Muscle Cramps? You Might Need More Magnesium

Muscle Cramps? You Might Need More Magnesium
Table of Contents

    You might know to eat a banana with potassium for muscle cramps, but did you know you also should reach for some almonds? Magnesium might not be the first mineral you think of when you think about common deficiencies but symptoms, such as muscle twitches and cramps, might not appear until it's your levels are really low. 

    Magnesium is a water-soluble mineral necessary for over 300 enzyme reactions in your body. While certain health conditions can cause the deficiency, like chemotherapy drugs, starvation, and gastric bypass surgery, not getting enough magnesium in your diet is associated with type 2 diabetes and osteoporosis, too. 

    Luckily, dietary sources of magnesium are easy to find and plentiful. Here are the best sources and freezer-friendly recipes to make sure you keep magnesium in your diet. 

    Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for Magnesium

    chart showing the recommended daily amount of magnesium

    During pregnancy and lactation, the RDA increases based on age. For more information, click here

    Best Dietary Sources of Magnesium 

    Whole grains, nuts, dark green vegetables, and dark chocolate are the best dietary sources of magnesium. 

    chart showing dietary sources of magnesium

      How Your Freezer Can Help You Get More Magnesium

      According to Harvard, "for disease prevention, a good rule of thumb is to eat a daily diet that includes some magnesium-rich foods" and luckily, your freezer can help. Preparing dishes high in magnesium can help make sure you keep a steady stream of magnesium in your diet. We also know that magnesium is not one of the required nutrients on a nutrition label (only Vitamin D, calcium, iron, and potassium are required) so we did the work for you and curated recipes that are good sources of magnesium, plus included the amount of magnesium. 

      Prepping foods into individual portions and freezing it in ½-cup, 1 cup, and 2 cup portions means you can have homemade magnesium-packed meals ready in minutes. 

      If you're new to freezer meal prep, check out this Ultimate Guide to Freezer Meal Prep. It has everything you need to know from what you can freeze, how to freeze, and how to defrost your food. 

      Freezer-Friendly Recipes with Magnesium

      The best way to make sure you're getting the magnesium you need is by eating foods that are naturally high in magnesium. However, since magnesium is not listed on nutrition labels, it's very hard to know how much is in a recipe. To help, we've compiled a list of our favorite recipes with at least 70mg (approx 20% DV) magnesium that you can make in batches and freeze. By having a freezer full of delicious food that also happens to be high in magnesium, you'll be getting your daily dose without having to take a supplement. 

      Blueberry Almond Chia Pudding - 102mg magnesium per 1 cup

      blueberry almond chia pudding

      (recipe and photo: 

      Similar to overnight oats, letting chia seeds soak in liquid causes them to assume a pudding-like texture. Double or triple this recipe and freeze for a magnesium-packed breakfast or snack. 

      How to Freeze: freeze the pudding in ½-cup, 1 cup or 2 cup portions.

      How to Reheat: place a frozen pudding cube in a mason jar or bowl in the fridge and let thaw overnight or let sit at room temperature until thawed, about 30 minutes. If in a hurry, heat in the microwave for 20-30 seconds until thawed but not warm.

      Creamed Spinach Casserole - 91mg magnesium per 1 cup serving

      creamed spinach casserole

      (recipe and photo: 

      This easy creamed spinach casserole uses milk, cottage cheese, and egg whites instead of cream for a lighter take on the classic.

      How to Freeze: prepare the casserole through Step 5 and freeze in 1 cup or 2 cup portions. 

      How to Reheat: place the casserole in the Souper Cubes baking dish, or other  baking dish and cover with aluminum foil. Bake at 350F until hot, about 30 minutes. Remove the aluminum foil and top with the cheddar cheese. Continue baking until the cheese is melted, about 15 minutes.

      Creamy Peanut Soup with Sage - 74mg magnesium per 1 cup serving

      creamy peanut soup

      (recipe and photo:

      Peanut butter lovers, this is your savory soup. Made with 2 cups (yes, you read that correctly) of peanut butter, this soup also gets flavor from tomato paste, onions, celery, and sage. 

      How to Freeze: freeze the soup in 1 cup or 2 cup portions.

      How to Defrost: place a frozen soup cube in a microwave-safe bowl and reheat on High in 1 minute intervals, stirring occasionally, until hot. Or place a frozen cube in a small pot and add a splash of water. Reheat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until hot. 

      Kale & Spinach Smoothie - 167mg magnesium per 2 cup serving

      kale and spinach smoothie

      (recipe and photo: 

      Dark leafy greens, almond butter, and almond milk make this green smoothie a magnesium powerhouse. The dates give it natural sweetness so it tastes good, too!

      How to Freeze: freeze the smoothie in 1 cup or 2 cup portions.

      How to Defrost: place a frozen smoothie in a mason jar or glass in the fridge and let thaw overnight or let sit at room temperature until thawed, about 30 minutes.

      Chocolate Avocado Shake - 85mg magnesium per 134 cup serving 

      chocolate avocado shake

      (recipe and photo: 

      This is the kind of milkshake that we can get behind! The recipe calls for nondairy semisweet chocolate chips but if you swap for dark chocolate chips, you'll boost the magnesium even more. 

      How to Freeze: freeze the shake in 1 cup or 2 cup portions.

      How to Defrost: place a frozen shake in a mason jar or glass in the fridge and let thaw overnight or let sit at room temperature until thawed, about 30 minutes.

      We would love to hear your ideas or better yet, post a photo of your cubes organized in our Freezer Meals & Recipes Facebook Group!

      Happy Freezing!

      Take your freezer meal prep to the next level.

      Shop our selection of freezer-friendly containers today!