Nowadays, people buy soy milk, rice milk, oat milk, hemp milk, or a variety of permutations of cow’s milk, which are organic, lactose-free, or fat-free, as an alternative to the generic carton of cow’s milk for reasons of both health and taste. Almond milk is also one of the healthier, tastier options among such alternatives. In the past times, people supposed that the body had difficulty to metabolize whole almonds, so they made almond milk to help the body for the better absorption of the almond’s nutrients. As the name suggests, this milk is derived from the milk of almonds and has a light, fresh taste somewhat similar to that of cow’s milk.
Almond milk is a healthy and nutritious alternative to cow’s milk which has proven to be extremely beneficial for those who lactose intolerant. It is an extract of protein rich almonds and loaded with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. It is a great for those who have lactose intolerance and those who are on a strictly vegan diet. Also, it has a pleasant almost neutral taste which makes it perfect for milkshakes. Commercially, almond milk is available in a variety of flavors like chocolate, vanilla and plain.
Nutrition Facts of Almond Milk:
- Almond milk is good source of magnesium. It can help to break down the food into energy. It can also help in the functioning of the parathyroid glands, which produce hormones that are known to be good for bone health.
- Also, almond milk is loaded with manganese, selenium and Vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that protects the cell membranes. Selenium is good for our immune system; it helps in reproduction, and in the metabolism of thyroid. It also prevents cell damage as well as tissue damage.
- It is packed with unsaturated fat, which means that it can reduce the risk of heart disease.
- As almonds are rich in protein, they help the body with growth and repair. It is also a great way to boost your daily carbohydrate intake. An ounce of this nut can provide the body with about 12% of its protein needs.
- Almond skins are a good source of flavonoids, which are good for cardiovascular health. They can protect your heart from various heart diseases.
- Manganese can activate the enzymes in the body. Manganese and phosphorous can keep teeth and bones healthy.
- Almonds are rich source of potassium which can help to improve heart function and to maintain normal blood pressure.
- Almonds milk does not contain cholesterol and saturated fats. It has high levels of vitamin E and unsaturated fats.
- Almond milk has zero fiber.
- 8 oz (237ml) of almond milk contains 70 calories, 2gm protein, 10gm carbohydrates and 2.5 gm fat: 2.5g
Almond Milk Recipe:
- Raw almonds, 1½ cups
- Filtered water, 4 cups
For minimum six to eight hours, soak almonds in water. Then, drain the water and blend the almond with 4 cups of water until it reaches milk like consistency. After that, strain the mixture to remove almond skin and granules. You can store almond milk in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator for four to five days. If you want it to be sweeter, then you can blend it with a few soaked dates as well.
Benefits of Almond Milk:
One of the major health benefits of almond milk is that it is lactose free. Lactose is a type of sugar which is present in cow’s milk. When lactose intolerant patient drinks milk, it causes abdominal discomfort, bloating and diarrhea. If you suffer any of such symptoms after consuming milk products, almond milk can give you the chance to enjoy the taste of milk symptom free. Almond milk is an extract of almonds, a nut. As these nuts are plant derived and lactose free, they can be easily substituted everywhere where one might use cow’s milk which makes this one of the most important almond milk benefits.
Almonds are rich source of protein, and full of vitamin E, magnesium, selenium, manganese, zinc, potassium, fiber, iron, phosphorus and calcium. Most commercial almond milk preparations are fortified with additional calcium. Almond skins are also a rich source of heart healthy flavonoids which help to protect the heart. Studies have shown that almond milk helps to lower LDL cholesterol and protect the heart against heart disease and cholesterol. Additionally, they are good source of vitamin E, ensure powerful antioxidants in the body. High levels of Antioxidants inhibit the growth of free radicals that are responsible for cancer. Low in calories and no cholesterol and saturated fats makes this nut milk beverage very healthy and good for those people who are trying to lose weight.
Homemade and Pure:
You can easily extract the milk at home without much effort. Also, you can store it without using preservatives and additives. It would be right to say that consuming almond milk means to consume health, 100 percent.
Antibiotic and growth hormone free:
People are increasingly worried about the injections of antibiotics and growth hormone that are given to cows to boost milk production. Studies have already been proved that these antibiotics and growth hormones lead to allergic reactions and toxic side effects, some as bad as certain types of cancers. In addition, antibiotic usage in milk cows contributes to the problem of antibiotic resistance which has become a worldwide problem. Growth hormone in the milk supply is considered to increase levels of IGF-1 in humans which can promote the growth of certain cancers. Almond milk is completely free of these harmful additives.
Low in Calories:
Almond milk is low in calories and carbohydrates. So, it is very advantageous for those trying to lose weight. According to Discovery Health, one serving of unsweetened almond milk has 40 calories and one glass of sweetened almond milk has 70 calories.
Side Effects of Almond Milk:
Almond milk has endless praises but few side effects are also there, including high amounts of sugar and the status as a goitrogenic food.
Almond nuts are goitrogenic food, means they contain chemicals that can harm thyroid gland. Almonds can cause the thyroid to expand when consumed on a large level, and so cause goiters to form because one of the prevalent chemicals found in goitrogens blocks the intake of iodine. Though goitrogenic foods are harmful in large consumption but at the same time they are healthy and beneficial to the human immune system. Almond milk contains levels of goitrogenic toxins produced from almonds and so people who are at risk of low thyroid function should avoid consuming this. Daily drinking of moderate amount of almond milk will have no negative side effects to the thyroid for people who have healthy thyroid function.
It is trend in people to replace cow’s milk with soy milk in baby’s bottle. However, the replacement with almond milk is equally dangerous as it is not an adequate source of nutrition for a baby. The baby will suffer from malnutrition and likely develop health complications for life if either breast milk or formula is replaced with almond milk.
Almond milk has higher percentage of sugar as compared to cow’s milk which is one of the most obvious disadvantages of it. Naturally, almond milk does not contain sugar but most manufacturers add sugar to it during processing to improve the taste. Most commercial almond milks contain about 20 grams of sugar per serving. Luckily, now unsweetened brands of almond milk are on the market which contain as little as 1 gram of carbohydrate per serving.
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