Almond milk is not a recent revelation. There is plenty of discussion now in the public domain about the benefits of almond milk and how it is an alternative to normal milk or dairy products and soy milk. But almond milk has been around for centuries. It used to be a beverage earlier and today it is more of an alternative to dairy. Is almond milk better than cow’s milk? That seems to be the question of most people, especially parents. Well, cow’s milk has its advantages and almond milk has its own. But it is true that both have some pros and cons.
What Are the Pros of Almond Milk?
1. Almond milk is rich in antioxidants. You may be aware that antioxidants are extremely necessary for the human body. Sadly, we don’t eat those foods or fruits that contain high quantum of antioxidants, certainly not in the amount that is necessary. A glass or two of almond milk can almost meet the needs of antioxidants we need in a day. To fight free radicals and to prevent more than a dozen health ailments, the antioxidants in almond milk can be very helpful.
2. Almond milk is also a rich source of vitamin E. That can contain the risks of cancer and it also counters the signs of aging.
3. Almond milk is very nutritious. By many accounts, it is more nutritious than cow’s milk. The latter contains cholesterol and there are sufficient quantities of saturated fats, neither of which is desired or healthy. People with heart problems or with already high levels of cholesterol and those who are obese may not be able to drink cow’s milk. Almond milk doesn’t have any such problems. It is very low in calories, there are no saturated fats and no cholesterol at all. Thus, almond milk is a friend of your heart.
4. Almond milk is also rich in omega-3 fatty acids. This can counter bad cholesterol. Besides, omega-3 fatty acids have a ton of benefits, from improving cognitive functions to strengthening the immune system.
5. Almond milk is packed with minerals. You get zinc, iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium and phosphorus. Calcium present in almond milk is more than that present in the same serving of cow’s milk. Most brands of cow milk have added vitamins and minerals. Almond milk doesn’t need anything to be added.
6. Almond milk contains less than forty calories in a standard serving. The same serving of cow milk would contain three times or more calories. For those who are trying to lose weight or who are severely obese, cow milk or even soy milk is not really helpful. The only choice is almond milk. Also, almond milk contains only three grams of fat in one serving, a fraction of what cow milk contains.
7. Almond milk is vegan. Those who don’t wish to drink cow milk because they don’t like animal by-products or foods sourced from animals can drink almond milk without any concern.
What Are the Cons of Almond Milk?
1. Almond milk is not for everyone. Just as cow milk is not good for those who are lactose intolerant and they may find a suitable or possibly a better alternative in almond milk, similarly almond milk is not good for those who have nut allergies. There are many people who are allergic to specific types of tree nuts or to almond specifically. Almond milk is not suitable for such people. While lactose intolerance is still manageable and doesn’t pose much threat in most cases, other than digestive problems, nut allergies can be very severe and they can cause very serious reactions. Almond milk is also not good for infants. Do not consider almond milk to be a substitute to other foods for babies. Not only would almond milk pose health risks in a child, it would also facilitate the inception of nut or tree nut allergies in the child.
2. Almond milk is rich in many nutrients but not all of these nutrients get absorbed by the body. There is clinical backing that states, the human body absorbs vitamins and minerals from cow milk or animal based sources much quickly and more effectively than it does from plant based sources. It is debatable if not enough calcium or other minerals and vitamins are absorbed by the human body, but bioavailability does make almond milk less desirable than cow milk.
3. Almond milk may make a family do away with dairy products entirely. That is not advisable. Dairy products, if not milk then cheese or yogurt, are necessary for the human body.
4. Almond milk is costly. It is more expensive than cow milk and soy milk. Those who have a large family or drink a lot of milk and also have a tendency to use milk in various foods will not find almond milk affordable.