Fighting Migraines with Magnesium + No-Bake Molasses Bites Recipe

Making No-Bake Molasses Bites
Since mentioning my migraines on my blog, a few people have told me that I should try taking magnesium for them. So is it true that magnesium can help prevent migraines? According to Google (which is where you should get all your health information from, don’t you know!), the answer is maybe. Which is good enough for me!

Many migraine sufferers have been found to have low levels of magnesium. Magnesium is an essential nutrient for many of our body’s functions, so it makes sense that when you’re lacking it, things will go wonky. In two double-blind studies, magnesium supplements were found to reduce the frequency of migraines. The catch is that magnesium supplements need to be taken in a specific ratio to calcium. (By the way, I’m not a doctor–don’t take magnesium supplements without consulting yours first.)

I’m always a little bit reluctant when it comes to supplements (many make me feel nauseated when I take them), so I decided that before going the supplement route, I’d try eating more foods that are naturally high in magnesium–foods that I should be eating more of anyway. So what are some foods that are high in magnesium? Well, I’m glad you asked!

High Magnesium Foods

  • Pepitas (156 mg per ounce)
  • Sesame Seeds (101 mg per ounce)
  • Sunflower Seeds (37 mg per ounce)
  • Brazil Nuts (107 mg per ounce)
  • Cashews (77 mg per ounce)
  • Almonds (76 mg per ounce)
  • Dates (63 mg per cup)
  • Wheat Bran (354 mg per cup)
  • Oat Bran (235 mg per cup)
  • Dark Chocolate (95 mg per 100 grams)
  • Flax Seeds (32 mg per tablespoon)
  • Molasses (816 mg per cup)
  • Soy Nuts (392 mg per cup)

As much as I’d like to be the type that snacks on nuts and seeds all day, I’m not. I decided to devise a snack that would pack a large amount of magnesium in a small package. And hence, my No-Bake Molasses Bites were born. Here’s how to make them:

Nuts & Seeds in Food Processor You’ll need 1 cup of seeds, nuts, and/or bran. Use whatever you have on hand and whatever you find tastiest. Dump them into your food processor and process them until they have the consistency of coarse sand.

Tahini & Dates in Food Processor Pour the ground nuts and seeds into a bowl. Now put 1/4 cup of dates (about 4 or 5) into your food processor and pulse until chopped. Add 2 tablespoons of tahini (made from sesame seeds–more magnesium!), 2 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses, and seed/nut mixture.

No-Bake Molasses Bites Mixture Process that until it’s well-mixed. You’ll know it’s ready when you can reach in and form a ball with the mixture and it doesn’t crumble apart. Add more molasses or tahini as needed if your mixture is not binding well.

Coating No-Bake Molasses Bites in Cocoa Now form your Molasses Bites. You should be able to make about 15 of them. Pour about 2 tablespoons of unsweetened cocoa powder on a plate and roll your bites in it until they’re coated. Brush off any excess cocoa powder.

No-Bake Molasses Bites Yeah, I know. They’re ugly. But they taste good! And they’re full of migraine-fighting magnesium. (Well, I hope it’s migraine fighting. I’ve eaten them for three days now and haven’t had a migraine yet. Fingers crossed…)

Kiersten Frase

About Kiersten

Kiersten is the founder and editor of Oh My Veggies. She loves cooking, trashy reality shows, and Hello Kitty. Kiersten also blogs about blogging at kierstenfrase.com.   Read more from Kiersten →

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Comments

  1. says

    That is so interesting! I used to get migraines a lot more frequently but since my weight loss I haven’t had hardly any which is strange because I don’t think there’s a correlation. So these are a good weapon to have in your arsenal! Fingers crossed for less to no more migraines!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Oddly enough, all of my health problems seem to have gotten worse with weight loss–ha! But if this magnesium/migraine connection thing is true, maybe you’re getting fewer migraines because you’re eating healthier foods, which naturally have more magnesium? I eat lots of fruits and veggies, but as much as I try to incorporate nuts and seeds into my diet, I never really do, which is why I thought these bites would be easier for me to manage. :)

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Ha! And I’m sorry you’re suffering from migraines too. They are so incapacitating–people just don’t understand if they haven’t had them themselves. I hope you’re better by now–take that magnesium!

  2. Mary Beth Elderton says

    I’m so glad to know this! I always want to get nutrition from foods rather than supplements–the pills hit my stomach hard, too. These Molasses Bites would be so easy to add to a lunch box, too.

      • Marcia says

        You might want to try getting more B2 into your diet. My husband suffers from migraines and he has started taking B2 in addition to Mg. He is beginning to see less severe headaches and fewer occurrences. This is after a month of starting the B2 and occasional Mg supplement.

        • Kiersten Frase says

          I started using Natural Calm after writing this post and it’s helped my migraines a great deal. Now I mostly only get them when I forget to take it for a few days in a row. I will look into B2 though!

  3. says

    Hopefully it works! Ever since I found out about magnesium’s help I swear I’ve head less headaches. The oens I do have aren’t as strong and come less frequently. I got my Mom to try it too, even though she said her Google search came up showing that she’d have lots of farts from taking it. heehee

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Yeah, people keep telling me to try it, so I thought I’d start out with increasing my intake through food. If that doesn’t work, I’ll go to the supplements, but I’m sure they’ll make me want to throw up–for some reason, mineral supplements always do.

      • says

        I’m sensitive to a lot of them too- and especially multi-vitamins. Yuck! I’ve never had a problem with magnesium, so hopefully if you go that route you’re fine with them. :)

  4. Regan @ The Professional Palate says

    I think these sound delish!

    I would add that I have started taking supplemental magnesium for migraines. It has worked amazingly well. I am a big believer in it …

  5. says

    I hope these keep working for you! These would be much tastier than gobbling down two horse pills every day. All supplements are not created equal. If you do go the supplement route, I’d suggest the Target brand ones which don’t have a lot of extra junk in them (soy/wheat/dairy/sugar free).

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Thanks for the tip–I have the worst luck with supplements, especially minerals, which is why I’m nervous about trying the magnesium. But I’m going to do it if increasing my intake through food doesn’t work because it seems like as I get older, the migraines get worse and worse!

  6. says

    This is so timely! I’ve been suffering from severe headaches lately! I’ve had a lot of stress, which I think is a contributing factor. I’ll have to give these a try! In the meantime I remembered I had a “calm” drink powder which has magnesium and calcium in it, so I had some and it seems to be helping!

  7. Erica says

    This recipe looks great! I have celiac disease so I’m always looking for how to add magnesium to my diet.

    I had really terrible migraines (are there any other kind?) for 10 years that were only minimally controlled with medication. I found my answer unexpectedly when an endocrinologist tested me for Vitamin D deficiency and found my levels were dangerously low. I took a therapeutic dose of Vitamin D (50,000 IU 3x/week) for 6 weeks then switched to a maintenance dose of 4800 IU per day. I don’t need migraine medication any longer, and I get probably less than 2 migraines a year. I used to get more than 2 migraines a week!

    None of my doctors ever suggested that Vitamin D deficiency could be the root of my migraine troubles, so I try to pass on that info so people can get themselves checked. It may not help everyone, but for those that it does, it is a rather simple fix.

    I hope you find something that helps you too!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      This is interesting, because my migraines are always worse in the winter (when Vitamin D intake is naturally at its lowest, unless you’re supplementing). When I’ve brought this up to doctors, they kind of brush it off like I’m crazy, but maybe Vitamin D could be the reason. Thanks for sharing–I’m definitely going to look into this!

  8. says

    These would be fun to try! My husband just happens to sell everything you pictured. :) I only get very occasional migraines, but I do get bad headaches regularly. I’ve found what I eat can have a big difference on those.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Your husband sells nuts and seeds?! That is awesome! I’m sorry to hear that you have headaches and migraines too. I should probably try to keep track and see if I can find any correlations with what I’m eating, but I think I might be afraid to find out. ;)

  9. says

    I am on day 3 of a migraine right now, unfortunately. I just got a handful of almonds to try a little magnesium. I’ve definitely noticed a connection between what I eat and my migraines, the more whole foods I eat the better.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Thank you for the link! I was thinking about trying feverfew–I remember my mom used to take it for her migraines when I was a kid.

      Here’s where I found the info about the calcium-to-magnesium ratio: Magnesium & Migraine. It looks like calcium should be no more than double the amount of magnesium & they need to be taken together to be metabolized.

  10. Kim of Mo'Betta says

    Migraines are the worst! Thankfully I haven’t had one in quite a while, but I still need to try these! I do love molasses!

    • Kiersten Frase says

      With the cocoa, they get a little messy if they’re not refrigerated. I actually froze mine though so they’d keep longer–I let them sit for about 20 minutes before eating them, but I had a few frozen and they were good like that too.

  11. says

    A friend sent me a link to your post. I get frequent migraines. I have read about the magnesium link, even bought a book about it and tried taking supplements for a while but didn’t have a lot of luck with that. I do think there is a connection though. I discovered the magnesium connection after I was able to hault my migraines by eating sunflower seeds. I haven’t had the same results with supplements. I am definitely going to try this recipe! It looks really yummy and I’m hoping it works. I’ll be back to let you know when I try it.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Did you take the supplements with calcium? I’ve read that they need to be taken in a certain proportion to calcium in order to be effective, although everyone I know who’s used the supplements with success has just taken them alone.

      I’ve increased my magnesium intake through my diet and started taking a small dose of magnesium each day (250 mg, with 500 mg of calcium). While I still get migraines, they’re not nearly as frequent–just prior to writing this post, I was literally getting 3-4 incapacitating migraines a week. So I do think there’s something to it, even if I’m not one of the lucky ones who gets the migraines to go away completely!

      Anyway, I hope you like this recipe if you make it (these freeze really well, so when I make them, I freeze them and have one a day with breakfast or lunch)–good luck getting rid of your migraines!

      • says

        Yes, I took it with calcium. I may not have given it enough time or taken enough magnesium. I may try it again at some point but I also get weather related migraines and the magnesium doesn’t always help with those. I was getting about as many migraines as you not too long ago, but mine are triggered by snow and rain (and some other things). I think mine have gotten better because the weather has been better. They are always worse in the winter.

        Anyway, thanks for the recipe. I’ll let you know when I try it. I’ve also shared this on my FB page so hopefully it sends some traffic your way. :)

        • Kiersten Frase says

          Thanks for sharing the link! My migraines seem to get worse in the winter too, but when I told my doctor this, he thought I was crazy. How strange that yours are triggered by snow or rain–could it be the humidity in the air? I think mine get worse in the winter because of the dryness with the heat being on 24/7!

  12. ray says

    So these are for purposely getting migraines??
    Nuts and seeds are major triggers for migraines!
    I monitor everything i eat and as of late, pepitas and sunflower seeds gave me a nasty one just yesterday.I also suffer from occasional heart palpitations which are kept at bay by 250mg magnesium supplements.Hydration with unsweetened beverages seems to work for me along with the long list of trigger foods.

    • Kiersten Frase says

      Different people have different triggers for migraines; nuts and seeds don’t trigger migraines for me. This post is about my attempt to increase magnesium in my diet and the foods that I used for that. If nuts and seeds trigger migraines for you, then it’s probably a good idea for you to avoid them.

  13. Star says

    Great information and delicious treats! Now for the wow factor…I used sunflower seeds and pumpkin seeds (since that was all I had on hand), the dates and the molasses then pressed them flat into a plastic 1 teaspoon measure. They basically slid out and were rounded on one side and flat on the other. I put them in refrigerator for about 15 minutes then dipped them into dark chocolate (which also has magnesium). Really good! I would even serve these to guests. Thanks for posting recipe!

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