FOOD

The Benefits of Almond Milk

It seems the latest craze at the supermarkets is almond milk. Unlike cow’s milk, almond milk is a milk substitute made from finely ground almonds mixed with water, then strained to remove skins and sediments.

For people like me who suffer from lactose intolerance, or have gluten and casein allergies, almond milk is a great choice. But make sure you are not allergic to tree nuts!

Almond milk is not new. Since the middle ages, medieval people have used almond milk for cooking and baking because it is easier to store, and keeps for longer than cow’s milk. While it is not a replacement for breast milk, cow’s milk or hydrolyzed formulas for children, it is a choice simply for healthier living.

Almond Milk vs. Cow’s Milk
Cow’s milk contains more calories and fat than almond milk. Cow’s milk also contains saturated fats and cholesterol which almond milk is free of making it a healthier choice for people wanting to lose weight, or with heart problems.

While cow’s milk has high levels of calcium, Vitamin A & D, almond milk contains a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to aid proper functioning of the body. Almond milk also has high levels of antioxidants to prevent cancer and slow down signs of aging. This far makes up for the nutritional benefits compared to cow’s milk.

The only winning factor for cow’s milk compared to almond milk is protein. Protein from cow’s milk (as with other animal-based food) is a complete protein, that is it has all the amino acids to form protein. For comparison, cow’s milk has eight grams of protein per serving, while almond milk has one gram of protein per serving.

Almond Milk vs. Skim Milk
Almond milk and skim milk are probably the most similar. Both are low in calories, zero to low in fat content and no cholesterol. The only real difference is almond milk has less sugar than skim milk. Plain almond milk has 7grams of sugar in one cup per serving, whereas skim milk has 12 grams of sugar in a cup per serving.

Almond Milk vs. Soy Milk
If you are lactose intolerant, gluten and/or casein allergic, suffer heart problems or a vegan, these two milks are the most popular dairy milk alternatives. Almond milk is higher in fat content than soy milk, but it is less starchy. So, for weight-sensitive individuals, almond milk is preferred over soy milk. One notable difference is almond milk is much higher in vitamin E and manganese which helps to improve skin quality and fights cancer.

On the other hand, soy milk is extremely beneficial for people over 50 years because of its hormonal effects helping to relive post-postmenopausal symptoms in women, and prevent prostate cancer in men. The opposite is true for people in their reproductive years though. Soy milk is suspected to reduce male fertility and sperm count; and interferes with progesterone production during pregnancy. Expectant mothers should avoid soy milk altogether.

A Point to Highlight…
Did you know that every serving of almond milk provides 50% of our daily recommended value intake of vitamin E? 50%! And vitamin E is the primary nutrient for helping skin retain its moisture content which leads to the overall improvement of skin health. Its powerful antioxidant properties destroys free radicals, and slows down the skin’s aging process for younger-looking skin.

Not only is almond milk good for weight management and heart health, it is great for your skin.

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