If you can’t stand the taste of dairy milk, almond milk can be a nice alternative because it is packed with high nutrition your body can reap the benefits. Some people might be questioning, is it that good that almond milk can be used to substitute dairy milk? The answer is yes, it is excellent. Although in some parts it can’t substitute dairy milk completely, considering it is lower in calcium, you can still get many other benefits from almond milk for your health.
Almond Milk Nutrition
Fulfilling your body with required nutrition is possible to do using almond milk, but ensure to combine it with other kinds of healthy foods as well. By drinking a glass of almond milk, you can get these healthy nutrients for your body.
Almond milk is very rich in vitamins; especially vitamin A with the content is about 500 IU in every one cup. Also, you can get the benefits of vitamin B-12 for 3 micrograms, which has covered all the required B-12 for your body, completed with vitamin D with 100 IU. It is also rich in vitamin E by covering about 50 percent of your required intake with only one cup.
Some minerals contained in almond milk are zinc, potassium, phosphorus and calcium. The amount of calcium in every one cup is 300 mg, which is able to cover about 30 percent of your required calcium intake. Phosphorus and potassium in almond milk is lower than those in soy milk or dairy milk, but this is good for those who are suffering diseases that force them to limit potassium and phosphorus intake.
Dieters should take almond milk since it is high in fiber, containing one gram in every one glass. With zero saturated fat, low calories, fat, protein and carbohydrates, almond milk is an excellent option for losing some weight.
Health Benefits of Almond Milk for your body,
With all the minerals, vitamins and fiber packed in almond milk, surely there are many health benefits that can be reaped by simply drinking a glass of almond milk, and here are some of them.
1. Weight Management
Almond milk is low in calories compared with skim milk and whole milk. So if you are planning to lose some weight, this can be a good substitute for dairy milk. Whole milk contains 146 calories while almond milk comes with only 60 calories, even lower than skim milk with 86 calories. Maintaining your weight is also easier if you drink almond milk than whole milk considering its low calories.
2. Strong Bones
Its amount of calories is indeed lower than whole milk, but it’s also low in calcium as well, compared to dairy milk. However, the amount of calcium, which already covered 30 percent of your required calcium intake, has helped keeping your bones strong. Moreover, it fulfills your body with 25 percent of your required vitamin D intake making you easily prevent your bones from osteoporosis and arthritis. When it’s about the health of your bones and teeth, calcium and vitamin D are the most important.
3. Healthy Heart
Being free of saturated fat, almond milk is a perfect option for your heart’s health. It is on the contrary, rich in healthy fats, the ones the same as you can find in fish. Also, it is low in sodium, 5 mgs only in one cup, which makes it excellent for preventing heart disease and high blood pressure. The support of richness in potassium about 150 mg can maintain the level of blood pressure as well. It can relax the heart making the tension well reduced.
4. Blood Sugar Maintenance
Almond milk is helpful in maintaining blood sugar since contains low carbohydrates, 8 grams in every one cup only. It also contains 7 grams of sugar, but they are different from the ones can be found in dairy milk because they are not turned into fat like them. Being low in glycemic index with its minimal simple sugars, almond milk can reduce the risk of the increasing blood sugar levels to prevent diabetes. The carbohydrates taken will be turned into energy instead of fat, which is very great for your body and health.
5. Glowing Skin
Vitamin E is a great nutrition for your skin because it’s containing antioxidant properties that can protect your skin from free radicals, making it healthier and more glowing. Your skin can be maintained to stay healthy since it gets enough vitamins required. Simply drink a cup of almond milk and you have provided your body 50 percent of its required vitamin E intake. Not only by drinking it, you can also use almond milk as a cleansing lotion to give more benefits for your skin. So it’s easy and simple.
6. Healthy Digestion
Its richness in fiber is a great solution for those who want healthier digestion. You can get one gram of fiber from a cup of almond milk.
7. Strong Muscle
Your muscle needs B vitamins for strengthening. You can get one riboflavin and iron, some forms of B vitamins, which can help your muscle to grow and heal easier. So this type of milk might be low in protein, but it is a great source of B vitamins that can be beneficial for your muscle’s health. Instead of using chemical products to build your muscle, drinking almond milk can be much safer and more natural. Covering 4 percent of the recommended iron intake and high level of riboflavin, almond milk can help your body absorb oxygen easier while preventing migraine.
8. Healthy Kidney
For some people, the minimal amount of calcium and potassium in almond milk might be beneficial because of certain health conditions such as chronic kidney diseases. Taking too much potassium and calcium is not good for your kidney if you are experiencing kidney-related illnesses, so drinking almond milk is better than dairy or soy milk because they have higher calcium and potassium. So if your condition can’t stand with high amount of potassium and you need certain foods containing low of this mineral, then almond milk can be a wonderful option.
9. Vision Improvement
Vitamin A is the best nutrition for the eyes and you can get this vitamin from almond milk. Protecting your eyes from damage by taking vitamin A daily is important as modern lifestyle these days force you to get your eyes making contact with screens from your smartphones or computers. The high intention of the contact can decrease your vision slowly. So you should prevent such condition happens by taking vitamins A, one of them is by drinking the tasty almond milk.
10. Cancer Protection
There are some anti-cancer properties in almond milk, which has been proved by a research because it helps suppressing the cells from prostate cancer. The research included cow’s milk, almond milk and soy milk to use for addressing breast cancer and prostate cancer cells. Cow’s milk stimulates the cells to grown, but almond milk can suppress them. For breast cancer, almond milk doesn’t provide any effect in the research. For treating other types of cancer, there should be other valid researches as well as consultation with doctor to ensure whether or not it works. Even for prostate cancer itself, you must check it with your doctor first before including almond milk in your diet.
11. Breast Milk Substitution
Although it can’t substitute breast milk perfectly, the availability of minerals and vitamins in almond milk are also found in breast milk. This is why almond milk can be a great food for babies since it has many kinds of nutrients they need. However, note that young infants can’t drink plant-based milk because it might lead to some health issues such as edema, low growth rate and many others. It is better to not give almond milk for babies between 4 to 14 months as a safe prevention.
12. Immune System Booster
One of the reasons why people are easy to get sick is because the immune system is weakening. Your immune system can be improved or decreased depending on what foods you are eating and what activities you are doing. It is very important to pick healthy foods in your daily meals to maintain the power of your immune system. Almond milk is packed with vitamins and minerals that can help your immune system boosted to work properly protecting your body from any microorganisms causing illnesses or diseases.
Some people can’t drink cow’s milk because the lactose content. Those intolerance people having difficulties in digesting sugar from the milk and that is why they can’t drink it properly. Almond milk, which is free of lactose, is so much better and easier to digest. There are many people out there being lactose intolerances, so using almond milk instead of cow milk is an excellent substitution. What you can’t get from drinking almond milk is the same amount of protein and calcium that can be found in cow’s milk.
14. Taste Better
Since it is made of nuts, almond milk is lighter and crisper in the taste. Unlike cow milk, almond milk is great for those who don’t really like thick flavor. It can be easily added to any recipes or you can just drink it directly. The nutty flavor and creamy texture of almond milk are perfect combination.
15. Ease of Storage
One of the best things from almond milk is its ease in storage. You don’t need a fridge to store it and keep it tasty. Dairy milk should be stored in the fridge to prevent it from being spoiled. You can’t bring it with you when you need to go somewhere and drink milk. Just put it at the room temperature and you can still enjoy the nice taste. It also means that you can bring it with you wherever you go: camping, to the office or just anywhere.
16. Soy Milk Alternative
Both almond milk and soy milk are plant-based milk, but they are different in richness. Soy milk is thicker since it has more sugar and calories, which might not be good for those who want to lose some weight. Almond with lower calories is lighter. The amount of fat in soy milk is also higher; with every one cup you can get 4 grams of it.
17. Fatty Acids Content
Almond milk is free of saturated fat, but it contains healthy fats, omega-3 fatty acids. This healthy fat is very great for your body especially the heart as it helps to maintain the level of cholesterol in your body and prevent it from raising. Moreover, fatty acid is nice for boosting your mood and improving your memory.
Drinking a glass of almond milk is a great thing to do if you want to easily get many kinds of minerals, vitamins and fiber that are required for your health. If you still don’t know how to use it in your daily meals, here are some ideas to use.
Side Effects of Almond Milk
There are numerous benefits almond milk provides, but there are also some side effects that you might experience from consuming this plant-based milk if you don’t take some precautions before.
If you are suffering from low thyroid function, it is better for you to not drink almond milk because it has some chemicals that might be harmful for your thyroid. Consuming too much almond milk can make thyroid gland expanded. Drinking almond milk is the same as feeding the gland. Almond milk is indeed helpful in boosting your metabolism, but it is also making the iodine low at the same time.
It happens only for babies that consume almond milk as a substitution for cow’s milk. Almond milk is excellent with the nutrition, but this is not a kind of food for babies. The nutrition found in almond milk can’t be used for babies as they can for adults. Malnutrition might happen to babies because almond milk can’t substitute breast milk especially for early ages.
- High Sugar
Naturally almond milk is low in sugar. It is really healthy and nice for diet. However when you buy packaged almond milk, you can find high level of sugar since most manufacturers add them for more sweetness. Packaged almond milk is even higher in sugar than cow’s milk. So if you don’t want to end up drinking sweet almond milk with sugar, make your own almond milk at home. It takes time and energy, but this is much better and healthier.
- Nuts Allergies
Many people are lactose intolerances and that is why they run to almond milk, but many other are suffering from tree nuts allergies, which make them run away from almond milk. Some allergic symptoms that might happen are diarrhea, nausea and swelling in the face. It is highly recommended that you don’t drink it if you have such allergies.
Tips Consuming Almond Milk
- Drink It. Drink it like you drink dairy milk if you want to easily consume almond milk. If you buy packaged almond milk, you can choose the flavor; they are usually chocolate, vanilla and plain. Since this is a kind of milk you can also mix it with coffee just like you drink dairy milk.
- Use in Smoothies. Making smoothies from almond milk is the same as the ones made with dairy milk. Just mix it with frozen fruit, more milk makes the smoothie thick and reduced milk results in lighter smoothies. It depends on your taste. The types of fruit used can be also suited with your favorite one.
- Add to Cereal. Mixing cereal with milk is very common and you can substitute cow milk with almond milk since both of them play the same role. Almond milk is creamy and sweet, so whether it’s cold or hot cereal, this would end up just great.
- Cook with It. There are many recipes of dessert or snacks that include dairy milk and you can substitute it with almond milk. Almond milk can be baked or even used to make sauce or soups. It can act as regular milk, so whenever you find recipes that require cow milk, use almond milk instead.
- Consume as a Supplement. Since almond milk is low in protein, you can combine it with protein powder to use as supplement. Both of them are very easy to combine allowing you to effectively get enough protein from almond milk. So you don’t have to drink cow’s milk when you don’t like it because there is a great alternative for giving your body enough protein.
Almond milk is packed with healthy benefits, but there are also some side effects to pay attention. If you are okay with it, then choose the most interesting way to consume it in your daily meals. Keep in mind that not all almond milk is the same since some of them have amount of sugar. Check the label before buying or make your own almond milk if you want it to be healthier.