Almond Milk is a special type of milk obtained from water and ground Almonds. It has a nutty taste and a unique creamy texture. Unlike ordinary milk, it doesn’t contain lactose or cholesterol, and is popularly consumed by people who are lactose intolerant.
Almond milk can either be produced commercially or at home (home-made). The former comes in different flavors such as; unsweetened, sweetened, chocolate, plain or vanilla flavors. The latter is conventionally prepared at home using water, a blender and almonds.
Interesting facts about Almond Milk
This product was popular in the medieval ages because it was more durable than cows’ milk. Historically, it was also referred to as amygdalate, and was consumed in many regions (ranging from East Asia to the Iberian Peninsula).
Le Viandier, a fourteenth century collection of recipes, contains a detailed recipe of this product, and also recommended its use during fasting periods (as a substitute for dairy milk).
In the USA, sales of Almond milk increased exponentially from 36 million to 92 million liters between 2011 and 2013, thus effectively overtaking the sales of soy milk.
Nutritional value of Almond Milk
The product is rich in nutrients such as; fiber, calcium, vitamin E, copper, magnesium, tryptophan, selenium, phosphorous, manganese, iron, zinc and potassium.
According to the United Kingdom’s Food Research Institute, Almond milk has certain properties that enhance the functioning of the digestive system by increasing the number of beneficial bacteria living in the stomach.
Even though the product contains calories, 75% of the calories are unsaturated and cholesterol-free. The fat-content in this product is therefore healthy.
According to nutritional experts, each eight-ounce serving of this product consists of 2g of proteins. Almond milk is therefore suitable for vegetarians who need a rich source of proteins (from sources other than dairy products).
Vitamin D and calcium
A single glass of almond milk has the capacity of providing 30% of calcium and 25% of vitamin D that adults need every day to remain healthy.
Minerals and vitamins
According to Harvard University’s School of Public Health, a glass of this product has the capacity of providing a consumer with up to 8% of sodium that he/she needs every day. The same glass can also provide 50% of vitamin D, 10% of vitamin A and a significant amount of phosphorous that an adult needs very day.
Health Benefits of Almond Milk
Almond milk has numerous health benefits. This is because it has the following unique properties;
1. It is low in calories (unlike dairy milk).
2. Contains no saturated fats or cholesterol.
3. Has low sodium content.
4. Contains high levels of calcium.
5. Provides significant amounts of Vitamin E that’s needed every day.
6. Unsweetened almond milk contains no lactose.
Weight management: A glass of this product contains only 60 calories, and this is significantly less than the 146 calories contained in cows’ milk. It’s therefore a perfect substitution for dairy milk especially for those who need to maintain their weight at optimum levels (or those who wish to avoid gaining weight).
Healthy heart: Almond Milk contains no unsaturated fats, is cholesterol-free, contains low amounts of sodium and is rich in Omega 3 fats. It therefore helps in avoiding complications that affect the heart.
Strong bones: A glass of Almond Milk provides 30% of calcium and 25% of vitamin D that adults need to consume every day. The product therefore significantly boosts the immune system, and also reduces the risk of osteoporosis and arthritis. The overall result is strong bones and healthy teeth.
Healthy skin: A glass of this product can effectively provide a consumer with 50% of Vitamin E recommended by health experts. The vitamin has anti-oxidizing properties that protect the skin against harmful ultra-violet rays from the sun.
Blood sugar levels: Since Almond Milk contains low amounts of carbohydrates, it has little impact on the levels of blood sugar, and thus reduces the risk of diabetes. Additionally, the consumer’s body efficiently converts all the carbohydrates into energy because the milk has a low glycemic index.
Muscle strength and healing: The product contains significant proportions of Vitamin D (which is rich in riboflavin and iron), and therefore enhances healing processes and growth of muscles.
Improved digestion: Almond milk is rich in fiber. It therefore helps to improve the digestion process.
Lactose-free: Unlike other dairy products, it doesn’t contain any lactose, and is therefore suitable for use by people who are lactose-intolerant.