Plant-Based Milk and Why You Need It

In fact, it is juice mixed with water, squeezed from nuts or cereals, which resembles milk in appearance, consistency, and, in part, taste, and composition. These products are suitable for people with lactase deficiency, vegans, those who don’t like the smell of cow’s milk, or just want to add variety to their diet.

Soybean

The controversy surrounding soy products has not subsided for several decades: ardent opponents argue that soy is to blame for almost all modern diseases, from malignant tumors to dementia, and many clinical studies have not led scientists to a consensus. So, in some studies, results were obtained on the prevention of breast cancer due to the consumption of soy in childhood and the absence of additional risks with an already established diagnosis. In others, conducted in animals and laboratories, phytoestrogens (hormone-like components of soy), on the contrary, promoted cell division in this tumor. Soy is one of the most common allergens, so milk from it is not suitable for everyone.

Be that as it may, soy products are becoming more and more – and soy milk is still number one after cow milk. It is probably not worth consuming soy daily and in large quantities, because the effects of herbal estrogen analogs are not yet well understood. But if you approach the matter wisely, you can get a lot of benefits: such milk is extremely high in protein, and soy lecithin contains choline, a deficiency of which is associated with liver dysfunctions, atherosclerosis, and, possibly, diseases of the nervous system. Other important sources of choline are liver and egg yolk.

Almond and other nuts

Healthy eating habits and vegans love almond milk – and for good reason. Due to the fat content of the nuts, the drink is relatively dense, resembling cow’s milk in consistency and texture. Unlike other herbal counterparts, almond milk does not have a pronounced taste – it is light and slightly sweet. Besides, it is low in calories (about 50 calories in one glass) and low in carbohydrates. Squirrel, however, almond milk also contains almost no, therefore it can be a substitute for cow’s milk not from a nutritional point of view, but only from a taste point of view. Due to its low energy value and content of vitamins E and D, it has been compared to an aqueous solution of a multivitamin.

Almond milk can be added to coffee, muesli, whipped into smoothies or cooked oatmeal; however, some may not like it in omelets because of the sweet taste. You can find almond milk in stores or make your own, it takes a blender and a little time. As part of the experiment, you can replace almonds with hazelnuts, walnuts, or even pumpkin seeds.

Coconut

Coconut milk feels right at home in Asian and Caribbean cuisine, so it is often associated with curry or Tom Kha soup rather than the daily diet. Indeed, such milk is much fatter than cow’s or any other vegetable; it is high in calories, and because of its dense consistency, it rather resembles yogurt.

Coconut fats are primarily rich in lauric acid, which increases levels of so-called good cholesterol (high-density lipoprotein cholesterol), which reduces the risk of atherosclerosis and its consequences. There is also evidence that medium-chain fatty acids, of which coconut milk fat mainly consists, are especially rapidly absorbed in the intestine and destroyed in the liver, releasing a significant amount of energy. On the micronutrient front, such milk also has everything as it should: it contains a significant amount of manganese, magnesium, phosphorus, and iron.

You can cook porridge with coconut milk, dilute it with water 1: 1 or to taste, make smoothies, and, of course, it is on its basis that the most delicious vegan desserts are obtained.

Grain

Grain milk is slightly inferior in popularity to those listed above. It can be rice, oat, or multigrain and is increasingly found in supermarkets next to soy or almond. It has fewer vitamins and minerals, but it boasts a high fiber content, which has a beneficial effect on the digestive processes. Oat milk is mildly diuretic and helps to cope with swelling. Rice contains a small amount of inorganic arsenic, with which an adult organism can easily cope, unlike a child’s; therefore, in England and the countries of the European Union, expert organizations recommend not giving such milk to children.

Compared to analogs, grain milk is rather tasteless; it contains practically no field hot fats, watery in structure, and looks more like a decoction. It can be used to diversify the diet – especially vegan: it will serve as an excellent basis for smoothies, and it can also be diluted with thick coconut milk.

Cedar and others

One of the rare alternatives to cow’s milk is pine nut, with a pronounced taste and smell of nuts. Siberian producers present it almost as a panacea, but it is better to perceive cedar milk as another opportunity to make your morning oatmeal more interesting. If you have the time and desire, you can find or make your own milk from almost any nuts or grains: flaxseed, sunflower seeds, or quinoa.

Separately, it is worth noting hemp milk, which, contrary to suspicions, does not contain the psychoactive components of marijuana, and also, due to its consistency, is well suited for latte art – drawings on the surface of the coffee and for a cappuccino.

Anastasia Fetter

Anastasia Fetter