With so many people looking at alternatives to dairy milk, almond milk offers many benefits. A lot of people do not like the taste of soy or the carbohydrates contained in rice milk. Almond milk offers a pleasant, nutty flavour with a nutritious protein punch.
Commercially available almond milk is not nearly as nutritious as home made. Almonds are quite an expensive nut, so manufacturers use an "almond base", which means you do not know the amount of actual almonds used. They also add sweeteners and additivies. If you look at the almond milk nutritional information on a carton of almond milk you will usually see zero grams of fibre. Almonds, generally, contain 1 gram of fibre in every seven almonds, this should be an indication as to how many almonds are in that carton of almond milk.
How do you make almond milk?
It is actually very easy. Firstly grind cup almonds, then combine with 1 cup of water and blend for a couple of minutes. Strain the liquid with a sieve if you like or drink as is. I like to drink it as is, because that way I have all of the benefits of the whole almond. To get the consistency you prefer try experimenting with a little more or less water.
Homemade almond milk nutritional information
Almonds are a powerhouse of protein and are high in monounsaturated fat, they also contain some polyunsaturated fats. Other nutrients that they provide are fibre, Vitamin E, calcium, zinc, selenium, magnesium, manganese, potassium, phosphorous, iron and copper.
Almonds are known as a power food or a super food because of all of their health benefits.
One ounce of almonds contains 12% of our daily protein requirements so pouring almond milk over our cereal in the morning has to be a good idea.
The monounsaturated fat helps to increase good cholesterol in our bodies which helps to reduce heart disease. The antioxidant properties of vitamin E and selenium also help with cardiac health. The magnesium and potassium found in almonds also help with cardiovascular health. Potassium helps to maintain normal blood pressure and heart function. Magnesium, as well as relaxing our nervous system, has been shown to relax veins and arteries thus facilitating the flow of blood and nutrients around the body. A deficiency in magnesium has been shown to be a factor in heart attacks.
Manganese and copper are both needed to produce the enzyme Superoxide dismutase. Superoxide dismutase is an enzyme that acts as your body's internal antioxidant.
Vitamin E and Selenium are both powerful anti-oxidants. Anti-oxidants helps to fights cancer, minimize cell damage and reduce aging.
Phosphorous and manganese both help to maintain healthy bones and teeth.
Almonds are higher in magnesium than that other super food, spinach. Magnesium helps us cope with stress and helps to maintain a healthy nervous system.
According to the modern apothecary the combination of potassium, magnesium and calcium found in almond milk makes it the ideal brain food. They recommend it for enhancing memory and concentration and to help relieve stress making it ideal for students in the lead up to exam time.
There are also suggestions that it may help in preventing diabetes and gallstones.
So, in conclusion, almond milk may be one of the most nutritious dairy alternatives available if made by yourself. Commercially produced almond milk is a delicious additive to the diet, but has little nutritional benefit.
The New Nutrition, Dr Michael Colgan