A lot of people prefer to avoid the use of cow’s milk because of a wide range of reasons like milk allergies, lactose intolerance, and various other problems that can get worse because of the consumption of dairy products. Vegans and some vegetarians also tend to avoid the use of various dairy products. Hence, they are looking for alternative options to add to their diet for deriving the benefits of milk without having to consume dairy. This is where plant-based milk alternatives can be useful for them.
There is a wide variety of options available in the market when it comes to plant-based milk products. Most of these options are made from seeds, nuts, or grains. The following are some of the best non-dairy alternatives that you can add to your vegan diet.
This plant-based milk can be a great option to add to your vegan meal plans for getting many benefits provided by the hemp seeds. These seeds are well-known in the health and wellness industry for the benefits it offers.
Hemp milk is produced from the ground and soaked hemp seeds and it is often fortified with some additional nutrients for enhancing its nutritional value.
Hemp seeds are an excellent source for you to obtain well-balanced amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. Additionally, they also contain protein, iron, zinc, manganese, magnesium, B vitamins, and vitamin E. These nutrients can be present in your hemp milk too. It can also be fortified with some extra nutrients like calcium, phosphorous, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and vitamin D.
The regular use of hemp milk can help to promote heart health, support bone growth, and improve the health of your skin, nails, and hair.
You can use hemp milk in place of cow’s milk in your smoothies, cereal, baked goods, etc. Also, the wonderful creamy consistency it has makes hemp milk a great addition to your tea and coffee.
But it is better to avoid hemp milk varieties that come with added sweeteners and other artificial ingredients.
Even though drinking a glass of oat milk is not as healthy as eating a bowl of oatmeal, this milk alternative is still very nutritious. Oat milk is high in carbs and it is naturally sweet.
Oat milk is slightly different from other dairy alternatives, as it contains a small amount of fiber which provides it a creamier texture.
Soluble fiber present in oat milk absorbs water and will change into a gel form during digestion. This can make the digestion slower and keeps you full for a longer time. It can also be useful for stabilizing your blood sugar levels.
Similar to hemp milk, oat milk also contains an excellent nutrient profile. It is a good source of protein, fiber, riboflavin, phosphorous, calcium, vitamins A, B12, and D.
Almond milk can be made by blending soaked almonds and straining away the solids. It is a delicious milk alternative for people who want to avoid dairy milk. However, this may not be suitable for you if you are suffering from a tree nut allergy.
Unsweetened varieties of almond milk are very low in calories as well as carbs when compared to cow’s milk. Therefore, it can be a great choice for you if you want to follow low carb diets.
However, some brands use artificial sweeteners which can add extra calories. Therefore, it is better to avoid the use of almond milk that comes with added sugar and other ingredients.
Even though almond milk is a great source of vitamin E and antioxidants, it is low in protein and various other nutrients when compared to cow’s milk. Therefore, this milk alternative usually comes fortified with other nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin D, and calcium. The amounts of these nutrients present in almond milk can vary between brands.
Some brands add additives such as carrageenan to almond milk for making it thicker. Some studies indicate that these compounds might lead to inflammation of your intestine thereby damaging it. However, most of these studies were conducted on animals and their effects on humans are not yet fully understood.
This is another wonderful dairy alternative for you to include in your vegan diet. Coconut is a wonderful plant-based milk alternative for people who have tree nut allergies.
Coconut milk will be usually blended with water for giving it a consistency that resembles cow’s milk. This milk alternative has less protein when compared to almond milk, but most brands fortify their products by including some extra nutrients like vitamin B12, vitamin D, etc.
Soy milk can compete with cow’s milk in terms of its nutrient profile. Soybeans have a large number of nutrients and it will be fortified to enhance the nutritional value. As a result, it creates a wonderful source for you to get a wide range of nutrients like protein, vitamin B12, vitamin D, riboflavin, phosphorous, calcium, etc.
If you need to avoid dairy milk, then the options listed above can be a wonderful choice for you. You can use them in your recipes instead of cow’s milk. As they are fortified, you can get a large number of nutrients from them.