Almond milk benefits are not limited to its rich taste. It is an extremely nutritious plant-based milk and a popular choice amongst consumers. It is a dairy alternative for people who are lactose intolerant and vegans and a low-fat option for people who follow a strict diet. Read on to learn more about its health benefits, nutritional content, potential side effects, and how to use almond milk in your diet.
In This Article
What Is Almond Milk? Is It Good For You?
As the name suggests, almond milk is made from almonds. It is especially known for its creamy texture and nutty flavor. It is a popular substitute for cow milk. Compared to other plant-based milk, almond milk is more easily available and rich in many nutrients that are believed to offer an array of health benefits.
Almond milk is considered a beneficial source of nutrients as almonds are loaded with many health-promoting vitamins and minerals. Many people use it in regular cooking and for consumption like regular milk.
Unsweetened almond milk is a nutritious drink. However, most of the commercially available almond milk varieties are laden with artificial sweeteners.
Keep reading to learn about the health benefits associated with the consumption of almond milk.
5 Health Benefits Of Almond Milk
1. 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 (1). 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 (2). Hence, including it in your regular diet may help in managing your diabetic levels.
2. May Have Anti-Aging Effects
The use of almonds for promoting skin health has also been popular since ancient times. Almonds are used in many skin care creams and face packs. It has been proven that regular almond consumption effectively reduces wrinkle formation and exhibits anti-aging effects (4).
3. May Improve Bone Health
Almond milk is a good source of calcium (5). Sufficient calcium intake is directly related to promoting bone health. Additionally, it is also associated with many health benefits like lowering blood pressure, prevention of osteoporosis, lowering cholesterol values, and reduction of hypertensive disorders during pregnancy (6). Hence, including almond milk in your diet may help you in many ways, along with promoting bone health.
4. May Reduce The Risk Of Cardiovascular Disease
It is a known fact that the risk of cardiovascular disease is increasing day by day due to a rise in sedentary lifestyle and bad food habits. Nut consumption is believed to reduce the risk of many health conditions, including cardiovascular disease. Research also says that almond consumption can significantly manage dyslipidemia, which is one of the major risk factors of cardiovascular disease (7). It has also been found that regular consumption of almonds decreases LDL cholesterol levels (8), (9).
5. May Reduce Blood Pressure
One of the lesser-known benefits of almonds is their ability to reduce blood pressure. Regular consumption of almonds can significantly reduce diastolic blood pressure (10). Hence, consuming almond milk may help in managing blood pressure levels. However, consult a doctor before you switch to almond milk if you have blood pressure issues.
Now that you know all the health benefits almond milk offers, let’s check out its nutritional profile.
Almond Milk Nutrition Facts
According to the US Department of Agriculture, 100 ml of almond milk contains the following nutrients (11):
- Energy: 17 kcal
- Protein: 0.42 g
- Total lipid (fat): 1.25 g
- Carbohydrate: 0.83 g
- Fiber: 0.4 g
- Sugar: 0.42 g
- Calcium: 42 mg
- Iron: 0.15 mg
- Potassium: 79 mg
- Sodium: 75 mg
- Vitamin A: 208 IU
- Vitamin E: 4 mg
- Vitamin D (D2 + D3): 42 IU
- Fatty Acids: 0 g
- Cholesterol: 0 g
As you can see, almond milk is filled with many great nutrients. Still wondering why you should pick almond milk over cow milk? Find out in the next section.
Almond Milk Vs. Whole Milk
|Nutrients||Whole Milk (100 ml)||Almond Milk (100 ml)|
|Energy||60 kcal||17 kcal|
|Protein||3.28 g||0.42 g|
|Total Lipid (Fat)||3.2 g||1.25 g|
|Carbohydrate||4.67 g||0.83 g|
|Fiber||0 g||0.4 g|
|Sugars||4.81 g||0.42 g|
|Calcium||123 mg||42 mg|
|Iron||0 mg||0.15 mg|
|Potassium||150 mg||79 mg|
|Sodium||38 mg||75 mg|
|Vitamin A||32 µg||208 IU|
|Vitamin E||0 mg||4 mg|
|Vitamin D (D2 + D3)||1.1 µg||42 IU|
|Fatty Acids||1.86 g||0 g|
|Cholesterol||12 mg||0 g|
There are many key differences between whole milk and almond milk:
- As you can see, whole milk is high in fat, calories, and protein. Unsweetened almond milk contains comparatively lesser fat and calories, making it a healthier alternative.
- Whole milk is a better source of calcium than almond milk, making it a better choice for people with bone-related health issues.
- Unsweetened almond milk is better for people with heart problems as it is completely free of cholesterol.
- People who are lactose intolerant should opt for almond milk over whole milk as it is lactose-free.
Whole milk and almond milk are good in their own ways for different groups of people. If you would like to add almond milk to your diet, scroll down to the next section.
How To Add Almond Milk To Your Diet
Almond milk has a creamy texture and rich flavor, which makes it a delicious addition to your diet. You can include it in your diet in many ways:
- It can be added to tea or coffee, just like regular milk. However, do not boil it to retain its creamy texture.
- You can add almond milk to your cereal.
- It can be a tasty addition to oatmeal or overnight oats.
- You can try adding almond milk to all the regular dishes that use milk, like cakes and muffins.
- Smoothies and hot chocolate can be made using almond milk.
- You can also use it to make ice cream.
- It can also be consumed directly as a substitute for regular milk.
- Almond yogurt can be prepared using almond milk.
Wondering how to choose the best almond milk for your needs? Find out below!
How To Choose The Best Almond Milk
Many almond milk varieties are available commercially. You can get them in different flavors. However, most of the varieties are sweetened with artificial sweeteners.
It is always best to choose unsweetened almond milk. Check the ingredient list on the label for any added artificial ingredients, and always try to avoid such varieties. Ideally, almond milk should just contain almonds, water, and sea salt.
It is always good to make your own almond milk. The process of making it is simple and quick. The next section lists the recipe for homemade almond milk. Check it out!
How To Make Your Own Almond Milk
Always use good-quality almonds while making almond milk at home to get a creamy texture and nutty flavor.
What You Need
- 300 grams almonds
- 4 cups water
- ¼ tablespoon sea salt
- 5 tablespoons honey (optional)
- Soak the almonds overnight in water.
- Remove them from water and peel off the skin.
- In a blender jar, add the almonds and 2 cups of water. Blend to a fine paste.
- Add the remaining water and blend until smooth.
- Filter the liquid using a muslin cloth.
- Mix in the sea salt.
- You can also add honey for sweet almond milk.
You can store this milk for a week in the refrigerator. Do not freeze it.
While almond milk is healthy and delicious, it may cause some side effects. Find out more below.
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 (13).
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 (14). Hence, consuming the required amount of protein is beneficial for your overall health.
In A Nutshell
Almond milk is a great vegan, lactose-free, and nutritious alternative to whole cow milk. It is replete with many vitamins, minerals, and beneficial compounds. Almond milk benefits include stronger bones and better heart health. In addition, it is a good source of vitamin E that helps delay the early signs of aging and rejuvenate your skin. To reap these benefits, you can substitute regular cow milk with almond milk in your smoothies, breakfast cereals, or coffee. However, do not consume almond milk in excess, as it may otherwise trigger allergic reactions or cause gastrointestinal issues. Consult your doctor if you experience any adverse effects.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does almond milk have lactose?
No, almond milk does not contain lactose as it is a plant-based product. It can be added as a substitute to any dish that requires milk.
Is almond milk good for weight loss?
Almond milk may aid in weight loss. It has lesser calories than regular milk, which may help in losing weight. However, you should only drink unsweetened or homemade almond milk.
How long is almond milk good for?
Homemade almond milk can be stored in a refrigerator for 7 days. Store-brought almond milk can be stored for 8-10 days if opened.
Is almond milk good for pregnancy?
Almond milk can be consumed during pregnancy, and it is generally considered safe. However, you should only consume unsweetened almond milk in moderation.
- Almond milk has a creamy, nutty texture and is often used as an alternative to dairy by vegans and people with lactose intolerance.
- Almond milk contains fewer calories and lesser fat than whole milk, and unsweetened almond milk is good for people with heart problems because it is cholesterol-free.
- This milk is believed to reduce blood sugar levels, regulate weight, and strengthen the bones.
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- Almond consumption improved glycemic control and lipid profiles in patients with type 2 diabetes mellitus
- Development of Novel Fermented Almond Milk Tea and Its Evaluation as Antidiabetic Drink
- Evidence for beneficial effects of vitamin E
- Prospective randomized controlled pilot study on the effects of almond consumption on skin lipids and wrinkles
- Plant-based milk alternatives an emerging segment of functional beverages: a review
- Calcium Intake and Health
- Almonds and Cardiovascular Health: A Review
- Serum lipid response to the graduated enrichment of a Step I diet with almonds: a randomized feeding trial
- Effects of almond consumption on the reduction of LDL-cholesterol: a discussion of potential mechanisms and future research directions
- The effect of almond intake on blood pressure: A systematic review and meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials
- [Historical Record]: Almond Milk
- Milk whole
- Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments.
- Health effects of protein intake in healthy elderly populations: a systematic literature review