Benefits Of Almond Milk
What Are Some Of The Main Benefits Of Almond Milk?
While there may be a few side affects that should be taken into account, the benefits of almond milk far outweigh them. Before going over the many benefits of almond milk, it may be worthwhile getting its possible side effects out of the way. Then you can see if you wish to read on.
The Possible Side Effects Of Almond Milk:
- The Presence Of Sweeteners - Natural almond milk does not contain sugar, but manufacturers of it usually add a sweetener, and this sweetener is sometimes sugar. In that respect, a glass of almond milk would not be as healthy as a glass of cow’s milk. It’s possible however to purchase unsweetened almond milk, or you can make your own.
- Potential Thyroid Problems - If you’re a person who should avoid almonds, you definitely should avoid drinking almond milk. In most cases, when one needs to avoid eating almonds it’s because of a thyroid condition, or the risk of developing one. Almonds contain chemicals that can potentially harm the thyroid gland. These chemicals tend to block the intake of iodine, causing the thyroid gland to swell, resulting in the formation of a goiter. The almond is a goitrogenic food, but it is not alone. Most cruciferous foods, such as Brussels sprouts and cabbage are goitrogenic, as to a lesser degree, are strawberries, spinach, and several other foods. Even soy is a goitrogen. If you do not have a thyroid condition, and can eat the above foods without a problem, you can safely eat almonds as well.
- Not Always The Best Choice For Infants – Almond milk should not be given to infants as a substitute for mother’s milk or cow milk. There is nothing harmful about almond milk as far as babies are concerned. It’s simply not as nutritious as regular milk is, and does not provide the nutrition a baby needs nearly as well as mother’s milk or cow milk does. In those cases where an infant would be allergic to cow milk, almond milk would probably be an acceptable substitute, although it would be wise to consult with your pediatrician before using it.
Now that you’re aware of the possible side effects or disadvantages of drinking almond milk, we can begin our discussion of the many benefits of almond milk.
The Benefits Of Almond Milk:
- Not Everyone Can Drink Regular Milk – One of the primary reasons for drinking almond milk, or soy milk, or some other plant-derived milk product, is if one has lactose intolerance. Another reason is that some people simply don’t care for the taste of milk. They know they should drink it, at least sometimes, but they don’t really enjoy it. Almond milk is very nutritious, even though its nutritional makeup is somewhat different than that of regular milk. Almond milk doesn’t taste like milk. What does it taste like? It has, as one might expect, a somewhat nutty taste. Add a little sweetener, and the taste becomes nutty and sweet. It’s a taste most people like.
- Lower In Calories – Another reason to switch to almond milk is that it does not contain as many calories as does regular milk, and as such is a nice substitute for milk in one’s diet when that person is trying to lose or maintain weight. The difference in calories is not huge, but it is still significant. A glass of almond milk contains about 20% fewer calories than a glass of skim milk does.
- Does Not Require Refrigeration - One of the benefits of almond milk that is sometimes overlooked is it doesn’t have to be refrigerated. If you’re going camping, and take some almond milk along, you don’t have to bring an ice chest. Almond milk keeps fine at room temperature. It was probably at room temperature when you purchased it, and has been ever since it was produced.
- Low In Potassium And Phosphorus – Those with kidney issues often need to restrict their intake of certain minerals, especially phosphorus and potassium. Almond milk is lower in both of these minerals than is regular milk, and even lower in these minerals than soy milk. There are also people who should not drink soy milk for some reason, or eat soy products. Almond milk may be an acceptable alternative.
- Rich In Calcium And Vitamins – What is almond milk particularly rich it? It is a vitamin-rich drink, and it is as high in calcium as is regular milk. Almond milk is a good source of vitamins A and E, which are antioxidants. Vitamin A is also benefits one’s eyesight. Almond milk is a good source of vitamin D, which strengthens the immune system, and along with calcium, helps to build strong bones and teeth.
Making Your Own Almond Milk
Making your own almond milk doesn’t involve rocket science. There are plenty of recipes available, but you’ll quickly notice that the only essential ingredients are almonds and water. Other ingredients, such a vanilla, salt, chocolate, cinnamon, or a sweetener, are optional, so you can experiment a bit. Start with a basic almond and water recipe, then add other ingredients until your homemade product has the taste you like. You may or may not be able to achieve the same taste as store bought almond milk, but if you are trying to avoid using too many packaged or processed foods, that should not be a problem.