In this blog we discuss:
How Magnesium Helps You Fight Fatigue
How Much Magnesium You Should Have Daily
5 Great Magnesium-Rich Recipes
Magnesium Supplements
Magnesium-Rich PLN Meals

Feeling tired?

Not like, “I didn’t get enough sleep tired”, but just generally worn out?  

Don’t worry, you’re not alone, the average American works more than 40 hours per week (80% of males and 66% of females).  According to the ILO, “Americans work 137 more hours per year than Japanese workers, 260 more hours per year than British workers, and 499 more hours per year than French workers.”

Using data by the U.S. BLS, the average productivity per American worker has increased 400% since 1950. One way to look at that is that it should only take one-quarter of the work hours, or 11 hours per week, to afford the same standard of living as a worker in 1950.

So it’s easy to see why we might be a little fatigued.

Instead of getting upset about situations out of our control, we want to master the things we can control.

Fighting Fatigue with Magnesium

At Project LeanNation we believe what you eat is the largest contributing factor to your physical, emotional, and spiritual health.  Heck, we founded a whole company on that premise.

One essential mineral that can be your champion in the never-ending war on feeling worn out, is Magnesium.    Magnesium is an essential mineral that contributes to normal muscle and psychological functions and supports the nervous system, muscles, and metabolism to function normally.

It also keeps teeth and bones strong, but not getting enough can cause mental and physical tiredness, which often worsens with age.

Your body doesn’t make magnesium on its own. The amount you need depends on your age and gender. If you’re a woman age 19 or older, you need 310 milligrams (mg) a day — 350 mg if you’re pregnant. If you’re an adult man under age 30, you need 400 mg a day. After 30, men need 420 mg.

It’s always best to get magnesium from food, but you can also get it from multivitamins and supplements. Too much, though, can cause nausea, stomach cramps, or diarrhea. In extreme cases, it could cause an irregular heartbeat or cardiac arrest.

Magnesium Daily Allowance Chart

Category Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA)
CHILDREN
1-3 years 80 mg/day
4-8 years 130 mg/day
9-13 years 240 mg/day
FEMALES
14-18 years 360 mg/day
19-30 years 310 mg/day
31 years and over 320 mg/day
Pregnant Under 19 years: 400 mg/day

19 to 30 years: 350 mg/day

31 years and up: 360 mg/day

Breastfeeding Under 19 years: 360 mg/day

19 to 30 years: 310 mg/day

31 years and up: 320 mg/day

MALES
14-18 years 410 mg/day
19-30 years 400 mg/day
31 years and up 420 mg/day

 

While magnesium can be found in foods such as green leafy vegetables, nuts, meat, and fish, if you’re struggling to get enough, taking a supplement alongside a healthy, balanced diet could be an effective way to help reduce fatigue as well.

We already discussed how Magnesium deficiency may be a reason why you chocoholics might be craving chocolate in our Guide to Replacing Junk Food Cravings.  

Here are some magnesium-rich snacks we’ve made in the past that give us that all-natural pick-me-up our body’s craving.

5 Killer Magnesium-Rich Recipes for the Fatigued Nation

Tamarind Juice

Sweet tamarind juice is usually sold by street vendors in Egypt especially during summer days. Maybe that’s how they had the energy to build those pyramids? 

Tamarind itself is like nature’s “Sour Patch Kid”, a sweet and sour delight you can usually find in your grocer’s exotic fruits section.  For this recipe, however, it is best to get a “Tamarind Wet Pulp Block”, you can find this in the aisle of your store that sells “GOYA” products usually.

Benefits
Along with Magnesium, Tamarind is an excellent source of vitamin B, C, potassium, iron, thiamine, phosphorus, riboflavin, and fiber. Tamarind is believed to lower the risk of diabetes, aids weight loss, boosts digestion and also prevents chronic diseases.

Ingredients
1 Tamarind Wet Pulp Block
Water
Sugar Substitute (Stevia is your best bet.  Agave is also a good option, however, depending on the Tamarind you may not need any sweetener at all)

Recipe

Step 1: Soak the Tamarind
Break the tamarind block into large chunks and place in a deep pot. Cover with water and let it soak, trying to break it apart every now and then to release flavor and separate seeds. Let it soak for 8 hours. If you are in a hurry, you can go away with 4 if you pour hot water over it. Some people boil them together for 30 minutes, this is not recommended! You lose nutrients that way.   

Step 2: Strain, sweeten, and enjoy.
After the 8 hours, you’ll notice that you have muddy brown water with seeds, skin, and fiber floating around. Strain the water through a fine-mesh sieve, some people use cheese cloth but it’s not as clean an option. You’ll end up with cloudy water, pour this cloudy water along with a sweetener of your choice if you like in your mixer and mix together. Pour over ice or refrigerate until you are ready to drink.

BONUS: Add ginger for another flavor dimension and more health benefits

Prep Time: 10 minutes Soaking time: 8 hours Total Time: 10 minutes Servings: 7 concentrated cups Calories: 119.5kcal 

 

Spiced Edamame

Pronounced edi-mommy, this magnesium-rich snack is not an edible mother, but an edible treat mothers (and fathers, sisters, and brothers for that matter) will love!

Benefits

Soybeans are a magnesium-rich food that also offers fiber, vitamins, minerals, and amino acids (the building blocks of protein). A half-cup serving of dry roasted soybeans — a rich source of energy (209 calories), magnesium (106 mg, or 25 percent DV), and protein (20.2 g, or 40 percent of DV), according to estimates from the USDA.

Ingredients
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon chili powder
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
½ teaspoon dried oregano
1 bag of frozen edamame

Recipe

Step 1: Heat the spices
Heat the salt, chili powder, and pepper flakes in a small dry skillet over medium heat, stirring until hot and aromatic, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and crumble in the oregano.

Step 2: Prep
Boil the edamame pods in salted water until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain in a colander and pat dry. Toss the edamame pods with the chili-salt and serve warm.

Total: 18 min  Active: 10 min  Yield: 4 (1 cup) servings Calories: 151 calories

 



Greens of the Gods

Use baby spinach, collard greens, kale, or swiss chard to make this invigorating snack or side dish.  I prefer baby spinach, but all of the above greens will taste great and give you that magnesium boost you need.

I generally like making this as a side dish for pan-seared chicken breast.  The beauty of it is, you can cook it in the same pan making for easy clean up; and a nice lean and green dinner for you Keto fans.

Use homemade stock for added benefit and increased sodium control.

Benefits
Dark leafy greens are a magnesium-rich food that offers up crucial vitamins and minerals as well as a host of health benefits. Choose raw or cooked magnesium greens such as baby spinach, collard greens, kale, or Swiss chard. You can avoid a magnesium deficiency by stocking your body with dark leafy greens for very few calories. A cup of raw kale, for example, packs nearly 7 mg of magnesium (1.7 percent of the daily value, or DV) and only about 7 calories, according to estimates from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

 

Ingredients
1 bag of baby spinach, kale, swiss chard or collard greens (you can also chop your own off a fresh head from the market, I just like to skip this step personally)
1 cup of Low Sodium Chicken or Beef Stock
1 teaspoon Lemon Juice
2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
Pinch of salt
¼ teaspoon chili flake

Recipe A (with meat)

Step 1: Cook Meat
In a cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan; sear and cook meat i.e. chicken breast, steak or pork chop.

Step 2: Remove Meat
Remove meat from the pan, put on a plate, and tent with foil to keep in the heat.

Step 3: The Sauce
Reduce heat to medium, add a splash of extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil for added health benefits); add garlic; cook for 1 minute, or until you smell the garlic.    Add stock; once stock is added begin to scrape browned bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon.  Add a pinch of salt and chili flake.

Step 4: Finishing
Add the bag of greens and stir frequently; the greens should wilt and cook in a matter of minutes.  Try not to overcook because you will lose health benefits.  Add lemon juice.

Step 5: Serving
Remove greens with a slotted spoon to serve, pour remaining sauce over meat and greens to tie the dish together.

 

Recipe B (without meat)

Step 1: The Sauce
In a skillet or non-stick pan set heat to medium, add a splash of extra virgin olive oil (or avocado oil for added health benefits); add garlic; cook for 1 minute, or until you smell the garlic.    Add stock; bring to a boil.  Add a pinch of salt and chili flake.

Step 2: Finishing
Add the bag of greens and stir frequently; the greens should wilt and cook in a matter of minutes.  Try not to overcook because you will lose health benefits.  Add lemon juice.

 

Magnesium Mega Mix

Is Magnesium the newest hot DJ on the scene spinning tunes on the ones and twos?!  Of course not, but this mix will leave you feeling as energized as a raver vacationing in Ibiza.  This simple mix of superfood nuts and dark chocolate is easy to make in large batches and a go-to snack for the energy depleted.

You can either purchase the nuts raw and dry roast them yourself (which we will explain in the recipe) or buy them pre-roasted.  Just make sure to avoid sodium which sends the nutritional value down the tubes.

Benefits
Just 1 ounce (oz) of dry roasted almonds contains 80 mg of magnesium, or about 19 percent of the DV. Other foods containing magnesium include cashews, peanuts, and pumpkin seeds, according to the Cleveland Clinic.

Just remember that nuts are also a rich source of calories, so a little goes a long way, especially if you’re watching your waistline.

Ingredients
1 part Raw or Dry Roasted Almonds
1 part Raw or Dry Roasted Cashews
1 part Raw or Dry Roasted Peanuts
1 part Raw or Dry Roasted Pumpkin Seeds
1-2 Bars High Cacao Content Dark Chocolate (80% or above)

Step 1: Dry Roasting (Optional)
If you bought the nuts dry roasted you can skip this step; if not, it’s pretty easy to do.

  1. Preheat oven and spread nuts on trays. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spread the nuts in an even layer on the baking sheet. 
  2. Roast in oven. Place in oven and roast for 5 minutes.
  3. Stir. Remove after 5 minutes and stir so that the outer nuts are moved towards the middle and the middle nuts towards the edges. If you are using a cake tin, you can gently shake it to redistribute the nuts. Return to the oven.
  4. Check for doneness. Check the nuts again after 3 minutes. You are looking for the color to be a few shades darker. They should start to smell nutty and you might hear them crackling. Return to the oven if needed and check again after another 3 minutes. If they need longer, give another stir. Nuts rarely take longer than 15 minutes to roast, usually closer to 8 to 12 minutes.
  5. Remove from the oven and cool. When the nuts are browned and smell nutty, remove from the oven and immediately transfer onto a plate or another baking sheet. Do not cool the nuts on the tray they were baked on or you will risk scorching them.

 

Step 2: Prep Chocolate
While the nuts are roasting, chop chocolate bars into ¼  inch cubes. 

Step 3: Combine
Okay DJ Magnesium, here’s your chance to headline the mainstage!  Just kidding; do make sure the nuts are cool before mixing in the chocolate or you’ll have a melty mess.  Mix and combine in a container to maintain freshness.

BONUS TIP:  Fill several small Ziploc bags or snack containers with the mix for portion control and easy on-the-go snacking

The Awake Shake (Avocado and Almond)

A soothing smoothie full of magnesium-rich avocado, almond, and greens, give you the energy boost you need to crush the day.

Benefits
Avocados are a good source of magnesium, as well as being loaded with vitamins, heart-healthy nutrients, and disease-thwarting chemical compounds. Magnesium-rich avocados are one of the most nutritious and versatile produce picks around. Add 1 cup of cubed avocado to your salad or sandwich at lunch, and you’ll easily consume 11 percent of the DV of magnesium, according to the USDA. Like nuts, avocados are also rich in healthy fats, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, which makes them a concentrated source of calories. So keep portion size in mind when you’re enjoying this healthy delight.

Ingredients
1/4 ripe avocado
180ml (3/4 cup) unsweetened almond milk
1 tsp smooth unsalted almond butter
A handful of baby spinach
1 tsp vanilla extract
4-5 drops liquid Stevia, to taste (optional)
2 ice cubes
1 tsp whole chia seeds, to serve

Recipe

Step 1: Shake, Shake, Shake
Place all ingredients (except chia seeds) in a blender and combine until smooth and creamy.

Step 2: Sweeten (if you must)
Taste and add Stevia, if necessary.

Step 3: Serve
Serve chilled, with chia seeds to garnish.

Storage Tip: Any leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 days.

*Remixed version of original recipe by Rosanna Davison

FOR MORE GREAT SHAKES VISIT YOUR LOCAL PLN Re-Fuel Shake Bar

 

A Word on Magnesium Supplements

Taking a supplement can help you meet your daily needs if you don’t get enough of this important nutrient from food alone. Side effects are unlikely at doses below 350 mg per day.

If you’re interested in trying a supplement, speak to your healthcare provider first and choose a product that has been tested by a third party, such as U.S. Pharmacopeia.

Magnesium is widely available at health stores and online.

Magnesium-Rich PLN Meals

While many of our meals offer Magnesium, there are two in particular that are huge magnesium boosters:

Pan Roasted Salmon offers a healthy magnesium boost due to the star of the show; the salmon.  Our salmon filet packs 53 mg of magnesium which is a large chunk of your RDI.

Some people say they have trouble getting in shape because they love food too much…show them this dish, then ask, “what’s your excuse now hotshot?”  Loaded Potato is a surprisingly plentiful magnesium source.  The spud is your magnesium “bud” offering 48 mg of the mineral per serving.

Consider Your Meal Prep Done!

Our ready-to-eat healthy meals are chef-designed and nutritionist-approved so you get real results.