For those looking for a dairy-free milk substitute simply because you cannot have regular dairy milk, I have something for you! Two words: Almond Milk. This super food creamy, nutty flavored milk has become quite popular amongst the health fanatics, vegans, and those of us who are lactose intolerant. Pure almond milk is cholesterol free and 100% vegan and also very simply to make at home.
Almond milk contains the same amount of essential minerals as whole milk and skimmed milk but offer greater benefits, especially when it comes to aid in weight loss. While almond milk has become more and more popular each day, it is important to remember that it doesn’t provide as much protein or calcium to be a complete substitute. Make sure you receive sufficient amounts from other sources.
According to this study published in a 2011 issue of “Nutrition and Cancer“, cow’s milk stimulated the growth of prostate cancer cells while almond milk suppressed prostate cancer cell growth. Always make sure to check the labels and purchase almond milk that contains the least amount of preservatives and other additives. One cup of Almond milk only has one gram of protein versus the 8 grams in cow’s milk, and 2 mg of calcium versus 300 mg in cow’s milk.
Almond Milk vs. Skim Milk
One cup of unsweetened almond milk contains only 30 calories, while Skim milk has 90 calories. Though almond milk has a higher fat content of 2.5g, Skim milk has 0g. Almond milk has only 1g of carbohydrates and 1g of protein, while skim milk has a total of 13g carbohydrates and 8g of protein.
Almond milk may not win against every category but it’s a great way to help reduce your total calories if you might find yourself eating too much. The benefits of almond milk are boundless, especially for those looking to lose weight. It has a low caloric value. An 8 ounce serving of plan almond milk contains around 60 calories. This has a much lower impact on your daily calorie intake than skim milk does.
Top Health Benefits of Almond Mils
Almond milk is also rich in vitamins, and gives an impressive dose of bone-building calcium.
Like many conventional dairy products, Almond milk is fortified in nutrients and contains a great source of several important fat-soluble vitamins including Magnesium, Selenium, and Iron. It provides a great source of calcium, vitamin A and D, as well as omega fatty acids. Almond milk also contains high antioxidants including vitamin E, which gives you glowing skin.
Rich in Calcium
Calcium plays a major role in building and maintaining the body’s strong bones and teeth. One cup of pure almond milk offers approximately 300 mg, meeting 30 percent of the DV for this major mineral.
Almond milk contains 25% of your daily recommended Vitamin D intake and 30% of calcium, which both aid in building and maintaining strong healthy bones. Consuming almond milk daily can help those who cannot tolerate dairy products. People who are lactose intolerant often come up short on this important nutrient.
Lactose is a sugar found in most dairy products. For those who have difficulty digesting lactose, almond milk is a great alternative. Lactose intolerance is very common in the United States. Almost 65% of the population has developed a low tolerance for lactose.
Low on Carbs
If you are currently following a low carb diet, adding almond milk to your diet would be a better choice as it contains only 1 gram of carbohydrate per cup compared to skimmed milk which contains 12 grams.
Contains Healthy Fats
A cup of unsweetened almond milk contains only 3.5g of fat, which makes it lower in fat than cow’s milk. Almond milk is also low in cholesterol and can be a great milk alternative for those focused on a heart-healthy diet. However, almond milk may contain a higher percentage of fat than skimmed milk.
The good news is that almond milk contains unsaturated fat, which is great for your body. Unlike the foods high in saturated fats, this can increase the abdominal fat that may surround your vital organs. Almond Milk is Heart Healthy
According to the USDA, one cup of cow’s milk contains 12 mg of cholesterol. Cholesterol is highly linked to heart problems, including heart disease. A great benefit of almond milk is that it is cholesterol free; making it a heart-healthy drink option. In fact, the monounsaturated fat contained in almond milk may also help lower bad cholesterol.
Contains Fewer Calories
In order to have an effective weight loss, you must consume less calories than you burn throughout your daily activities. This is where almond milk will come in handy. Almond milk is a great beneficial addition to any diet, especially if it is geared towards weight loss or maintenance. It is also high in fiber.
A glass of almond milk contains nearly 1 gram of fiber per serving, and fiber is also important for healthy digestion.
Great for Body Building
Almond milk helps increase muscle power. This is perfect for body builders who are looking for a natural way to increase their muscle strength and help give them the natural power that “unnatural” products cannot give. It helps improve muscles due to the presence of riboflavin, which is a form of Vitamin B and iron. A typical serving of almond milk contains about 4% of your recommended daily intake of iron, which also helps to regulate oxygen absorption.
A high dose of riboflavin has been found to be useful in the prevention of migraine headaches.
How to Make Homemade Almond Milk
1 cup raw almonds
2 cups water
(Optional: Vanilla and/or sweeteners such as honey, stevia, raw sugar or lucuma)
What You’ll Need:
- Blender or Food Processor
- Measuring Cup or Small Bowl
- Fine Cheesecloth or Nut Milk Mess Bag
How to Make It:
- Soak the almonds overnight or up to two days.
- Drain and rinse the almonds.
- Combine the almonds and two cups of water in a blender.
- Give it a whirl and blend for two to four minutes.
- Strain well then line the mesh over a small bowl.
- Gather is up and squeeze well
- Sweeten to taste
- Refrigerate your fresh almond milk
Note: Don’t throw away the almond meat! You can use it in a smoothie, add it to your muffins and cookies, or mix it into your oatmeal to give it a nutty taste.
Have you tried adding Almond Milk into your daily diet?