Lack of adequate magnesium can lead to sore muscles. You might also feel your muscles twitching.
- Anxiety and Depression: Magnesium is responsible for relieving stress and maintaining a relaxed nervous system. Therefore, a fall in magnesium levels makes a person prone to feel depressed, anxious, upset, and downcast. It also provokes feelings of self-doubt.
- Heart issues: A disbalance in magnesium level can cause irregular heartbeats, which may later escalate to serious health issues like breath shortness, light-headedness, Chest pain, low pulse, and related symptoms.
We hope you know the importance of magnesium in the human body. It’s time to act now and give your body the nutrients it deserves for proper functioning. Magnesium is a prime macronutrient that decides many aspects of your well-being. Therefore, re-evaluate your diet today with your dietician and include more vegan magnesium foods.
Being vegan challenges you to meet many nutrients, but magnesium inclusion is very convenient. You can alternatively take plant-based magnesium supplements as well, incase your diet is falling short to complete daily nutritional intake. Remember health is wealth, and only you can make yourself rich or poor here.