In this article we're going to dissect almond milk and look at all its pros and cons. While there are some documented almond milk dangers, overall, it's a healthy and nutritious alternative to dairy milk or soy milk. Almond milk was a popular substitute for cow's milk even in the Middle Ages, when people realized it could be stored for longer periods without spoilage. There are numerous benefits, and at the same time, quite a few concerns as well. Fortunately, most people will either never have to worry about its dangers, or can take measures to negate the threat.
So let's take a look at some almond milk dangers and benefits. We'll start with the benefits.
Almond milk has less fats and calories than dairy milk. For people who want to control their intake of fats and calories, this is one of the most appealing benefits. One serving only delivers 40 to 50 calories, and three to four grams of unsaturated fat that can preserve heart health.
It also has high concentrations of vitamins and minerals. Compared to dairy or soy milk, which are artificially fortified with essential vitamins and minerals, almond has naturally-occurring vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, zinc, potassium, calcium, iron, copper phosphorus and selenium. In fact, almond has the highest vitamin and mineral content out of the three (soy, dairy and almond). Since almond is naturally 'fortified,' you can even make the milk at home, as opposed to buying a carton from the store, and still get all the essential vitamins and minerals.
Another benefit is that it's good for your heart. It has no cholesterol or saturated fats, and unlike dairy milk, does not have the potential to wreak havoc in your cardiovascular system.
An important nutrition fact is that the omega-3 fatty acids in almonds can help lower 'bad' cholesterol and augment healthy heart function. Having foods that are high in omega-3 fatty acids can also improve cognitive functions.
Of all the benefits, this one should appeal to vegans and vegetarians the most: the milk derived from almonds does not contain any animal products. It's made by adding natural almond extracts to water-although some manufacturers may add sugar or flavoring to enhance the taste.
Almond milk is also high in antioxidants. It is a good source of the vitamin E antioxidant, which has been proven to prevent cancer and delay signs of aging. It can also combat degenerative diseases such as osteoporosis and diabetes, due to the flavonoids in the milk that can reduce free radicals in the body.
The benefits of almond milk are many. And those who consume it on a regular basis may already be seeing results. But that doesn't mean there are no threats. Let's explore some almond milk dangers.
Among the most pointed-out criticism of almond milk is its ability to interfere with thyroid function. Impaired thyroid function may lead to iodine deficiency in the body, which in turn may cause goiters. Another very important concern is that it is unsafe for infants. This danger is also related to thyroid function.
Another notable concern is that it can lead to allergic reactions in some people. Almond is a tree nut, and people who have a tree nut allergy should refrain from drinking almond milk.
The milk from this tree nut may be a safe alternative for people who are lactose intolerant or who have an allergy to gluten or casein, but for people with a tree nut allergy, it is strictly a no-no. If you are allergic to a tree-nut and you should stay away from almond milk because drinking it could lead to a severe allergic reaction.
Almond milk, in general, is a very healthy and nutritious alternative to dairy milk. However, before you consider switching, make sure you are aware of all the potential almond milk dangers so you know the risks.