Almond milk is the new craze in the food town. With India coming up with more dairy-free, vegan options available in the regular market, we are seeing huge growth in the popularity of almond milk. A new millennial favourite, almond milk can be used in many ways and has many benefits that make it the perfect substitute for dairy. From beverages to beauty routines, almond milk is the new multipurpose essential that everyone needs in their fridge.
What is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is a vegan substitute for dairy milk. You could make it by grinding uncooked almonds with water until clean. You ought to then pressure the combination to take away the residue. The ensuing milk is nutritious and has a nutty flavour. After that, you’ll be able to serve it as it’s. It is a wholesome non-dairy various that’s extremely versatile. Again, it has a nutty flavour. The nutritional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in almond milk impart important well being advantages.
Nutritional Value of Almond Milk
As per USDA, 100 ml of almond milk comprises Calories: 15kCalsCarbs: 0.3gFibre: 0.3gFat: 1.2gProtein: 0.6gVitamin and Minerals. Almond milk additionally comprises truthful quantities of nutritional vitamins and minerals. It is wealthy in:Vitamin A, E and D Potassium Calcium Phosphorus Sodium Iron.
Health Benefits of Almond Milk
Almond milk is naturally high in several nutrients. It includes calcium, potassium and several other minerals. Additionally, it is full of antioxidants. These nutritional properties protect you from multiple health issues. For example, almond milk helps prevent mild infections and cancer. In addition, vitamin E, K, C are other compounds that help your body’s primary functions. The potential health benefits of almond milk are countless. Let us explore a few of them.
1. Improves Heart Health
Almond milk has remarkable benefits for your heart. Some of these benefits include:
Good Source of Magnesium
Magnesium is one of the four most essential minerals in the body. It is vital for cardiac functions, blood glucose, bone health control, etc. Also, magnesium regulates heartbeat and helps transport calcium, potassium and other minerals across the cells. Therefore, it prevents the accumulation of calcium in the arteries. In addition, it limits the risks of plaque formation. As a result, it reduces the risk for several cardiac diseases such as high blood pressure and stroke.
Helps Control Blood Cholesterol
Almond milk helps reduce the deposition of fat in the heart’s arteries. Fat deposits in the arteries may cause most cardiac diseases. It is because of the plaque formation that may disturb the blood flow, making it difficult for the heart to pump blood. Thereby, it may lead to hypertension and stroke.
Studies suggest that almond milk helps reduce blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, it reduces the risk of heart diseases. It also contains healthy fats such as omega-3, which is heart-healthy.
Reduce Blood Pressure
Almond milk contains calcium, potassium and magnesium, essential for maintaining blood pressure. They facilitate contraction and relaxation of blood vessels, thereby ensuring smooth blood flow across the body. Calcium helps in the contraction of your heart muscles. Therefore, it can help to pump blood. Studies suggest that magnesium helps regulate heart rhythm. It may also be vital in transporting calcium and potassium to other cells. Therefore, prevent conditions like arrhythmias of the heart.
2. Alternative for Lactose Intolerant People
Almond milk lacks lactose which is the natural sugar present in animal milk. Some people cannot digest lactose because they are lactose intolerant. It leads to uneasiness and body discomforts. Studies suggest that lactose-intolerant people can also experience:
- Stomach pain
- Gas formation
Almond milk is an excellent replacement for lactose-intolerant people. In addition, you may use almond milk for any recipe that uses animal milk. Apart from intolerance, some people prefer non-dairy milk. Therefore, vegans and vegetarians can also consume it.
3. Good For Managing Diabetes
Almonds are added to many diets for the benefits they offer. It has been proven that almonds have a significant impact on diabetic levels. They are known to improve glycemic control. It was also found that fermented almond milk tea can act as a potential anti-diabetic drink by decreasing plasma glucose and increasing serum insulin. Hence, including it in your regular diet may help in managing your diabetic levels.
4. Promotes healthy skin
Dairy milk may contribute to the development of acne in adults and adolescents. One study including 24,452 adults observed that regular dairy intake appeared to be associated with acne.
However, the link between dairy milk intake and acne is not well understood, and research is sometimes conflicting.
If you are concerned about acne, almond milk may offer a possible alternative that can help clear your skin. That’s because many varieties of almond milk are excellent sources of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that may help to clear cell-damaging free radicals in the body, which may damage your skin. Free radicals are unavoidable molecules that can result from normal processes in your body as well as your environment, such as cigarette smoke and air pollutants.
In a study, 36 females ages 35 years and over consumed a drink containing collagen and vitamins, including 2.3 mg of vitamin E, for 12 weeks. Results showed improvements in skin hydration, elasticity, and density compared with a group that did not consume the drink.
These results suggest that vitamin E may play a role in skin health. However, the effects cannot be attributed to vitamin E alone. Therefore, consuming a healthful, balanced diet that also contains vitamin E may help to promote healthy skin.
4. Improves Brain Health
Almond milk is a rich source of vitamin E that acts as an antioxidant. Antioxidants prevent free radical damage to cells. Free radical injury can cause multiple disorders like cancer. In addition, almond milk is beneficial in Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s diseases. It also inhibits the progression of diseases. Studies suggest that vitamin E may reduce memory decline and delay symptoms such as memory loss and confusion.
5. Anti-Cancer Properties
Almond milk contains a reasonable amount of antioxidants. Therefore, it has anti-cancer properties. The antioxidants help reduce oxidative stress caused due to free radicals. Studies show that antioxidants can help reduce the risk of cancer.
6. High in Bone-Building Calcium
Most commercial brands of almond milk are fortified with calcium. Bone health is deeply tied to calcium, because the mineral makes up most hard structures in bones. Getting enough calcium keeps your bones strong and can help your body fight osteoporosis.
Almond milk is rich in Vitamin A, D and E, which are important for improving your immunity. It also has a good balance of iron and vitamin B which can bring in a lot of nutrients to your body. Drinking Almond milk regularly can improve your chances of building a stronger immunity which can fight off diseases.
7. Enriched almond milk is high in vitamin D
Many people are low or deficient in vitamin D. This raises the risk of brittle bones, fatigue, and weak muscles.
There are few good sources of vitamin D in the human diet. That’s why a common public health strategy is to enrich certain foods with vitamin D. This especially applies to milk products.
Just like regular milk, almond milk often contains added vitamin D. The amount of vitamin D varies between products. For example, 1 cup of almond milk may contain 2.62 micrograms, which is 13% of your DV. A cup of vitamin-enriched cow’s milk contains similar amounts.
This makes enriched almond milk a useful source of vitamin D that can prevent deficiency if you consume it regularly.
How to make almond milk at home
To make 2 cups (473 mL) of almond milk at home, you need just 2 ingredients: almonds and water. You’ll also need a nut milk bag and a blender.
First, soak 1/2 cup (65 grams) of raw almonds overnight. In a blender, add the soaked almonds with 2 cups (473 mL) of water and blend until the mixture is milky and creamy.
Pour the mixture in a nut milk bag and strain over a large jug or bowl. Squeeze out any excess moisture, until most of the milk is separated from the pulp.
You can make your almond milk thicker or thinner by adjusting the quantity of water.
You may want to add a pinch of salt or a drizzle of honey to enhance the flavor.
The milk can be kept for up to 5 days in the refrigerator.
Potential Side Effects Of Drinking Almond Milk
Almond milk is generally safe when consumed. However, anecdotal evidence suggests that consuming it in excess may cause some undesirable effects.
- May Cause An Allergic Reaction
If you observe any rashes or itchy patches on your skin or tongue after drinking almond milk, stop consuming it immediately and consult a doctor without further delay. Anecdotal evidence suggests there is a high chance that almond milk may also aggravate any existing nut allergies.
- May Cause Harmful Gastrointestinal Issues
Homemade almond milk is considered safe unless it is stored beyond its shelf life. But, store-bought almond milk may trigger harmful gastrointestinal issues. These are not directly caused by almond milk but due to a compound known as carrageenan, which is used as a food additive. It has exhibits negative effects, like colonic ulcerations and gastrointestinal neoplasm.
Note: As it is plant-based milk, almond milk lacks protein. If you are trying to replace regular milk with it, try including other protein-rich foods (such as lentils, tofu, green peas, and chickpeas) in your diet regularly to fill in the protein gap. It is proven that protein is required for maintaining muscle mass and promoting bone health. Hence, consuming the required amount of protein is beneficial for your overall health.
Uses of almond milk
Almond milk is a quite versatile beverage that can easily be used as a substitute for dairy milk.
Below are some ideas on how to include it in your diet:
- as a nutritious, refreshing drink
- in cereal, muesli, or oats
- in your tea, coffee, or hot chocolate
- in smoothies
- in cooking and baking, such as in recipes for muffins or pancakes
- in soups, sauces, or dressings
- in homemade ice cream
- in homemade almond yogurt
The bottom line
Almond milk is a tasty, nutritious alternative to dairy milk that has grown in popularity over the years. It may also promote skin and heart health.
Many commercial varieties of almond milk have been fortified with nutrients, such as calcium and vitamins A, E, and D. Fortification helps people that switch from dairy milk to almond milk get all the vital nutrients that milk usually provides.
Additionally, almond milk is suitable for most people with lactose intolerance, a dairy allergy, or kidney disease, as well as those who are vegan or avoiding dairy for other reasons.
Try adding it to cereal or coffee, mixing it into smoothies, and using it in recipes for ice cream, soups, or sauces.