Tuesday, May 24, 2022
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11 health benefits of almond milk

For the longest time in my life, I shopped for foodstuffs at the supermarket based on popular brands, sale offers or lowest price. Never did I bother to read nutrition labels. Today, there is not a single purchase made without me looking at the nutrition label.

What is the nutritional label?

All packaged food with FSSAI license need to have a nutrition label stating the nutrition facts of the product.

Here is an example of what it would read.

 

Nutrition Facts per serving (200ml)

Servings per pack; 5

Energy  kcal

Total fat g

Cholesterol g

Total carbohydrates g

Sugar g

Protein g

Sodium mg

Calcium mg

Vitamin A mcg

Vitamin D mcg

 

Ingredients:

Almond milk is a nutritious, light in flavour, nut-based drink, you can home make almond milk by soaking, grinding, and straining raw almonds. Commercial versions of almond milk might add nutrients, such as calcium, riboflavin, vitamin E, and vitamin D, to boost the drink’s nutritional content. Its light flavor makes it more palatable than other plant-based milk options like soymilk, or oat milk. It is a great option for those who cannot or choose not to drink cow’s milk (a dairy product) either for health reasons of lactose intolerance or for choice of taste. Almond milk has definitely become popular with all age groups over the years.

Nutritional profile: Nutrients in a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of plain, unsweetened, almond milk include: 

  •  Calories: 15
  • Carbs: 0.3 grams
  • Fiber: 0.3 grams
  • Sugar: 0 grams
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Fat: 1.2 grams
  • Vitamin A: 6% of the Daily Value (DV)
  • Vitamin E: 22% of the DV
  • Vitamin D: 9% of the DV
  • Potassium: 1% of the DV
  • Calcium: 17% of the DV
  • Phosphorus: 4% of the DV

NOTE: Since almond milk is often used as an alternative to dairy milk, most manufacturers do add vitamins and minerals to the final product so that the valuable nutrients of dairy milk are not lost.

  • As you can see in the nutritional profile for a 200ml glass of unsweetened almond milk the calorie intake is fifteen. Now that will fill your stomach as much as a meal on the run or a healthy snack option for almost no calories at all. A great weight watcher option I say.

NOTE: Unfiltered, homemade almond milk has a greater quantity of almonds so it is higher in calories.

  • When comparing almond milk to dairy milk, the carbohydrate values of almond milk are from dietary fiber and that of dairy milk are lactose. This makes all the difference to those at risk of type-2 diabetes.  Always look for unsweetened versus sweetened varieties of almond milk as the carbohydrates do vary hugely. Unsweetened varieties of almond milk are naturally low in carbohydrates.
  • Almond milk is an excellent source of vitamin E, vitamin D, and calcium. Powerful antioxidants that clean up free radicals from the body, improve heart health, immunity and bone health.
  • For people who are lactose intolerant, this is the answer to enjoying a café latte or pistachio ice cream. It is estimated that 65-70% of people globally are lactose intolerant. This condition causes stress on the digestive system leaving many with stomach pain, bloating, and gas issues.
  • An evolving generation of vegans to protect health, the environment or simply lifestyle is on a definite rise. Veganism supports only plant-based products, giving Almond milk an option for a lot of vegan meals.
  • Dairy milk is high in potassium and phosphorus, for those with Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD) almond milk is the substitute. But be aware of keeping your potassium and phosphorus levels within nutrition limits, take healthcare professional advice while making diet changes.
  • Acne is never welcome at any age or stage of life, dairy is a contributor to acne, to what level is to be further researched. Almond milk promotes healthy skin a lot to do with the vitamin E content in it. 

How to make almond milk at home —

FOR: 2 cups (473 ml) of almond milk 

Almonds — soak 1/2 cup (65 grams) of raw almonds overnight

Water — 2 cups (473 ml) 

A blender— blend until the mixture is milky and creamy (Optional —add a pinch of salt or a drizzle of honey) 

Nut milk bag — Pour the mixture in a nut milk bag (a mulmul cloth napkin will do) and strain over a large jug or bowl. Squeeze out any excess moisture, until most of the milk is separated from the pulp. 

The milk can be kept for up to five days in the refrigerator.

 

NOTE: You can make your almond milk thicker or thinner by adjusting the quantity of water.

Now with this easy recipe, here are some ideas for you to enjoy almond milk as part of your low in calorie, high in health diet.

  • Have it as a glass of chilled milk after your workout
  • As breakfast with muesli or oats
  • In your tea or coffee, (no more acidity)
  • Hot chocolate before bed time (a safe bet for the gas issues)
  • A delicious smoothie, makes for an anytime snack
  • In your cooking — add to soups, sauces, salad dressings
  • Desserts — muffins, chocolate chip cookies, pancakes, ice cream, almond milk yogurt can be made from the leftover pulp of home made almond milk.

How about another one-minute sugar free dessert recipe — 

Add chia seeds to almond milk to swell up and keep it handy in your fridge for an anytime one-minute dessert.

In a bowl of almond milk, add two tablespoons of the swelled up chia seeds and add any fruit (passion fruit, strawberry, orange, or berries) may be some slivers of dark chocolate too — Savour guilt free, no boundaries, no limits on quantity Just Pure Indulgence.

With all of these benefits, why wait to make the switch to Almond milk.

Vinita Alvares Fernandes
Vinita Alvares Fernandes is an Economics graduate, a writer and a Trinity College certified public speaker and communicator

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