Animal milk remains a staple beverage in our culture but research suggests that it isn’t an essential part of a healthy diet and may even pose risks. Fortified dairy milk contains calcium, potassium and vitamin D, which when packaged together, are important for bone health. But dairy milk also has a downside, the most common side effect being problems with digestion. Non-dairy milk has similar or more nutritional properties than animal milk and is often a healthier option.
Some commonly available non- dairy milk:
Soy milk is made from soybean. It’s suitable for those who are lactose intolerant and is a great milk substitute for vegans and vegetarians. It is a protein-rich substitute to cow’s milk It is also richer in vitamin B. It has 10 per cent of your recommended daily intake of folic acid. Soy milk is cholesterol free and full of essential monounsaturated fats and polyunsaturated fatty acids, popularly known as good fats. Using soy milk can help lower cholesterol and promote cardiovascular health. Soy milk is a good thing for those who cannot digest animal milk. It’s rich in protein and iron, and is a good source of vitamin B, potassium and zinc. It is low in calories; soy milk helps people looking to lose weight. It has zero sugar content and gives an extra dose of fibre,
According to a study, the dietary sources of estrogens and progesterone that are found in soybean products help women balance their hormone levels when going through menopause.
Almond milk has gained popularity and is touted as a healthier alternative to animal milk. It contains fewer calories, no saturated fat or cholesterol, and 25 per cent and 50 per cent of the daily recommendation for vitamin D and vitamin E, respectively.
Almond milk has the most vitamins and minerals including copper, zinc, iron, magnesium, calcium and potassium. It’s also lactose and gluten free. Almond milk is low in protein, so almond milk lovers should supplement their diet with other sources of protein.
Coconut milk contains fibre and iron, but is high in saturated fat and calories. So be careful before you decide to pour coconut milk on everything. “Coconut milk is lactose free, so perfect for those with lactose intolerance. The fatty acids found in coconut milk lower the risk of heart diseases,
Cashew milk is a great alternative to traditional milk. Cashew milk is lactose-free. Cashew milk is low in calories and sugar. It boosts the feel-good hormone tryptophan, which increases serotonin production in your brain and adds an extra dose of heart-healthy monounsaturated fats that help keep your skin look great.
Rice milk is a good choice for those who are lactose intolerant and/or suffer from soy or nut allergies. It has high amounts of manganese and selenium compared to the other milk substitutes. They are powerful antioxidants that are proven to help against infections and boost your immune system. Rice milk also has the least amount of fat and is cholesterol free.
Walnuts contain antioxidants that are found in only a few commonly eaten foods. Phytonutrients like quinone juglone and tannin tellimagrandin or flavonol morin are found only in walnuts. These phytonutrients serve as powerful antioxidants with anti-inflammatory benefits that can help with diseases like cancer.
Walnuts are also rich in minerals such as manganese, copper, magnesium, molybdenum and phosphorus. They are also loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which fight cancer, cardiovascular diseases and inflammation.
Other non-dairy alternatives:
- Quinoa milk
- flax milk
- oat milk
- potato milk
- 7-grain milk, from oats, rice, wheat, barley, triticale, spelt, and millet
- sunflower milk
The market is flooded with many alternatives to cow’s milk and they offer help and hope against milk allergies and mitigate inflammation reactions in the body.