Almond milk is not something new. It has been in use since the 13th Century. It is plant-based milk. Almond milk was first invented in the Middle East. Then it spread to the rest of the world. The amount of usage of almond milk worldwide proves the greatness of almond milk benefits.
The growth in sales of almond milk worldwide is mind-blowing. The sales keep growing and not slowing down from the time it was invented. The top brands of almond milk sales together alone today is more than a billion US Dollars per year (1, 2)
In simple words, almond milk is so nutritious and low-calorie. It is the best alternative milk to dairy milk. These are the reasons why almond milk has become so popular.
Almond Milk Health Benefits
1. Alternative Milk to Dairy Milk - Lactose and Casein Free Milk
We could say that two types of people opt for alternative milk. One is the people who show intolerance to lactose and casein substances. Lactose and Casein are the sugar and protein respectively present in the dairy milk. The second group of people who are vegans or who prefer plant-based products.
Almond milk is naturally lactose-free. This milk is highly recommended for people who cannot digest lactose naturally.
People who show intolerance to lactose suffer with:
- Abdominal cramps
- Nausea or vomiting and
- Stomach pain
This intolerance occurs due to a lack of lactase enzyme in the small intestine. The lactase enzymes are only capable of breaking the sugar. The sugar into simple sugars for further digestion (3).
Almond milk is also casein protein-free. People do show symptoms of casein protein intolerance including:
- Skin rashes
- Fatigue and
- Joint pain
The reasons behind these symptoms are that casein protein takes longer to digest. Because of that, it put more strain on the digestive system causing these symptoms (4).
The almond milk health benefits top the next in line alternative milk. Those are rice milk benefits and soy milk benefits. Only a few people are allergic to almond milk. Those people, of course, have to choose between soy milk and rice milk for alternative milk.
2. Almond Milk is Good for Weight Loss - Low in Calories
Yes, processed almond milk has almost 50% fewer calories compared to the cow’s milk. But comparing unsweetened almond milk with cow’s milk means a further 70% less calorie intake (5).
Almond milk is a good choice for those who looking to reduce calorie intake and lose weight. The best way to lose weight is by restricting calories. Then combine with your regular exercises.
Unsweetened almond milk is one of the best weight loss drinks to kick start your weight loss efforts.
3. Rich in Vitamin E
Almond milk is the natural source for vitamin E micronutrients. According to the National Institute of Health, the average intake of vitamin E for an adult is 15mg (6). A cup of almond milk (240ml) covers about 35 % of your daily vitamin E requirements (7).
Cow’s milk does not contain Vitamin E. This is one of the advantages of almond milk over cow’s milk.
Let us look at what Vitamin E means to us in terms of health:
- healthy skin
- clear scalp
- healthy heart
- protecting from cancer
- healthy eyes
- strong bones and joints (8)
- brain functions and
- fights Alzheimer’s disease
So, vitamin E alone in almond milk gives us a good reason to make it as part of our daily diet.
4. Almond Milk is Low in Sugar and Carbohydrate
For diabetes, the best bet is unsweetened almond milk. Because almond milk has far too low sugars and carbohydrates compared to cow’s milk.
Just for comparison purposes, a cup (240ml) of unsweetened almond milk has 1 or 2 grams of carbs. But cow’s milk contains 13 grams of carbs.
But be watchful when buying unsweetened almond milk. Always check the label to ensure it is unsweetened and not sweetened. Because most of the brand almond milk contains sugar additive.
5. Vitamin D - Most Almond Milk Brands are Fortified with Vitamin D
Vitamin D is one of the most important nutrients needed for our bodies. This can be obtained from direct sunlight. Direct sunlight stimulates the production of Vitamin D in our bodies.
So, what about the winter season? During the winter season, people may face vitamin D deficiency. Other sets of people who may face a similar fate are:
- working long hours in office or home
- certain skin color
- living indoors most of the time and
- wherever there is limited exposure to direct sunlight
Here where almond milk comes handy to help in the adequate intake of vitamin D. Just to highlight how vitamin D helps in our health here is the quick list:
- Improves immune function
- Heart function
- Bone health
- Cancer prevention
- Prevents hypertension or high blood pressure
- Helps in infertility and more
Almond milk is not a natural source for D Vitamin. But the brand almond milk is enriched by vitamin D. In homemade almond milk you cannot expect to have vitamin D.
If you are allergic to almonds then you have to look elsewhere to meet your vitamin D requirements.
6. Almond Milk is Rich in Calcium
Certainly, cow’s milk is only best for calcium. However, manufacturers added more calcium to almond milk considering the importance of the nutrient.
A cup of cow’s milk can meet 28% of your calcium requirements. But almond milk meets only 7 % of your calcium requirements. Still, it is good for those opting for alternative milk with added calcium (11).
7. Almond Milk is the Choice for Vegans
Vegans and certain groups of people do not take dairy products for various reasons of their own. The reasons include culture and religions as well for avoiding dairy products
So, this plant-based almond milk plays a major role in replacing dairy-based products. This group of people uses almond milk for drinking purposes. Also, for trying various recipes and milkshakes and so on.
8. Low in Potassium and Phosphorous
Almond milk may be suitable for people who have chronic kidney disease. It is because almond milk contains small quantities of potassium and phosphorus.
The affected kidney with chronic disease cannot clear these nutrients effectively. This may result in excess potassium and phosphorus build up in the blood. This may lead to irregular heartbeat, heart disease and bone disease (12, 13).
Cow’s milk contains far too high potassium and phosphorus compared to almond milk. See the table below with a comparison.
|Per Cup (240 ml)||Almond Milk||Cow's Milk|
|Potassium||160 mg||366 grams|
|Phosphorous||20 mg||233 grams|
9. Is Almond Milk Good for babies (Almond milk for toddlers)
This is based on a study published in PubMed in 2005. About 52 infants aged from 5 to 9 months were fed with almond milk. The results showed almond milk is an efficacious replacement for cow’s milk. The study was on an infant allergy or intolerance to cow’s milk (CMA/CMI) (14).
Having said this, babies of less than 12 months should opt for breast milk or at least infant formula milk. If you give almond milk to infants, they will not get many nutrients that are in breast milk. Babies older than 12 months can move to cow’s milk. To help to boost their calcium, protein, and other nutrients intake.
For the babies with CMA/CMI better opt for fortified almond milk if they are not allergic to almond. Infants may have a risk of nutritional risks choosing almond milk. Almond milk cannot be a replacement for breastfeeding (15).
You now have a basic understanding of alternative milk for babies. Yet, do consult with your pediatrician to ensure there is no lack of nutrients for your baby.
10. Almond milk benefits for brain
Almond milk contains many nutrients that the brain needs for its function. Almonds are considered one of the best brain foods.
Almond is also well known for promoting acetylcholine production in the brain. Acetylcholine deficiency may lead to cognitive decline in the brain (16).
Here is a list of nutrients in almond milk and its usefulness for the brain:
Zinc - This metal micronutrient is critical for learning ability in children. Lack of zinc has a strong link to lethargy, apathy, and mental illness. Zinc is also used in treating Wilson's disease and acrodermatitis enteropathica (19).
Protein - This is important for repairing brain cells. It helps in improving our memory. Protein in almond milk contributes in such a manner in our brain functions.
Vitamin E - Vitamin E is considered an important antioxidant. It protects cells from the oxidative stress of free radicals. Oxidative stress may increase with age. Our brain is highly vulnerable to oxidative stress (20). Almond milk is rich in vitamin E. So good for our brain.
11. Almond Milk Blends Naturally with Diet
Yeah so true. Just like dairy milk, you can use almond milk or use it in recipes. Easy to make and nicely blends with your daily diet.
Almond Milk Types and Nutrition facts
Almond Milk Brands Types
Unlike homemade almond milk, the brand almond milk comes with various additives. Let us look at the almond milk brands types at a broader level:
Fortified Almond Milk: The manufactures enriched almond milk with many nutrients. This is how almond milk becomes a great substitute for dairy milk. The additives in the brand almond milk vary brand to brand. The most common additives are:
- Sea salt
- Cane Sugar
- Sunflower Lecithin
- Calcium Carbonate,
- Vitamin E,
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin D2
- Riboflavin and more
Unsweetened Flavored Almond Milk: Similar to fortified milk but unsweetened. Meaning no sugar added. Those who want to avoid sugar, choose unsweetened almond milk. Do not worry about how it is going to taste. It really tastes good.
Limited Ingredients Almond Milk: Sometimes too many ingredients in almond milk are unnecessary. For those who think this way look for the fewer ingredients enriched almond milk. Use the almond milk label to figure out the ingredients added.
Carrageenan free almond milk: Food manufactures may add carrageenan to food products. It is no exception with almond milk. Carrageenan is a substance that helps to improve the store shelf life. It is also a thickener and emulsifier.
Some preliminary studies showed carrageenan can cause:
- and other gastrointestinal complications
Some other studies advocate that the use of carrageenan in food needs to be reconsidered (21).
In case you have an intolerance check the label for carrageenan-free almond milk.
Almond Milk Nutritional Facts
|Per Cup (244g)||Almond Milk - Unsweetened||Cows Milk - Whole|
|Carbohydrates (total)||1.42 g||11.7 g|
|Sugars||0 g||12.3 g|
|Fat (total)||2.68 g||7.93 g|
|Protein||1.44 g||7.69 g|
|Calcium||481 mg||276 mg|
|Magnesium||17.1 mg||24.4 mg|
|Phosphorus||24.2 mg||205 mg|
|Potassium||163 mg||322 mg|
Uses of Almond Milk
In addition to alternative milk, almond milk is also in use for various other good purposes. Read further on to see almond milk uses.
1. Almond Milk Benefits for Skin
The almond milk does not stop at as an alternative milk for dairy milk. It is great for your skincare too. The good thing is that almond milk is suitable for all types of skin. Let it be normal, dry, oily or sensitive skin. It provides natural care to your skin.
Here is the list of how almond milk contributes to skincare:
- A great skin moisturizer. Almond milk keeps our skin well hydrated.
- Almond milk vitamins and minerals are important micronutrients for the skin. For example, the vitamins E, B and C, magnesium and calcium, and so on.
- Rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent the formation of wrinkles and fine lines on the skin. Protects your skin from free radicals. Yes, it slows down aging.
- Almond milk renews, refreshes, and strengthens the skin. It makes skin soft and glowing.
- The skin whitening properties of almond milk helps have a clear look of skin. It also helps to clear aging spots, acne marks, and skin blemishes.
- Soothes skin irritation and redness on sensitive skin.
- A natural skin cleanser by nature. Make your skin smooth and healthy.
- A great natural remedy to heal sunburns on the skin.
- A natural facemask. Almond milk uplifts your face skin by cleansing, moisturizing, and nourishing.
All these qualities of almond milk make a perfect formula. A perfect formula to make your skin youthful, healthy and glowing.
2. Almond Milk Benefits for Hair
Several nutrients in the almond milk give you healthy and strong hair. It prevents hair loss. Hers is a quick list of almond milk benefits for hair against each macronutrient:
- Protein: Almond milk protein makes your hair stronger. Protects from hair breakage.
- Iron: This nutrient increases the strength of the hair. Prevents hair loss.
- Fatty Acids: These fatty acids in almond milk give deep conditioning to the hair.
- Vitamins A, B, D, and E: Vitamins helps in strengthening of hair.
How to Make Almond Milk at Home
Making almond milk is very simple and the easiest of all. Simple ingredients and simple methods with small effort. The end result is creamy and delicious almond milk.
- 1 cup of raw almonds (1 cup is 240 ml size cup)
- 5 cups of filtered water
- A pinch of salt
Soak the raw almonds in cool normal water overnight. Alternately you may soak in hot water for 2 hours.
Put all the ingredients in a high-speed blender. Start blending until the mixture of the ingredients turns into creamy and smooth. Run the blender for further 2 minutes to ensure the almonds are fully creamy.
Now start the straining process. Pick a small bowl and inside spread a thin cloth or thin dish towel. Place the puree from the blender on to the cloth in the bowl. Grab the cloth ends and lift up to make a pulp. Twist and squeeze the pulp and strain the puree into another bowl. That’s it you have made your pure almond milk.
You can store the almond milk in a refrigerator for 4 to 5 days. Yet the best is drinking almond milk fresh.
To make your almond milk extra special, fortify by yourself. Add the following ingredients to the main ingredients and repeat the instructions:
- ½ a cup of berries
- 2 tablespoons of cocoa powder
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 2 whole dates (or add any sweetener)
Once you add these ingredients the almond milk will taste so good. Skip the dates or sweetener if you want to make enriched unsweetened almond milk.
Almond Milk Beauty Recipes and Applications
Beauty recipes and applications using almond milk have been there for ages. This is not surprising. It is because of rich nutrients, minerals, and other health-related properties.
Here are some of the main uses for beauty and healing recipes in usage:
- Anti-aging and Soothing skin
- Hair Conditioner
- Almond Milk Facial Mask
- Treat sunburn with almond milk
- Almond milk for sensitive skin
- Hair Growth Smoothie with Almond Milk Base
- Rush Hour Nourishing Face Wash (Dry Skin Toner)
- Almond Milk Skin Toning Treatment
Here are the complete details on the almond milk beauty recipes and application.
Almond milk side effects
We have seen almond milk health benefits and other uses. Almond milk is proven to be great for health, skincare along with many other benefits. But it may be not for everybody. Some are allergic to almonds. But almond allergy is rare (22, 23).
Yet, better to know the side effects and impacts before using the almond milk. Here is the list of side effects or impacts that may affect some people:
1. Nut allergies
Certain people are naturally allergic to nuts. This is a food allergy. Almonds are one of the foods people can be allergic to. Drinking almond milk may show up allergic symptoms in people. Symptoms such as inflammation, diarrhea, nausea and so on.
2. Life-threatening allergic (anaphylaxis)
3. Affects Thyroid Glands
Almonds are goitrogenic food. It consists of substances that may affect thyroid gland functions. Eating almonds or drinking almond milk in excess affects the thyroid gland functions. May lead to enlargement of thyroid glands.
4. Infants risk insufficient nutrients
5. Overconsumption risks
May causes abdominal issues. abdominal issues such as abdominal cramps and bloating. Because almond milk is slow to digest.
Almond Milk Brands and Additives: The processed almond milk are of various types. Meaning it is enriched with various different additives such as:
- Emulsifiers to keep liquids to keep together and
These additives do not suit some people's health conditions and lifestyle. Read the label and know what type of almond milk you are buying. Otherwise, additives may cause related health issues depending on individuals.
For migraine natural remedies check here.
Increasing Sugar Levels: Most of the Almond milk brands are added with sugar. Hence, not advisable for diabetes and for those looking for weight loss. Unsweetened milk or homemade almond milk can be used instead.
Does almond milk cause constipation?
Are you worried that almond milk could cause you constipation? The good news is it does not cause constipation at all. Instead, almond milk is really good for your digestive tract. Because lactose-free and fiber almond milk supports the digestive system.
The almond milk beverages that you buy from the supermarket may contain additives such as carrageenan. This substance in some people causes problems like gastric, bloating, fatigue, or diarrhea. However, it does not cause constipation.
If you choose to buy your almond milk from the supermarket then always check the labels. It will help you to buy the right product. Alternatively, the best is to make almond milk at home.
Here are few confirmations from the specialists who talks about almond milk and constipation:-
Breastfeeding, infant milk formula, and cow’s milk are hard to replace. Some people do not drink cow’s for intolerance, cultural and lifestyle reasons.
In such a scenario, almond milk takes a prime place as alternative milk. In addition to that almond milk has several health benefits. Also not limited to uses in the areas of beauty, skincare, hair care and so on.
Almond usage has now been widely accepted throughout the world. Its sales are skyrocketing since invention.
Almond milk benefits have become very popular among all age groups.
Frequently Asked Questions
How healthy is almond milk?
Almond milk is naturally rich with many micronutrients. Commercially marketed almond milk is further enriched. In unsweetened almond milk, no sugar is added. It is healthy and falls next to cow's milk as alternative milk. Ideal for the people who have an intolerance to cow's milk. Here are the complete details on Almond Milk Health Benefits and Uses.
Why is almond milk bad for you?
Almond milk is bad for only the people who are allergic to almonds. They may have abdominal issues upon drinking. See the Side Effects and Impacts of Almond Milk.
Is almond milk good for skin?
Yes of course. Almond milk is good for any skin type. Almond milk gives skin benefits by directly applying on skin. Almond milk makes your skin soft and healthy. It is also good for acne. See the list of almond milk skin benefits and the application.