Boron is a mineral on the periodic table that isn’t talked about too much in terms of its benefits for the human body. However, boron health benefits are plentiful. Here’s an in depth look at everything this element can do for your body, and how you can add boron to your diet.
There isn’t a determined adequate intake of boron according to Health Canada. This is a result of unclear research showing a specific biological function of boron. Despite knowing that boron has positive effects on the human body, there isn’t enough research pinpointing how it works. Nevertheless, as with most minerals, there is a set daily upper limit. Adults should get no more that 20mg/day.
20mg/day is a relatively low upper limit. In 1981, studies found the minimal lethal dosage to be 640mg/kg/day. Symptoms of boron toxicity include nausea, gassiness, vomiting, and diarrhea. These symptoms can progress to flushed skin, excitation, convulsions, depression, ad vascular collapse. It would be nearly impossible to experience this level of toxicity through diet alone. You’d need to take excessive amounts of boron supplements.
Boron Health Benefits
Boron health benefits are numerous, and one of its most important roles it has is related to brain function, and cognitive performance. Many studies have shown the enhanced cognitive performance in patients taking boron compared to those who weren’t.
It affects the brain’s electrophysiology. The results are heightened response time, manual dexterity, eye-hand coordination, attention, perception, encoding and short-term memory, and long-term memory. This is critical. We should all be looking for natural ways to ensure optimal cognitive performance.
Boron plays an important role in calcium metabolism and utilization. Similarly to vitamin K2, boron seems to play a role in mineral activity. Adequate boron levels result in healthier, stronger bones, with less calcium in the rest of the body. This is important because excess calcium in the blood stream can be very dangerous, and can result in cell death.
Boron health benefits largely come from its effect on the activity of metabolic enzymes, and steroid hormones. It also affects the metabolism of many important nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D.
Here are some boron-rich foods that you can add to your diet.
Prunes are a great source of fibre and vitamin K1. They also have good amounts of vitamin A, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese. Unfortunately, prunes are incredibly high in sugar so you’re not going to want to eat too many.
Raisins are about 60% sugar. They are definitely not something you’re going to want to eat in large quantities on a regular basis. They have a fairly low nutritional value, but they do contain some dietary fibre, vitamin C, vitamin K1, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B6, iron, phosphorus, potassium, copper, and manganese.
Almonds really are a wonder food. They’re a great source of protein and magnesium, and also supply you with vitamin B2, calcium, manganese, iron, and vitamin B-6. They’re also rich in antioxidants. They are good for your heart, blood sugar control, fighting hunger, and slowing the effects of aging.
Peanuts are a tasty legume and are a good source of boron. They are a rich source of protein, fibre, vitamin E, thiamin, niacin, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, and manganese. They are high in fat, and especially high in omega-6. Since they are fairly low in carbohydrates, and high in fat and protein, they could be a good food choice for a low-carb diet. Because of the high omega-6 levels, you may want to take an omega-3 supplement to counterbalance these fats.
Hazelnuts are another good source of boron. They are a good source of fibre, protein, vitamin E, thiamin, vitamin B6, folate, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and copper. They’re also high in manganese. Like the peanut, hazelnuts are high in fat, especially omega-6.
Since dates are a common dessert ingredient it isn’t surprising that this fruit is very high in sugar. They do have some vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese, but all are in fairly low levels. However, dates are a better way to sweeten desserts than straight sugar. Limit how many of these sweet natural treats you eat.
Apples 2.73 mg/kg
Apples are mostly water with some sugar for flavour. However, they are also packed with antioxidants. These antioxidants reduce inflammation, fight cancer, fight fatigue, and support brain function. Despite the sugar in apples they can actually help lower blood sugars and help with weight loss. Apples also contain vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin K and dietary fibre.
Peaches are another fruit that are mostly water, with a bit of fibre, and sugar. They also contain vitamin C, vitamin A, niacin, and potassium. Many of the antioxidants in apples are also found in peaches.
Broccoli Flowers 1.85 mg/kg, Stalks 0.89 mg/kg
Broccoli is a cruciferous vegetable packed with nutrients. It is a great source of vitamin C, and vitamin K1. It also has most other micronutrients we need in smaller amounts. These nutrients will help your muscles, brain, nerves, and overall health.
Pears 1.22 mg/kg
Pears have a little more sugar than peaches or apples, but they have a very similar nutritional profile. They’re a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K1, potassium, and copper. They’re also rich in antioxidants. They will help stabilize blood sugars and help with weight loss.
There really isn’t a reason why you would need to take a boron supplement. There are plenty of good whole food options to supply you with all of the boron you need.
Disclaimer: We are not medical professionals. Please consult with a doctor before adding/changing your dosage of any supplement in your diet. Start or stop taking any supplements at your own risk.