Plant – Based Vegan Milk

Vegan milk is a non-dairy based plant beverage, which resembles similar chemical and physical properties with respect to dairy, including colour, flavour, taste, odour, appearance, composition and characteristics. It can be prepared from a wide variety of beans, nuts, seeds, and grains, most popularly containing bases of soy, almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, coconuts, hemp seeds, rice, or oats. It is rich in vitamins and minerals & low in cholesterol, so people with slow digestive systems should preferably have this. Also, lactose intolerant people should switch to plant based milk. Even fitness enthusiasts refer vegan milk over cow’s milk as it is low in fats.

Vegan Milk can be Healthier for Us

  1. They May Contain More Calcium

When people hear vegan, they instantly assume that it must be devoid of sufficient amounts of calcium. But this is not true anymore! In fact, getting enough calcium as a vegan is quite easy, like a part of this can be attributed to plant-based milks, many of which are fortified to have up to 50% more calcium than dairy milk. 

Calcium is essential for maintaining healthy bones, teeth, nervous system, reducing tension and lowering blood pressure. Also, the acidic nature of certain dairy products can pull out calcium from our bones, which could eventually lead to osteoporosis. 

  1. They May Have Less Sugar

Vegan milk can be in both sweetened and unsweetened forms. The unsweetened ones are usually free of any sugar, which contains only the natural sugars from the nuts and seeds it is made from. While, cow’s milk contains about 13-16 grams of sugar in a single cup. This high sugar content is due to the presence of a natural sugar known as lactose, which has been a known cause of several bodily issues including digestive problems, allergies and sometimes even blood-sugar problems. So, via the use of plant-based milk, these issues can be sorted out.

  1. They May Be Easier To Digest

Dairy milk has got a lot of digestive issues, especially due to the presence of lactose in it. The condition is known as lactose intolerance, an ailment that is said to affect nearly 75% of the world’s population. For those, who suffer from lactose intolerance or even just a sensitive stomach, ditching dairy and trying plant-based milk may act as the desired solution needed! In case, one have a nut or soy allergy, rice milk is a great alternative option he can try out. Coconut milk and flax milk are other options that are easy to get digested in our tract. Thus, plant milks serve as a great addition in our diet to optimize digestion.

  1. Vegan Milk May Have Fewer Calories

Not only are plant-based milks incredibly tasty & creamy, but they are also fairly low in calories. In their unsweetened form, they are neither as likely to cause high blood sugar nor are they as likely to result in weight gain. Though there are skimmed and fat-free milk on the market, even still, vegan milk may have fewer calories. For e.g., soy milk contains 26 calories per 100 ml. While, cow’s milk contains 63 calories, with semi-skimmed milk containing 46 calories and skimmed milk containing 32 calories.

  1. Vegan Milk Is Free From IGF-1

Dairy milk has got a lot of natural hormones, which may induce a significant increase in insulin when consumed. It triggers our body to release a hormone known as Insulin-like Growth Factor-1 (IGF-1), i.e. usually naturally found in our blood and its role is to regulate the effects of growth hormone within your body. Also, IGF-1 has actually been directly linked to cancer cell growth and other health issues, along with associating it with acne because of the way it induces an extreme insulin response in our body. While, vegan milks are free of this hormone and thus, are less cancer-inducing than dairy milk. 

BEST MILK ALTERNATIVES

The 10 best non-dairy vegan milk alternatives - ProVeg US
  1. Soya milk – It is still the most popular plant milk, belonging to the legume group. It is the only vegan milk, naturally containing almost equal amount of protein as cow’s milk, with about 3g/100ml. However, being devoid of calcium and other vitamins, such as B12, B2, D, and A, manufacturers fortify them with the needful, for being a nutritionally adequate alternative to cow’s milk. Moreover, soya milk has similar characteristics to dairy milk when used in cooking, baking, and frothing for coffee. 
  1. Almond milk – It has a mild nutty taste, which is ideal for eating with cereals. Almond milk is nutritionally quite different from soya or dairy milk as it has much fewer calories and protein. The small amount of fat in almond milk is unsaturated, which should be preferred from a health perspective. Also, as it is so strongly diluted with water, it is relatively low in nutrients, compared to unprocessed almonds. However, it is preferred by dieticians for weight loss purposes.
  1. Cashew milk – It has a slightly nutty taste and is quite appropriate for cooking & baking. The fat contained is mostly unsaturated fat and is thus a great choice for people with high cholesterol levels or who need to cut-off their calorie intake. Cashew milk has only about 2g of carbohydrates per cup. So, it’s a wonderful thickener and is absolutely suitable for use in coffee.
  1. Hazelnut milk – It has a delicious nutty flavor, which makes it a great choice for making baked foods or using in coffee, while hot chocolate made with it is an ideal dairy alternative to traditional hot chocolate.
  1. Coconut milk – Usually available in cans. It is ideal for cooking and baking, contributing to a delicious aroma. It is delicious in a wide range of recipes – from curries to vegetable soups, smoothies, chia seed pudding, and even ice cream. The thin coconut milk for drinking, coming in a carton, is great to drink in a cup of coffee or in cereal.
  1. Hemp milk – It is made up of the seeds of hemp plant. It is low in carbohydrates and high in fat, containing mostly unsaturated fatty acids, which should be preferred from a health perspective. Just 1 glass of hemp milk can provide 50% of the RDI of alpha-linolenic acid, and is thus a good source of omega-3 fatty acids. Because of its slightly nutty taste, hemp milk is ideal to be consumed with cereals, but is also suitable for use in cooking and baking.
  1. Oat milk – It is slightly sweet, having a thin consistency that is similar to low-fat milk. Oats are particularly a healthy alternative of dairy milk, because of their high content of dietary fibre, phytochemicals, and antioxidants. Studies show that their regular consumption can have a positive effect on gastrointestinal problems, and even reflect cholesterol-lowering properties. Further, it tastes great with cereals and is suitable for cooking and baking.
  1. Rice milk – From a nutritional point of view, it is a cereal-based milk. Being the most hypoallergenic milk available, it is particularly suitable for people with allergies and intolerances. It is comparatively quite high in carbohydrates but relatively low in fat, protein, and other nutrients if not enriched or fortified. During processing, the carbohydrates are split into sugars, which give its typically sweet taste, which is unique without any added sugar.

CONCLUSION

Plant-based diets are increasingly becoming popular due to concerns for the environment and animal welfare, considering perceived health benefits. FAO indicates that adopting sustainable diets is essential to address the degradation of environmental resources and climate change. Further, vegan diets are found to be quite significantly associated with beneficial changes in cardio-metabolic risk factors, such as lowering BMIs, serum total cholesterol levels, serum glucose levels, inflammation, and blood pressure, compared to omnivorous diets, which are typically lower in whole grains, fruits, nuts and vegetables. So, observations suggest that vegan diets may have therapeutic potentials in preventing or treating CVD. Thus, during this pandemic of COVID-19, plant-based diets have been proposed as a potential means to prevent and mitigate the future transmission of these viruses between different species and humans.

Share

Related Articles

Responses