Milk is considered one of the major staple foods in human civilization. It constitutes a significant part of our routine diet that provides our body with essential nutrients to keep us healthy.
When we think about milk, we naturally tend to associate it with an animal-based dairy product, because that’s what we are used to. However, that’s not the case anymore. Thanks to the recent advancements in food technology, milk has moved beyond its traditional domain of dairy products.
As veganism is making it into the mainstream of modern life, food industries have come up with plant-based milk alternatives like protein nut milk. Although nutritionally different from your everyday cow’s milk, nut milk can do wonders for your body.
So, What Is Nut Milk?
As mentioned earlier, nut milk is a non-dairy alternative to cow milk. It is a liquid extracted from the nuts by blending or crushing them. It almost looks like regular dairy milk and you can even use it in your coffee or tea as you normally would.
If you are wondering about the nutritional content of nut milk, it goes almost head to head with dairy milk. Besides tasting delicious, nut milk is loaded with rare omega fatty acids, fiber, protein, calcium, minerals, and vitamins. It is significantly low in calories and there is no sugar and cholesterol at all.
Don’t we have a winner here already?
Why Go Nuts?
No, we don’t mean going crazy here. We are just telling you why switching to nut milk can be a better option for you.
1. Dietary Restrictions
You can’t consume animal-based dairy products if you follow strict dietary restrictions like veganism. But that is not going to stop you from enjoying the nut milk as it is entirely plant-based.
2. Lactose Intolerance
People who are lactose intolerant should stay away from milk. Their digestive system is unable to produce enough lactase enzymes to break down the whole milk. As a result, the undigested lactose gets collected in the colon where gut bacteria forms and leads to problems like diarrhea, bloating, and gas.
Research shows that more than ⅔ of the adult population in the world are lactose intolerant. For them, nut milk is the only safe and digestible option.
3. Milk Allergy
Cow’s milk contains proteins like casein and whey. Unfortunately, some people might have allergenic reactions to them. Our immune system often treats these proteins as if they were gluten, thereby triggering digestive distress. If you are gluten sensitive, then nut milk is for you.
4. Shelf Life
Unlike dairy products, nut milk has the benefit of longer shelf life. They won’t go sour or spoiled for a week or so even if you forget to refrigerate them. You can store them at room temperature without worrying about the milk going bad.
Types Of Nut Milk
There are different varieties of nut milk which depend on the type of nut you use for milk extraction. The nutritional profile of the milk also varies according to the source ingredient. In this article, you will know about the seven most popular protein nut milk that you should try.
1. Almond Milk
Almond is the king of all nuts. It is one of the most versatile alternatives to dairy milk. You can use almond milk for all your recipes from tea and coffee to smoothies, cereals, and even ice cream.
Almonds are rich in nutrients like protein, calcium, fiber, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fats. However, some of those nutrients will be lost when you process them into milk. Make sure that you balance your diet by bringing in nutrients from other sources.
2. Cashew Milk
If you want milk with a sweet and creamy taste, go for cashews. Like almonds, cashew milk is low in calories but rich in vitamin E. As an alternative to dairy milk, cashew milk goes perfectly with smoothies, cereals, coffee, and soup. You can even use it for baking and making sauces.
3. Walnut Milk
This cerebral-shaped nut is a nutritional goldmine. Compared to other vegan nut milk, walnut milk comes with a relatively higher level of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid). Additionally, it is a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and vitamin E. You can use this milk to enhance your smoothies, cereals, and iced coffee.
4. Hazelnut Milk
Although not as popular as other non-dairy alternatives, hazelnut milk can be a healthy option in your diet plan. Like cashew milk, it has a rich and creamy flavor that will leave you longing for more. It doesn’t have the bitter taste that you would find in other regular nut milk like almonds. Plus, it has twice the protein of standard almond milk and also provides you with vitamin B and omega-3 fatty acids.
5. Coconut Milk
Coconut is not really a nut, which makes it a great option for those allergic to nuts. Although naturally high in saturated fat, the one in coconut milk is considered to be more neutral than harmful. As long as you consume it in moderation, everything’s cool.
The thick texture of coconut milk will make you forget about cow’s milk. It has less sugar content and totally gluten-free, which makes it easily digestible.
6. Soy Milk
If you want to go vegan but don’t want to compromise on the protein content, soy milk is the best option for you. With zero cholesterol and very low saturated fats, it has the highest amount of protein compared to any other nut milk. Additionally, it comes with calcium, riboflavin, and vitamins A and D.
7. Peanut Milk
Peanut milk is the youngest member in the vegan world that requires minimal processing but comes with nutritional benefits that you can’t find in cow’s milk. It is loaded with twice the magnesium and vitamin B-6 and comes with healthy unsaturated fats and vitamin E’s antioxidant properties.
Switching to protein nut milk comes with lots of health benefits. The nutritional value depends on the type of nuts you use. While nut milk is great for those with intolerance to lactose, you have to be careful about its allergic reactions. Know what you are allergic to and stay away from that type of nut milk.