Vital minerals

Magnesium and zinc are two vital minerals that we need to consume every day. How can we best absorb them and which foods are particularly rich in these vital substances.


We need to get enough vital minerals every day. In addition to a balanced diet, taking magnesium and zinc as mineral supplements can help.

In our modern, hectic times, it is not always easy to ensure that you get enough of the essential minerals. How to do this and which foods contain particularly high levels of magnesium and zinc.

In order for our body to function smoothly and for us to feel strong and healthy, we need to eat a varied and balanced diet. It should contain a good amount of macronutrients, i.e. protein, carbohydrates and fats, as well as a sufficient amount of micronutrients, such as vitamins and minerals. Magnesium and zinc play a key role here, as both minerals are truly multi-talented.

Among other things, magnesium guarantees us full power in energy metabolism and regulates the transmission of stimuli between nerves and muscles. Zinc, the beauty and immune power trace element, also ensures healthy and beautiful skin, hair and nails as well as a strong and intact immune system. The two vital minerals cannot be produced by our bodies themselves, but must be supplied from outside every day.

Zinc in food: makes you beautiful and is healthy

Covering the recommended daily amounts of vital substances with food is a problem of our time. In industrialized countries, there is a very large selection of foods available. However, people are increasingly turning to highly processed foods, such as frozen pizzas or ready meals. These are characterized by a high energy density, but a relatively low content of micronutrients, such as magnesium and zinc.

Anyone who drinks a lot of alcohol (considered a real magnesium and zinc thief) or sweats a lot (sports people, sauna-goers) loses some of the minerals they have consumed through increased fluid loss. The growing number of people who eat vegetarian or vegan diets have to pay more attention to their diet to ensure that they get the recommended daily amount of zinc. Likewise, a lot of stress can lead to a higher need for magnesium. There is also an increased need during pregnancy and breastfeeding. And one-sided diets often result in too few minerals being consumed.

However, a blood test can hardly determine whether your magnesium or zinc levels are adequate. This is because only a small percentage of the two minerals are found in the blood. Adults have 20 to 25 grams of magnesium stored, more than half of which is in the bones. The rest is almost entirely in the muscles and other tissues and organs. Adults can only store very little of the trace element zinc: around 2 grams are found mainly in the liver, muscle tissue, eyes, skin, hair, nails and bones.

Only a doctor can really clarify this, who will diagnose a poor supply of magnesium or zinc based on the symptoms, medical history and possibly with the help of blood values. However, a check of diet and lifestyle can certainly provide an initial orientation:

The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends the following daily intake of magnesium: 350 mg for men and 300 mg for women per day. Note: For example, the daily requirement is higher for athletes, people under stress, pregnant women and breastfeeding women.

The DGE recommends that men should consume 11-16 mg and women 7-10 mg per day. Note: The higher the phytate content of the food, i.e. the greater the proportion of whole grain products, pulses, nuts, brown rice, etc. in the diet, the higher the zinc requirement.

Phytate or phytic acid is essential for plants because they need phytate to store phosphate and to bind various minerals that the plant needs to grow. In humans, however, the increased consumption of foods rich in phytate (e.g. grains and pulses) means that some of the minerals contained cannot be absorbed. They are bound by the phytate and excreted again. Phytate can be broken down using preparation methods such as soaking, germination or sourdough fermentation, allowing the body to absorb more zinc or magnesium.

However, a healthy diet with natural foods such as whole grain products is also significantly better in terms of mineral supply than fast food with highly processed products such as white flour, peeled rice, etc. The simultaneous intake of protein increases the bioavailability of zinc. Phosphates (e.g. in processed cheese, sausage products) can also inhibit the absorption of zinc and magnesium.

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Wheat bran is extremely rich in magnesium.

Foods high in magnesium

• Wheat bran 480 mg
• Seeds (e.g. hemp 483 mg, sesame 350 mg, linseed 325 mg, chia 335 mg, poppy 330 mg)
• Seeds (sunflower seeds 420 mg, pumpkin seeds 285 mg)
• Cocoa powder, slightly deoiled 410 mg
• Pseudocereals (amaranth 310 mg, quinoa 275 mg)
• Wheat germ 290 mg
• Nuts such as cashews 270 mg
• Dark chocolate 70% cocoa content 230 mg
• Wild rice 175 mg
• Bulgur 140 mg
• Legumes (such as peas 120 mg, beans 140 mg, kidney beans 150 mg, soybeans 220 mg)
• Oat flakes 130 mg
• green leafy vegetables (e.g. rocket 160 mg, purslane 150 mg, chard 80 mg)
• Crispbread 110 mg
• Dried bananas 100 mg

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Oysters contain particularly high levels of zinc.

Foods that contain a lot of zinc

• Oysters, shelled 22 mg
• Wheat bran 9 mg
• Wheat germ 8.6 mg
• Seeds (poppy 8 mg, sesame 7.7 mg, linseed 5.5 mg, chia 4.6 mg)
• Meat (pork liver 6.5 mg, veal liver 6.1 mg, beef steak 5.9 mg)
• Seeds (pumpkin seeds: 6.1 mg, sunflower seeds: 5.7 mg, pine nuts 4.2 mg)
• Wild rice 6 mg
• Cheese (Emmental 5.8 mg, Parmesan 5.9 mg, Gruyère 5.7 mg, Blue cheese 5 mg, Edam 5 mg, Gouda 4.2 mg)
• Nuts (pecans 5.3 mg, Brazil nuts 4 mg)
• Maple syrup 4.1 mg
• Oatmeal: 4 mg
• Legumes (e.g. beans 4.6 mg, soybeans 4.2 mg, lentils 3.4 mg, peas 3.3 mg)
• Cocoa powder 3.5 mg
• Bulgur 3 mg

Source: HESEKER/HESEKER: The nutritional table, DEG eV; 6th edition 2019/2020

The supply of these two vital minerals normally comes from food. However, if you are unable to create an optimally balanced diet, whether due to lack of time or because you are avoiding certain food groups out of conviction, or if you have an increased need due to certain life circumstances, you should consider supplementing your diet with mineral supplements. After consulting your doctor or pharmacist, look for magnesium and zinc products with organic compounds that the body can absorb very well, such as the product range from Verla-Pharm with Magnesium Verla® and Zinc Verla®.

Anyone who follows these ten practical tips – or at least most of them – is already a big step towards being well supplied with magnesium and zinc.

  1. Drink mineral water that is particularly rich in magnesium.
  2. Breakfast rich in magnesium and zinc: muesli made from oat flakes, wheat bran, amaranth and various seeds and nuts. Top with milk, yoghurt and fresh fruit such as bananas and berries as desired.
  3. Stew or steam vegetables instead of boiling them. This way the minerals, especially magnesium, are not washed out with the cooking water.
  4. Always soak pulses before preparing them. This breaks down the mineral-binding phytate and fewer minerals are lost.
  5. When baking, try delicious variations with real cocoa and poppy seeds, for example.
  6. If you’re going to eat chocolate, then please go for dark chocolate.
  7. Always sprinkle a few sunflower or pumpkin seeds over the salad.
  8. …or enjoy as a snack, for which nuts in general, especially cashews and pecans as well as dried bananas are also suitable.
  9. Instead, include whole grain products in your diet, such as wild rice, whole grain bread and bulgur.
  10. During particularly stressful times, when exercising more, during pregnancy or when breastfeeding – be sure to talk to your doctor or pharmacist about the increased need for magnesium and zinc and the possible supplementary intake through mineral supplements.

The daily mineral requirement cannot always be covered by a balanced diet. It is good if you can rely on high-quality products from the pharmacy, such as those from Verla-Pharm. The additional intake of minerals can help maintain a healthy lifestyle. Don’t leave anything to chance when it comes to your mineral supply.

Magnesium Verla® 400 direct granules

You can find more information about the extensive range of mineral and vitamin preparations from Verla-Pharm on

Important: Make sure you also eat a varied, balanced diet and lead a healthy lifestyle.