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Fighting Migraines with Magnesium + No-Bake Molasses Bites Recipe

Magnesium Bites

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 ProcessorYou’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 ProcessorPour 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 MixtureProcess 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 CocoaNow 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 BitesYeah, 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…)

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51 Comments

  • Reply
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh
    February 14, 2012 at 8:41 am

    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!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 14, 2012 at 9:03 am

      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. 🙂

  • Reply
    Virginia from That Bald Chick
    February 14, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    Love that you made a yummy bite out of them!

  • Reply
    Leslie
    February 14, 2012 at 5:15 pm

    Ugh, I have one now. I ned to start having the magnesium I have in the cabinet. I understand it works better when you take it.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 14, 2012 at 9:12 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell
    February 14, 2012 at 5:32 pm

    Are you sure they taste good, because you’re so right. They’re ugly. 😉

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 14, 2012 at 9:10 pm

      Well, if you’re a fan of molasses, they taste good. And if you’re not, well, did you see the cupcake recipe I posted yesterday? 😉

  • Reply
    Mary Beth Elderton
    February 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 14, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      Like you, I try to get my nutrition from foods. I’ve read that in most cases, they’re better absorbed that way too. These are definitely perfect for popping into a lunch box!

      • Reply
        Marcia
        August 16, 2014 at 9:31 am

        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.

        • Reply
          Kiersten Frase
          August 17, 2014 at 8:19 pm

          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!

  • Reply
    Val
    February 14, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    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

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 14, 2012 at 9:02 pm

      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.

      • Reply
        Val
        February 17, 2012 at 12:18 pm

        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. 🙂

  • Reply
    Regan @ The Professional Palate
    February 14, 2012 at 6:54 pm

    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 …

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 14, 2012 at 8:57 pm

      Thanks for your input! I’m hoping that simply upping my magnesium intake from food will help, but if it doesn’t, I’m going to try the supplements.

  • Reply
    Kelly @ Texas Type A Mom
    February 14, 2012 at 9:28 pm

    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).

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 15, 2012 at 6:27 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    April H
    February 14, 2012 at 10:51 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 15, 2012 at 6:25 pm

      I think I have that drink powder too! I got it from Conscious Box. I’m glad it’s working for you–I need to try mine now! Stress is always a trigger for my migraines.

  • Reply
    Brenda Williams
    February 14, 2012 at 10:53 pm

    I forwarded this straight to my daughter! You need to package these and sell at the health food store.

  • Reply
    [email protected] eco friendly homemaking
    February 14, 2012 at 11:43 pm

    Oh these look amazing.!! Tasty and so nutritious also.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 15, 2012 at 6:22 pm

      Thank you! I need to try the epsom salt baths for magnesium like you wrote about too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Erica
    February 15, 2012 at 10:26 am

    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!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 15, 2012 at 6:20 pm

      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!

  • Reply
    Grumpy Grateful Mom
    February 16, 2012 at 12:21 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 16, 2012 at 8:47 pm

      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. 😉

  • Reply
    Shirley
    February 16, 2012 at 6:50 pm

    I never knew magnesium could help migraines. I like all the goodies that go into these little balls!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 16, 2012 at 8:44 pm

      Yup, I’ve heard from a lot of people that the magnesium helped cure (or at least alleviate) their migraines–I was surprised too! I’m hoping it works with mine…

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    February 16, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I actually get migraines all the time. I may have to try this recipe 🙂

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 17, 2012 at 2:37 pm

      I’m trying the supplements now–I had a migraine two days ago, so I’m guessing upping the magnesium in my diet wasn’t enough. So my fingers are crossed that this works. Migraines are NOT FUN.

  • Reply
    Anne
    February 19, 2012 at 2:47 pm

    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.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 20, 2012 at 7:32 am

      I need to start keeping track of the foods I eat to see if there’s a connection with the migraines, but I do know that in general, I don’t feel good when I’m eating a lot of processed foods.

  • Reply
    Amy
    February 19, 2012 at 10:24 pm

    I’m sold! I get horrendous migraines and I’ll try anything! Off to go snack on some almonds and print the recipe 🙂

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 20, 2012 at 7:29 am

      Well, I got a migraine last week so trying to increase my magnesium through food did not work so well! I’m trying the supplements now & my fingers are crossed that they actually work!

  • Reply
    Marysa N.
    February 23, 2012 at 3:38 pm

    I have been using this for a couple months now, and have definitely noticed an improvement:
    http://www.vitaminshoppe.com/store/en/browse/sku_detail.jsp?id=QT-1047
    It has magnesium and some other herbal supplements. Interesting about the calcium though, I’ll have to look into that to make sure I’m getting the right ratio so things are in balance with the right ratio!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 23, 2012 at 7:32 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    Kim of Mo'Betta
    February 25, 2012 at 3:09 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 26, 2012 at 7:35 am

      If you like molasses, you will love these! And they freeze really well too–I just ate the last of mine, so I need to make more.

  • Reply
    Claire
    February 29, 2012 at 12:53 pm

    How do you store these? Do they have to be refrigerated?

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      February 29, 2012 at 8:22 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    Patty
    March 23, 2012 at 11:27 am

    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.

    • Reply
      The Type A Housewife
      March 23, 2012 at 3:56 pm

      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!

      • Reply
        Patty
        March 23, 2012 at 4:44 pm

        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. 🙂

        • Reply
          The Type A Housewife
          March 23, 2012 at 9:03 pm

          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!

  • Reply
    ray
    October 18, 2012 at 9:20 am

    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.

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      October 18, 2012 at 8:51 pm

      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.

  • Reply
    Star
    December 29, 2013 at 9:07 pm

    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!

    • Reply
      Kiersten
      December 31, 2013 at 11:03 am

      I love the idea of dipping them in dark chocolate! I’m going to have to try that next time. 🙂

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