8 Benefits of Almond Milk You Didn’t Know About
As you have probably heard, almond milk is one of the most beloved nut milk around the globe. Every supermarket or local shop in the world has this Holy Grail among the kinds of milk on their shelves.
It became a grocery that can be found in almost every fridge. If your fridge isn’t one of the lucky ones or you are having second thoughts about implementing almond milk to your daily routine – continue reading.
Let’s start with some introduction about almond itself. Almond is a stone fruit that belongs to the Rose family (Rosaceae). It is related to the popular fruits such as peach, cherry, apricot, and plum. Furthermore, it is produced predominantly in the United States, followed by Spain, Iran, and Morocco.
The earliest varieties of almonds were found in ancient China and the earliest written evidence date back to the 13th century. It was a popular product that was carried down the ancient Silk Road to the Middle East, Turkey, and Greece, by a great number of traders.
And have you ever wondered what almond milk is? How do you make it and does it have any good sides?
Almond milk is plant milk with a nutty taste and a creamy texture with no aftertaste. It became widely accepted as a replacement for regular cow milk.
Many people aren’t familiar with it, but there are many advantages that almond milk has to offer. And if you use it unsweetened, they are endless!
NUT OR NOT?
Before we continue talking about the benefits that almond milk has to offer you, we have a different fact that will impress you. Although everyone thinks the almonds are nuts, well – they’re not.
A nut is a hard fruit or seed that contains a hard shell on the outside and usually one kernel on the inside. Some of the true nuts are, for example, hazelnuts, chestnuts, and acorns.
So if you’ve wondered – pistachios, Brazil nuts, cashews, walnuts, along with the almonds, are not nuts, but seeds. Technically, they are called ‘drupes’. Drupe is a fruit with skin on the outside, and a hard inner shell enclosing usually one seed on the inside.
They are similar to nuts because both types of fruit are high in vitamins, minerals, fat, and protein. Commonly, people mix these two groups.
Interesting, isn’t it?
SO, HOW IS ALMOND MILK ACTUALLY MADE?
Almond milk is milk extracted from Almonds. You can either buy it or DIY it – because homemade may be the best option for you!
You are only a few steps away from making your homemade almond milk! There are many varieties, but for the simple recipe, all you need is some water, almonds, blender, a bit of your will, and you will make it in no time.
You can do it by soaking raw almonds in the filtered water overnight, peeling the almonds, and putting them in the blender with some water.
Plus, when you make it by yourself, you can control the amount of the sweetener or decide not to add it at all. You can be sure there are no flavorings or additives in your homemade plant milk.
TIP: even though the skin is very nutritious, you shouldn’t use it when you make almond milk if you want to have nice creamy and white milk.
There are many different types of almond milk on the supermarket shelves. You can find unsweetened or sweetened almond milk, almond coconut milk, or even chocolate or vanilla flavor, so there is a version for everyone!
Let’s get started! Here are the 8 benefits of Almond Milk you surely didn’t know about:
1. LACTOSE-FREE BEVERAGE
You probably know what the word ‘lactose’ means, and nowadays, you can see it written on many products, but let’s revise. Lactose is a sugar found in cow milk or any milk product.
Some people have difficulties when it comes to digesting milk, called lactose intolerance – a condition with an insufficient amount of lactase enzyme in the digestive tract.
That’s why they are in the search for substitutes for products that contain no lactose, a.k.a. lactose-free products.
We know that customers can be easily confused with plant-based kinds of milk and cheeses on the market. We’ll break it down for you.
Even though the almond milk contains the word ‘milk’, it doesn’t contain any cow milk. Nut milk is milk only in the sense of its appearance and consistency. It doesn’t contain the same nutritional content as animal milk, and the taste isn’t similar to any animal milk.
People that are lactose intolerant or allergic to lactose can easily consume almond milk, which makes it a good alternative for the regular one.
So the good news is that you can continue enjoying your cereal bowl for breakfast or daily protein shake intake without worrying about problems that come from drinking milk derived from animals.
2. VEGAN + CRUELTY-FREE
As we already said, the almond Milk contains no dairy milk. So even if your body doesn’t have any problems with processing the lactose, you can switch to Almond milk, too. That’s the case with many people who changed their eating habits.
Besides recognizing the needs of people who are lactose intolerant, many companies produce almond milk also because of the popularity of the vegan lifestyle.
The popular question you can come across online is whether almond milk is vegan or not. Many people think that it isn’t vegan because of the effect that bees may (or may not have) on almonds. But most of the people choose not to pay attention to the statements on this topic and choose to believe that almond milk is vegan.
The main ingredient in almond milk that will ensure your milk is vegan is a sweetener. So if you want to have 100% vegan almond milk, use plant-based sweeteners instead of honey, which is considered as an animal by-product in the vegan community.
Almond Milk became one of the most popular drinks in a vegan society. By choosing it over animal milk, vegans also show the world that they are very passionate about living cruelty-free life because when someone produces nut milk, you can be sure that there is no harm done to any animal whatsoever.
3. FROM ZERO (TRANS FAT) TO HERO
Wait a minute, what are Trans fats? Let’s do some ABC’s on this terminology, in case you skipped a chemistry class, or two.
Food usually contains one or two broad types of trans fats. The difference between these two is that one is naturally-occurring, and the other is artificial. Naturally-occurring trans fats are producing within the animals. The artificial trans fats, or also known as trans-fatty acids, are industrial products. When it comes to their production, they are not expensive, so that is why many restaurants or local food trucks use them.
Nevertheless, almond milk contains no trans or saturated fat and, therefore, no cholesterol. On the other hand, they contain good fat which can help with cholesterol reduction.
It is known that the plant-based kinds of milk have lower fat values, compared to regular cow’s milk. Saturated fats are the lowest in the almond milk – an incredible 0%. That is why it is known as heart-healthy milk.
Remember to consume almonds in your daily diet, to keep your cholesterol level in check.
4. REDUCES AND MAINTAINS BLOOD PRESSURE
Putting a lot of strain on your arteries, high blood pressure can be a serious threat to your health. If it lasts for a long time, it can damage your blood vessels.
That can lead to permanent health problems, such as kidney and heart disease. That all increase the risk of having a heart attack or stroke in the future.
It is important to consume food that contains low cholesterol. Almond milk contains no cholesterol since it’s not an animal product.
Almonds are also one of the richest natural sources of magnesium. It is very important to have a good daily intake of magnesium because its deficiency can have a huge impact on your blood pressure. It is always a better solution to gain it from food or beverages, rather than supplements.
That is why almond milk can be a good source of lacking nutrients. Your heart can maintain its healthy state and your blood pressure levels in recommended values.
5. PERSONAL WEIGHT AND HEALTH MANAGER
Great news for Calorie-watchers! Get ready to add one more product to your menu!
In this era of information, you can hear many nutritionists, fitness lovers, and life coaches talking about the benefits of almond milk.
It is a fact that almond milk is low in calories, as compared to normal dairy whole milk. One cup of almond milk contains only around 60 calories, and, for comparison, one cup of whole milk contains 146 calories.
The other benefit is that it keeps your digestion under check. That is what makes this beverage one of the biggest attractions in the world of plant-based milk. Plus, it is what increases the demand for it on the supermarket shelves.
Unsweetened almond milk is naturally low in sugar. It is suitable for people who are restricting their sugar intake.
Those are, for example, people with diabetes or those who look after their weight. Because of its low GI (glycemic index), your body will use the carbs as energy and the sugars will not be stored as fat. But be careful – almond milk sold in stores is usually sweetened, so it is recommended to read the labels before you buy it.
It also contains calcium, which is crucial for maintaining a normal heartbeat, and for relaxing muscles. That is why many athletes or weight-lifters love to use almond shake after a workout.
Nevertheless, it can be a great alliance in weight and health management, whether if you want to lose or just maintain your current weight.
6. A GOOD SOURCE OF VITAMINS, CALCIUM AND MORE
Although almond milk is not nutritious as cow’s milk, if it’s enriched, it can be a fair competitor. It usually contains added vitamins and protein, but it is also naturally rich. It contains several minerals and vitamins, such as vitamin E, vitamin D, Calcium, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Zinc, Iron, Potassium, and the list goes on.
- Almond milk contains 28% of the recommended daily amount of calcium, as well as 24% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin D. That makes it a potion that does well for people who may suffer from osteoporosis or even arthritis. It also improves the immune system.
- It ensures that your bones are healthy and that your teeth come to a natural formation which is a great aesthetic benefit! If you drink almond milk daily you won’t have any problems with vitamin D deficiencies.
- Furthermore, almond milk is a powerful natural source of vitamin E, which means it has strong antioxidant properties. It combats stress and inflammation in the body. It’s good to mention that it contains 50% of the recommended daily amount of vitamin E, which makes it essential for your skin’s health, protecting it against sun damage. Also, combined with vitamins A and D, this rich formula contributes to eye health. Vitamin E, combined with several other nutrients, increases and improves brain activity. It reduces the risk of Alzheimer’s disease, which makes almond milk brain food.
- Riboflavin: also known as Vitamin B2, also finds its way from almonds to almond milk. It helps with red blood cell production and also releases the energy from the proteins.
Good to know: if exposed to light, riboflavin can be lost, so that’s why milk isn’t typically stored in glass bottles or containers.
7. P IS FOR PHOSPHORUS AND POTASSIUM
When it comes to almond milk, we can now say that it has great nutritional content.
Almond milk contains only 20 mg of phosphorus per serving. Along with vitamin E, it helps in muscle growth, healing of your bones, and good health of your teeth.
Along with the rest of the nutrients we listed above, we should mention a great mineral that can be found in almond milk. Its name is potassium and around 150 mg of it can be found per one serving of almond milk. It helps by reducing blood pressure in the body. Also, it helps by maintaining a healthy amount of fluid in the body.
And why’s that important?
Too much fluid in your body can cause higher blood pressure. So when you keep fluid in your body balanced, at the same time, you help your kidneys do their job properly.
That’s why it is one of the most beloved drinks in the world of fitness and healthy habits.
8. ALMOND MILK FOR HAIR AND SKIN
Besides just using it in your diet, almond milk and oil are great for nourishing the skin. Usually, products with almonds contain sweet almond oil that can be included in:
- Moisturizer: our powerful component has all the right ingredients needed by the skin to breathe and glow; vitamin E and A, and protein will make your skin shine with amazing results;
- Skin cleansing lotion: if you cannot find it in stores, you can make it on your own – just add rosewater to almond milk, and you have the best version of cleansing lotion there is;
- Shower gel and shower oil: these products are usually soap-free, which makes them suitable for dry and sensitive skin; they leave your skin feeling clean, soft and cared for, without a feeling of skin tightness after stepping out of the shower;
- Hair treatment serum: it combats the hair loss due to lack of magnesium in the body, and also treats the scalp infections; vitamins A, C, and E work great together, as they feed your hair with the essential nutrients and soften it; if you struggle with any of these problems, almond milk in hair products may be the right solution;
- Cleansing milk: similar to a lotion, but more enriched with our superhero, which leaves your skin silky smooth and clean, as well as nourished and elastic;
- Hand cream: helps regeneration of internal skin tissues and speeds up the procreation of cells; it moisturizes skin and makes your tan better so it is a must have ingredient in hand creams, especially if your skin is dry or irritated.
- Body lotion and body butter: thing that every woman has in her cabinet; body lotion with almond milk softens the skin, while body butter also hydrates and nourishes it;
- Massage oil: many beauty and spa salons use it, and you can use it at home; it is great for anti-stress and relaxing massages, but also anti-cellulite massages;
Last, but not least important – it is present in products for babies and small children. It is a great ingredient because it is very gentle and hydrating for the baby’s skin and it comforts it after bath time.
And if you have wondered why these products smell so delicious – it is mostly because of the almond oil and milk in it.
Remember: flawless skin is always in!
BUYING ALMOND MILK 101
We learned a lot about how healthy and trendy almond milk is. But be aware that all of this depends on what kind you buy.
Many companies make it, and there are even more versions of it, so this tells you that there can be many traps behind the product itself. Even though that almond milk has a long shelf life, start your search with the expiration date.
Make sure that you read labels, nutrition facts, as well as the ingredients list. On some packages, you can find the word ‘original’. That doesn’t mean it is the best version.
On the contrary – it is typically loaded with added sugar. If you are looking for a sugar-free version, use the one with the word ‘unsweetened’ on it.
When you buy almond milk online, be sure to watch closely or zoom in the image, to read nutrition facts. We recommend this because nowadays there are many brands on the market selling this product, and they are mostly imported. It is very important to check the ingredients list, expiration date, and almond milk calories.
The almond milk on the market usually contains 5 almonds per cup or around 2% of the whole product, and the rest of the ingredients are usually sweeteners (mostly sugar), flavorings, and added nutrients.
SPICING (UP) YOUR ALMOND MILK
Did we mention it is full of deliciousness?
This leaves us with one more question: can you use almond milk just for drinking?
Besides just that, you can use it for cooking and baking, too!
Here are some ideas:
- Chia Pudding: almond milk makes a great substitute for cow’s milk in this quick and healthy breakfast or dessert;
- Banana Oatmeal Muffins: tastes just like banana bread without dairy products, and it’s good on-the-go;
- Avocado Ranch Dressing: Dressing that is gluten and dairy-free, with a creamy texture, and vegan, is that even real? Yes, yes it is;
- Mac and Cheese: yes, a favorite dish from your childhood! Nowadays, every dairy has its substitute, so you can make this meal even if you are looking after your diet;
- No-Bake Cookies: starring almond milk, followed by peanut butter, cocoa powder, oats, butter, sugar and vanilla extract;
- Smoothies: you can use the fruit of your choice, add some almond milk, a pinch of cinnamon (optional) and you are ready to go;
- Non-Dairy Chocolate Pudding: if you love regular chocolate pudding, you will love this version with almond milk even more;
- BONUS – Almond Milk Yogurt: the concept is similar to dairy yogurt, except you have to add few more ingredients, such as thickener; agar powder and kudzu root are great vegan thickeners, which make this almond yogurt great alliance for particular eating styles, such as Keto, Paleo or Vegan.
WINDING IT UP
We hope that you enjoyed reading all about this powerful replacement for regular milk.
Now that you know how to make it, where to buy it and how to use it – well, use it!
Get up and start making one of the delicious recipes listed above (for eating and nourishing the skin, too).
And enjoy while doing it! We are sure that its healthy and delicious taste and smell will enchant your senses.
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