What Is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is one of the most popular plant-based milks you can find. It is healthy and nutritious. It has a creamy, nutty flavor. Recently, almond milk has increased in popularity among people who prefer dairy-free options. It is rich in nutrients, antioxidants, and vitamins. Almond milk is also cholesterol-free.
Most people consider almond milk to be healthier than regular milk. Both of them have different compositions and different percentages of nutrients and vitamins. The main difference between them is that almond milk has fewer calories than regular milk.
Almond milk is prepared by blending almonds with water and then draining the mixture to remove solids. Many manufacturers of almond milk add supplements to it to match the nutrient levels of regular milk. Some also add sugar for flavor. If you are avoiding sugar, don’t forget to check the label on the product you’re buying.
How to make almond milk at home
Here is the recipe for almond milk.
- Soak 1 cup of almonds in cold water overnight
- Drain the water and rinse
- In a blender, add soaked almonds and 3 cups of water
- Blend for 4-5 minutes at high speed
- Filter through a cheesecloth
Why is almond milk good for me?
Almond milk is vegan, and it is entirely different from regular milk as both have different origins. Here are the benefits of almond milk.
It is lactose-free
Almond milk does not contain lactose. The main reason why many people avoid regular milk is lactose intolerance. Millions of people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance. This is a condition in which people lack the enzyme lactase, which is responsible for digesting the lactose present in dairy products, resulting in diarrhea and bloating. Hence, almond milk is a great alternative.
It is low in calories and helps with weight loss
Almonds are naturally a calorific food, but due to the way almond milk is processed, very few calories are present in the end product. Regular dairy milk contains 70-80% more calories than almond milk. 240 ml of almond milk contains only 30-35 calories, but the same amount of dairy milk contains 150 calories.
It is also low in sugars, containing only 2-3 grams of sugar per cup of almond milk. If you replace dairy milk with almond milk, it will reduce your calorie intake and eventually result in faster weight loss.
It is entirely plant-based
Almond milk is plant-based, and few options are available in the market for people following a vegan diet. This is also the main reason for its popularity.
Almond milk is rich in vitamin E
Almond milk contains high amounts of vitamin E, which is essential for many body functions. Almonds come loaded with vitamin E, but some producers add more. Vitamin E has a variety of benefits, such as:
- It is beneficial for eye health
- It helps protect the body against diseases such as stroke, heart disease, and cancer
- It enhances brain performance
- It may reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s disease
- It contains vitamin E, an antioxidant that fights against inflammation
It contains less phosphorus and potassium
Almond milk is a good option for kidney patients, as they need food with reduced levels of phosphorus and potassium. Regular milk contains plenty of phosphorus and potassium, which can lead to the formation of kidney stones.
Disadvantages of almond milk
Low in calcium as compared to regular milk
Regular milk is loaded with calcium and is a good source of calcium for people of any age. Almond milk contains only 7% of the body’s daily calcium requirement per serving. Manufacturers often add extra calcium to almond milk.
Less vitamin D
Vitamin D is a key nutrient for the strengthening of bones, and almond milk doesn't contain much of it. It is often added artificially during production. In contrast, regular milk is rich in vitamin D.
Both almond milk and regular milk have their pros and cons. Almond milk is ideal for people who prefer a vegan diet and want fewer calories, but regular milk is more effective at strengthening bones during youth.
Consumer Reports: "Is There Vitamin D in Milk Alternatives?"
Health Research Funding: "Almond Milk Pros and Cons."
IFAS Extension University of California: "Plant Based Milks: Almond."
Mayo Clinic: "Lactose Intolerance."
National Kidney Foundation: "Choosing the Right Breakfast Cereal with CKD."
Nourish by WebMD: "Health Benefits of Almond Milk."
Nutritionix: "Almond Milk"
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