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!
- 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:
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.
Pour the ground nuts and seeds into a bowl. Now put ¼ 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.
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.
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.
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...)