Milk is everywhere- from a splash in your cup of coffee to your Sunday morning pancakes. That is because milk is a nutritional essential that is essential for bone health since it is high in protein, calcium, and vitamins D and B12. Moreover, milk is the complete protein since it contains all nine types of necessary amino acids required for proper physiological function! But what happens if you are lactose intolerant, following a vegan lifestyle, or looking for ways to limit your milk intake due to other reasons? Aside from the well-known cow’s milk, the increased popularity of plant-based milk has opened up a few doors for people. In this article, we will look at the nutritional and health benefits of plant-based types of milk to help you pick the best option for you:
It is time to see which plant-based milk is the one for you
Vegan milk, also known as plant milk, nut milk, and non-dairy milk, has been enjoyed in many parts of the world for centuries for a number of reasons. Some people drink it for health reasons, such as a lactose or dairy milk allergy, while others do it for the nutritional benefits. However, as more people across the world go vegan, individuals are becoming more aware of the darker aspects of dairy milk production, such as the cruelty it causes to cows and the harm it causes to one’s health. Aside from the fact that the manufacturing and storage of animal products emit a lot of greenhouse gases, some people avoid milk due to environmental concerns and the harm it brings to the environment. As a result, plant-based milk is becoming more and more popular with a wide assortment of milk types and different unique flavors for everyone’s taste.
Nowadays there are so many different brands and types of vegan milk
You can substitute every dairy product with a healthier plant-based alternative
What are the advantages of plant-based milk alternatives?
Here are some of the key advantages of plant-based milk products:
- It is cruelty-free!- You can enjoy your milk without contributing to the unethical and cruel treatment of industrialized dairy cows.
- It is environmentally friendly!- Animal agriculture is a leading factor behind the destruction of rainforests and a huge contributor to climate change.
Cow milk has the biggest impact on climate change and the destruction of rainforests
- It is healthier!- Dairy milk is a good source of calcium, protein, and Vitamin D. However, it also contains unhealthy saturated fats plus, hormones and antibiotics. With plant milk, you are not getting any of that. Plus, some non-dairy types of milk are fortified with essential minerals and Omega-3 fatty acids to give you a similar nutrient content to that of cow’s milk.
When it comes to protein and healthy fats, cow milk has some serious contenders
- It has more calcium!- Non-dairy milk often has 50% more calcium per serving than dairy milk. Calcium is vital for healthy bones, healthy teeth, low blood pressure, reduced tension, better nervous system health, and for preventing conditions such as osteoporosis. Dairy milk, however, is highly acidic and researchers prove that it can actually take out the calcium from your bones!
- It is lower in sugar!- Unsweetened non-dairy milk is often free of sugar. Compared to cow’s milk which can contain from 13-16 grams of sugar in just one cup, plant-based milk is a much healthier choice. What is more, cow’s milk sugar content comes from a natural sugar known as lactose. Lactose, however, can often cause upset digestion, stomach problems, allergies, and blood-sugar problems. Plant-based milk, on the other hand, is low in sugar so it will be easier on your blood sugar and will not trigger a rise in glucose.
Plant-based milk is lower in sugar so it is perfect for those of you seeking to lose weight and get healthy
- It is free from IGF-1!- As we mentioned above, dairy milk contains hormones, including ones that are free from added hormones. These hormones stimulate an increase of insulin once you have consumed them, which triggers the release of IGF-1 in the body a.k.a the insulin growth factor.
- It is lower in calories!-Non-dairy milk is very low in calories, which does not trigger high blood sugar, nor does it cause weight gain.
- It is easy to digest- Plant-based milk is easy to digest, making it ideal if you want to optimize your digestion. Most people with digestive issues notice they feel a lot better once they omit dairy from their diet due to the lactose dairy milk contains.
All in all, you should definitely consider swapping dairy milk for a healthier plant-based option
What are the different types of milk alternatives?
Coconut milk has recently gained a lot of popularity. It has a rich and creamy texture, making it a great tasty alternative to cow milk. Coconut milk is different from coconut water since it is produced from the white flesh of mature brown coconuts. What is more, coconut milk is created by mixing coconut flesh with water, thus it has a 50% water content. Coconut milk is high in calcium, fiber, vitamins, copper, potassium, selenium, and manganese, among other nutrients. Weight loss, increased heart health, and a stronger immune system are just a few of the many advantages of coconut milk. Moreover, coconut milk is amazing for cooking- everything from desserts to curries!
Coconut milk is made from the white flesh of mature brown coconuts
Coconut milk is amazing for cooking both sweet and savory dishes
Almond milk is popular plant-based milk with a delicate natural sweetness and a thick, creamy texture. What is more, almond milk has become almost as popular as soy milk, and you can find it at nearly any coffee shop or grocery store. It is dairy-free milk made by roasting almonds and then grinding them with water until a well-blended mixture forms. Almond milk’s neutral flavor works well in both sweet and savory food preparation, and it is wonderful to drink straight from a glass. True, almond milk is the most water-dependent of all the other plant milk alternatives, but when compared to dairy’s extreme inefficiency, almond milk is still the better option. Since it is made from nuts, it is high in beneficial fats, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Moreover, it is also high in magnesium, potassium, calcium, protein, fiber, and vitamin E, among other nutrients. Almond milk is good for lactose intolerant people who want to avoid dairy products because it is cholesterol and lactose-free. Not only that, but it also has a low salt level, which is beneficial to heart health.
Almond milk has a natural sweetness to it and a thick, creamy consistency
Almond milk is easy to make by yourself at home
The process is similar to the making of other nut types of milk
This milk is made by roasting almonds and then grinding them with water until a well-blended mixture forms
Your creamy plant-based almond milk is ready
Oat milk definitely challenged almond milk in terms of popularity. This deliciously creamy plant milk is now available from a number of brands at grocery stores around the country. Water and steel-cut rolled, or whole oats are combined to make oat milk. Moreover, the mixture is filtered thoroughly to extract the delicious plant-based milk. Because of the straining process, the milk is slightly thin, making it ideal for coffee and fluffy pancakes. Since oats contain a high amount of beta-glucans and soluble fiber, oat milk is beneficial to your immune system and metabolism. Oat milk is excellent for people with dietary restrictions because it is vegan, lactose-free, soy-free, and nut-free. The presence of beta-glucans in oat milk makes it extremely beneficial to your cardiovascular health and allows you to keep your cholesterol levels in check. It’s abundant in calcium and vitamin D, so it’s great for strong, healthy bones and lowering your risk of osteoporosis. Oats (or your breakfast oatmeal) are high in potassium, which helps maintain a healthy blood pressure level, and iron, which is essential for preventing anemia. The best part? Oat milk is easy to make at home— just give it a try with our oat milk recipe.
To make oat milk you just combine water and steel-cut or whole oats
Oat milk is slightly thin in consistency, making it ideal for coffee
You can make soy milk by soaking dried soybeans in water and thoroughly crushing them after. Soy milk is a type of plant-based milk that has all of the necessary nutrients. It consists of an abundance of calcium and soy proteins and is particularly popular among vegans and vegetarians. Soy milk is a sweeter, thicker cousin of almond milk and it is a great dairy substitute. It’s rich, thick, and creamy, and it makes a beautifully airy foam like no other plant milk. Since its main ingredient is derived from plants, this milk is naturally cholesterol-free, lactose-free, and has a low saturated fat content. It’s also known as ‘complete protein milk,’ which indicates it has the same amount of protein as whole milk. The nutritional profiles of coconut, almond, soy, and rice milk were all compared in a study. And, soy milk has the highest concentration of essential nutrients, making it the second most nutritious type of milk after cow milk. Soy milk contains phytoestrogens, or plant-based estrogens, that help balance and control estrogen levels.
Soy milk is a very popular choice among vegans and vegetarians
This dairy-free option is the complete protein milk so it is perfect for those of you wanting to gain muscle
Among all other milk types, this is one of the most hypoallergenic, as well as the sweetest. It is dairy-free milk made from brown rice that’s been boiled and then mixed with brown rice starch and brown rice syrup. Rice milk has a creamy, medium-sweet flavor that is very satisfying to the taste. It is good for lactose-intolerant people and those who have a strong predisposition to be allergic to milk because has very few allergens. This milk is also fat- and cholesterol-free, making it an excellent alternative for anyone who suffers from high blood pressure or cardiovascular problems. The disadvantage of rice milk is that it contains relatively little protein and calcium when compared to whole milk. However, rice milk is naturally high in B vitamins and antioxidants like manganese and selenium. Rice milk has a thin consistency, making it perfect for mixing in smoothies or thinning out a dairy-free ranch dressing.
Rice milk is the most hypoallergenic of all the plant-based types of milk
Try eating your favorite cereal with a splash of tasty rice milk
In our opinion cashew milk, more than any other nut milk is not appreciated enough. Cashew milk has a nutty flavor and you can use it in both cooking and baking. It’s really delightful, ultra-creamy, and very versatile. Because the fat in it is mostly unsaturated, it’s a good choice for individuals with high cholesterol or those who need to limit their fat intake. Moreover, each cup of cashew milk has only about two grams of carbs. It’s suitable for use in coffee and adds a thickness that’s perfect for lattes. YOu can find plenty of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin B12 in commercially available cashew milk choices. Keep it on hand if you have a sweet tooth and want to dip dairy-free cookies or other sweet snacks in it.
Cashew milk has a nutty flavor perfect for making lattes and dipping cookies in
Cashew milk is good for individuals with high cholesterol or those who need to limit their fat intake
Hemp milk is a great option for those looking for a healthier alternative to cow milk. It’s delicious vegan milk that you can make by crushing and soaking hemp seeds in water. After that, you fully blend the mixture, yielding wonderful hemp milk with a thick, creamy consistency and a nutty, earthy flavor. As a result, rather than baking, it works best in savory recipes like casseroles and slow-cooker dinners. Hemp milk, with its smoothness, is also a great addition to lattes, cappuccinos, as well as smoothies. And since hemp seeds do not contain THC, hemp milk will not have any mind-altering effects on you. What’s more, this type of milk is high in calcium, iron, protein, potassium, manganese, vitamins, and zinc. Hemp milk has all of these vital nutrients and components, allowing it to provide a wide range of health benefits, including improved cognition, improved heart health, great skin, increased bone density, and a strong immune system, to mention a few.
To make hemp milk, you have to crush and soak hemp seeds in water
This plant-based milk has the biggest impact on your skins condition and healthy appearance
Hemp milk is a great addition to lattes and cappuccinos
You’re missing out if you haven’t tasted hazelnut milk yet. Hazelnut drinks have a delicious nutty flavor. A higher concentration of hazelnuts in good-quality hazelnut milk means it’s higher in calories and fat. What’s more, it is naturally high in free radical-fighting E vitamins and brain-fueling good fats. Good hazelnut milk has a rich, creamy flavor that you can use in place of whole dairy milk. Add hazelnut milk to your favorite cupcake or pudding recipe and see what happens. Desserts, smoothies, and, of course, coffee all benefit from its tasty flavor!
Hazelnut has a delicious nutty flavor and a lot of E vitamins