Almond milk is made of ground almonds and water but can include other ingredients depending on the type.
Most people purchase it premade, though it's fairly easy to make at home as well.
During processing, almonds and water are blended and then strained to remove pulp. This leaves a smooth liquid
In most commercial almond milks, thickeners, preservatives, and flavorings are usually added to improve flavor, texture, and shelf life.
Almond milk is a plant milk manufactured from almonds with a creamy texture and nutty flavor, although some types or brands are flavored in imitation of dairy milk. It does not contain cholesterol, saturated fat or lactose, and is often consumed by those who are lactose-intolerant and others, such as vegans, who avoid dairy product. Commercial almond milk comes in sweetened, unsweetened, vanilla and chocolate flavors, and is usually fortified with micronutrients. Usually, extra nutrients such as calcium, riboflavin, vitamin E and vitamin D are added to it to boost its nutritional content.
Still, you should avoid it if you're allergic to tree nuts.
Most Important Health Benefits of Almond Milk.
1. Low in Calories
One cup (240 ml) of unsweetened almond milk contains about 30–50 calories, while the same amount of whole dairy milk contains 146 calories. That means almond milk contains 65–80% fewer calories. (Unsweetened almond milk contains up to 80% fewer calories than regular dairy milk.)
Restricting your calorie intake is an effective way to lose weight, especially in combination with exercise.
2. Low in Sugar
One cup (240 ml) of almond milk contains only 1–2 grams of carbs, most of which is dietary fiber. In comparison, 1 cup (240 ml) of dairy milk contains 13 grams of carbs, most of which is sugar. Unsweetened almond milk is naturally low in sugar, making it suitable for those restricting their sugar intake, such as people with diabetes. However, many varieties are sweetened, so it is still important to check the nutrition label.
3. High in Vitamin E
Almonds are naturally high in vitamin E, providing 37% of the daily vitamin E requirement in just 1 ounce (28 grams). One cup of almond milk (240 ml) provides 20–50% of your daily vitamin E requirement, depending on the brand. In comparison, dairy milk contains no vitamin E at all.
Vitamin E is a powerful antioxidant that combats inflammation and stress in the body. It helps protect against heart disease and cancer, and it may also have beneficial effects on bone and eye health. Vitamin E has been found to significantly benefit brain health. It also appears to reduce the risk of Alzheimer's disease and may slow its progression.
4. A Good Source of Calcium
Because almond milk is most often used as a replacement for dairy milk, manufacturers enrich it with calcium to ensure people are not missing out. Almond milk is enriched with calcium to provide 20–45% of your daily requirements per serving. Calcium is particularly important for bone health, including the prevention of fractures and osteoporosis. Additionally, calcium is necessary for the proper functioning of the heart, nerves and muscles.
5. Often Enriched with Vitamin D
Very few foods naturally contain vitamin D, so manufacturers may fortify foods with it. Products that are often fortified with vitamin D include milk, juices, cereals, cheese, margarine and yogurt. Most almond milks are fortified with vitamin D2, also known as ergocalciferol. On average, 1 cup (240 ml) of fortified almond milk provides 25% of the recommended daily intake for vitamin D
Homemade almond milk will not contain any vitamin D, so you will need to seek other dietary sources if you are not getting enough vitamin D from sunlight.
6. Naturally Lactose-Free
Lactose intolerance is a condition in which people are unable to digest lactose, the sugar in milk.
It is caused by a deficiency in lactase, the enzyme that's responsible for breaking down lactose into a more digestible form. This deficiency may be caused by genetics, aging or certain medical conditions. Intolerance can cause a variety of uncomfortable symptoms, including stomach pain, bloating and gas.
Because almond milk is naturally lactose-free, it is a suitable alternative for people who have lactose intolerance.
7. Dairy-Free and Vegan
Some people choose to avoid dairy milk as a religious, health, environmental or lifestyle choice, such as veganism. Since almond milk is fully plant-based, it is suitable for all these groups and can be used in place of dairy milk on its own or in any recipe.
Additionally, almond milk is free of the proteins that cause milk allergy in up to 0.5% of adults. it's low in protein, it is not suitable as a full replacement for dairy in young children.
8. Low in Phosphorus, With a Moderate Amount of Potassium
People with chronic kidney disease often avoid milk due to its high levels of phosphorus and potassium. Because their kidneys are not able to properly clear these nutrients, there is a risk they will build up in the blood.
Too much phosphorus in the blood increases the risk of heart disease, hyperparathyroidism and bone disease. Meanwhile, too much potassium increases the risk of irregular heart rhythm, heart attack and death.
However, almond milk can be a suitable alternative for people trying to reduce their intake of potassium and phosphorus due to kidney disease.
POTENTIAL DOWNSIDES OF ALMOND MILK
While almond milk has many benefits, there are some important downsides to consider.
Almond milk provides only 1 gram of protein per cup (240 ml) while cow's and soy milk provide 8 and 7 grams, respectively. Protein is essential for many bodily functions, including muscle growth, skin and bone structure, and enzyme and hormone production.
Unsuitable for infants
Children younger than 1 year should not drink cow's or plant-based milks, as these can prevent iron absorption. Breastfeed or use infant formula exclusively until 4–6 months of age when solid food can be introduced
Almond milk only provides 39 calories, 3 grams of fat, and 1 gram of protein per cup (240 ml). This is not enough for a growing.
May contain additives
Processed almond milk can contain many additives, such as sugar, salt, gums, flavors, and lecithin and carrageenan (types of emulsifiers). Certain ingredients like emulsifiers and gums are used for texture and consistency. They're safe unless consumed in extremely high amounts
Nevertheless, many companies avoid this additive altogether due to these concerns.
Additionally, many flavored and sweetened almond milks are high in sugar. Too much sugar can increase your risk of weight gain, dental cavities, and other chronic.To avoid this, choose unsweetened and unflavored almond milk.