The rise in usage of plant-based milk has seen a commendable surge in the past years. There was a drop in sales of dairy milk in the year 2018 alone by 6%. A report suggested that the industry of plant-based milk by the year 2024 was expected to reach an approximate figure of $ 38 billion. People prefer plant-based milk for various reasons.
The medical reasons for avoiding dairy milk can be because of lactose intolerance or allergies caused by dairy products. Some people prefer plant-based milk to ethical issues for animals and the environment. A recent concept of veganism is an important reason why plant-based milk has seen such a rise. Diabetic patients also prefer avoiding dairy milk as it turns out to be a risky choice of food for them.
Almond milk is the most purchased and popular plant-based milk in the US. Almond milk carries the richness and benefits of almonds in it. Almond milk is prepared by blending almonds and further straining them to eliminate the solids. Another way it is prepared is by using almond butter and water. The creamy texture and nutty flavor of almond milk are heavenly and appreciated the most. Some of the brands manufacture almond milk with added nutrients. The market is full of almond milk enriched with vitamins, minerals, or other supplements.
Almonds are beneficial for us, but one thing to note here is that a portion of whole almonds is removed while extracting almond milk. While production, blanched (outer skin removed) almonds are preferred as well. This, too, results in missing out on some of the important nutritional content of almonds. Another factor that determines the nutritional aspect of almond milk is the dilution of almond milk.
The Downsides of Almond Milk
Almond milk has a lot of benefits, but added flavors and preservatives are one factor that should be checked. The different varieties of almond milk might vary in their nutritional content. Especially speaking of protein, almond milk is insufficient in meeting the protein demands. People allergic to this plant-based milk should avoid its consumption. Almond milk should not be used as an alternative for infants as it is devoid of nutrients.
In this article, let us discuss the health benefits of Almond milk you should know!
1. Nutritional richness of Almond milk
The best reason why you should start drinking almond milk is that it is nutritious. Almond milk is considered to be a superfood because it is enriched with nutrients. It can be considered daily without causing any side effects. It should be avoided only if you are allergic to it.
Even if almond milk provides fewer carbs, fats, and calories, it is rich in micronutrients. It is a good source of vitamin E and calcium. It is advisable to consume unflavoured almond milk, as it avoids the consumption of flavoring agents.
A cup of Almond milk can provide approximately 39 grams of calories, 2.5 grams of fat, 1 gram of protein, and 0.5 grams of fiber. It also provides a part of the required daily intake of Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin D, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus.
2. Vitamin E & Almond milk
As we already discussed the nutritional composition of almond milk, we are well aware that almond milk is a rich source of Vitamin E. Considering the numerical figures, 100 grams of almond milk can deliver 22% of the total recommended daily intake of vitamin E.
Vitamin E has a lot of health benefits. Its antioxidant properties help prevent inflammation. Antioxidants present in the body can easily vacate the free radicals (that have destructive effects on our system.) Vitamin E also is proven to reduce the risks of cancer.
3. Almond milk is dairy free
The sugar present in milk is lactose. Some people fail to digest the milk sugar, i.e., lactose, in their bodies. An enzyme, lactase that breaks down lactose is devoid of their bodies. This condition is called lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerant people can not consume almond milk, or else their body shows symptoms like bloating or diarrhea. Lactose intolerance is not the only reason why people can not consume dairy-based milk. Allergy is another cause that restricts dairy-based milk in the diet of some people.
People following a vegan diet as well can not intake dairy-based milk in their diet. Hence, almond milk can be the best option for people with milk allergies or lactose intolerance. A veganism diet can also include almond milk.
4. Almond milk for diabetic patients
Diabetes can restrict a lot of food choices. People with diabetes are often doubting if they should consume a particular food or not. Unsweetened almond milk has a glycemic index value of 25. This value can be considered to be low.
Food items with low glycemic index can be consumed by the diabetic population. Low GI value food items are preferred in diabetes because they do not cause an upsurge in blood sugar levels. One study also stated that unsweetened almond milk has lesser risks of increment of blood sugar levels than its alternatives (even including dairy milk.) So if you are a diabetic patient with zero worries, you can keep almond milk in your diet.
5. Almond milk is not loaded with calories
A glass of unsweetened or unflavoured almond milk only adds up to 131 calories. The average calorie demand of an individual is approximately 2000 calories a day. Almond milk can be consumed by people aiming to lose or control their weight.
8 calories from one glass of almond milk are derived from carbohydrates, while the protein content adds 17 calories. Fats are responsible for the rest of the calorie count. Commercial almond milk may contain a lesser amount of calories than unprocessed ones. This makes almond drinks the best choice for people managing weight.
6. Almond milk and skin health
Almond milk does not back off easily when it comes to its goodness. Its richness of antioxidants has the benefit of improving skin health. It is rich in vitamin C, which aids in the prevention of signs of early aging.
Along with it, it can also be helpful for dryness, hyperpigmentation, or discoloration. Beauty experts recommend mixing two spoons of almond milk with egg white and lemon juice and keeping it for 30 minutes for the best results.
Another skin problem almond milk helps in fighting is ACNE. Acne has been linked with the consumption of dairy products. Cutting dairy products can reduce acne in some cases. You can replace dairy milk with almond milk. Almond milk has also proved to be beneficial for dry skin.
7. Almond Milk keeps your heart healthy
Heat health is adversely affected by cholesterol and saturated oils and fats. When considering almond milk, its fat content is too low to cause any harm. The greater part of fat nutrition in almond milk is of healthy fats.
Fats in almonds make up only 1% of total weight. Of that 1%, 99% of the fat found is unsaturated, which has no ill effects on the heart’s health. Oleic acid is the major component of fatty acids in almonds, which has proved to control the levels of blood lipids. The healthy blood lipid levels aided by almond milk have beneficial results in keeping your heart healthy.
Almond milk is also rich in bioactive molecules and vitamin E. These bioactive molecules present in almond milk portray antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities, which have benefits for the heart.
8. Low levels of phosphorus in almond milk
In dietary richness, the extremes (both high and low points) play an important role. People with CKD (Chronic Kidney Disease) and other kidney troubles are advised to limit their phosphorus and potassium intake.
In any medical condition that hampers kidney function, it leads to the accumulation of nutrients in the blood, which further has detrimental effects on the body. Disrupted kidney function can lead to higher levels of phosphorus.
Elevated levels of phosphorus in the blood can lead to heart complications, weak joints, etc. Increased levels of potassium can cause a disturbed rhythm of the heart and heart attacks. Hence, it becomes crucial for kidney patients to consume low levels of required nutrients.
Dairy milk contains a considerably larger amount of potassium (150 mg) and phosphorus (101 mg) as compared to almond milk (30 mg phosphorus, 60 mg potassium.) Hence, almond milk can be a better alternative and beneficial for kidney patients.
Wrapping It Up
Almond milk is a reservoir of benefits. Almond milk can be the best substitute for dairy-based milk. Be it veganism, lactose intolerant, milk allergies, or just not liking the taste of dairy-based milk, Almond milk comes to your rescue. The popularity gained by almond milk should not mask the fact that it is sufficient in protein or calcium when compared to dairy-based milk. Hence, if you are completely reliant on almond milk, it will not be adequate.
While buying almond milk, it is important to check the labels. This is because every manufactured product differs as per the manufacturing company changes. With this, we stop here and hope you are more confident about your food choices now!