Almond Milk Nutrition Benefits for the Brain, Heart & Bones

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Are you one of those people glad to hear that your favorite coffee shop now offers almond milk as an alternative to conventional dairy? Me too. It’s one of the better plant-based milk products available, and almond milk nutrition may help you prevent cancer naturally, lose weight and even slow the spread of Alzheimer’s disease.

It can be daunting to figure out the differences between the milk products available out there, so I’ll break that down a little later to help give you some perspective. Just remember that it’s important to practice moderation and variety in your diet, and this principle applies to almond milk as well.

If you’re interested in finding out how this popular product can benefit your body and mind, with almond milk nutrition providing some (but not all) of the benefits of whole almonds nutrition, you’ve come to the right place.


6 Benefits of Almond Milk Nutrition

1. May Be Beneficial in Preventing or Managing Certain Cancers

As I mentioned previously, almond milk has been shown in a lab to reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells. Because of the presence of monounsaturated fat, almond milk nutrition can also help play a role in the potential prevention of endometrial cancer. (1)

The consumption of high levels of monounsaturated fat is also associated with a decreased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (a rare form of liver cancer) and certain breast cancer markers, according to research published in the International Journal of Cancer and the American Association for Cancer Research’s Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. (2, 3) This is why almonds are among the best cancer-fighting foods, and so is almond milk.

2. Aids in Weight Loss

Almond milk nutrition is very low in calories per serving, making it a very common weight-loss diet option. Compared to goat’s milk, with 168 calories per serving, almond milk boasts a modest 40 calories. Diets that encourage consuming healthy fats, such as the ketogenic diet or various other low-carb diets, often include the regular consumption of almond milk because it’s low in calories, carbs and sugars (if unsweetened).

There are also other weight loss-related benefits in addition to a low calorie count. For one, almond milk only minimally affects your blood sugar, meaning it’s great for people who are watching their blood sugar, and your body will use the nutrients found in almond milk to create energy, not store as fat.

Almond-based products also help increase energy levels and even resting energy expenditure, meaning that you burn fat faster and have more energy to achieve your fitness goals, too. (4, 5)

3. Keeps Your Heart Strong

The fat in almond milk nutrition benefits your heart greatly. By replacing saturated fat with other mono- and polyunsaturated fats, you help to protect your heart against coronary heart disease. (6)

Reasons behind this may be reflected in the way that these monounsaturated fats affect various processes. For instance, almond products help lower cholesterol naturally while also increasing levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.

These fats also have a significant role to play in decreasing the risk of a cluster disorder known as metabolic syndrome. This condition is a combination of high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, extra body fat around the core and poor cholesterol levels and is a precursor to heart attack or stroke. (7)

4. Helps Build Strong Teeth and Bones

Concerned that eliminating animal-based milk from your diet means your bones won’t be strong? Not to worry — although it may not contain as much vitamin D or protein per serving as animal milks, one of the benefits of almond milk nutrition is that it’s still a good source of this vitamin that helps keep your bones and teeth strong and dense.

Those awesome fats in almond milk also contribute to bone health. Consuming monounsaturated fat is one method of helping prevent osteoporosis and bone weakness, as shown in female mice. (8)

5. Fights Free Radical Damage and Disease Formation

Almond milk is also high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants work by fighting free radical damage caused by chemicals in food, sun exposure and various other things. Some free radicals in the body are perfectly normal, but many people living a Western lifestyle retain more than is good for you, so it’s important to eat antioxidant foods that can help prevent the oxidative damage caused by these molecules.

Almond milk is one of those foods. By consuming significant amounts of vitamin E, your body can fight off the disease-causing effects of free radicals. It even helps keep your skin healthy and slows the aging process.

6. May Slow the Process of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s currently has no cure, but there are many natural ways scientists are finding to help prevent or slow this disease. Vitamin E plays a key role in helping slow the degeneration that occurs with Alzheimer’s disease.

Are you one of those people glad to hear that your favorite coffee shop now offers almond milk as an alternative to conventional dairy? Me too. It’s one of the better plant-based milk products available, and almond milk nutrition may help you prevent cancer naturally, lose weight and even slow the spread of Alzheimer’s disease.

It can be daunting to figure out the differences between the milk products available out there, so I’ll break that down a little later to help give you some perspective. Just remember that it’s important to practice moderation and variety in your diet, and this principle applies to almond milk as well.

If you’re interested in finding out how this popular product can benefit your body and mind, with almond milk nutrition providing some (but not all) of the benefits of whole almonds nutrition, you’ve come to the right place.


6 Benefits of Almond Milk Nutrition

1. May Be Beneficial in Preventing or Managing Certain Cancers

As I mentioned previously, almond milk has been shown in a lab to reduce the growth of prostate cancer cells. Because of the presence of monounsaturated fat, almond milk nutrition can also help play a role in the potential prevention of endometrial cancer. (1)

The consumption of high levels of monounsaturated fat is also associated with a decreased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (a rare form of liver cancer) and certain breast cancer markers, according to research published in the International Journal of Cancer and the American Association for Cancer Research’s Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers & Prevention. (2, 3) This is why almonds are among the best cancer-fighting foods, and so is almond milk.

2. Aids in Weight Loss

Almond milk nutrition is very low in calories per serving, making it a very common weight-loss diet option. Compared to goat’s milk, with 168 calories per serving, almond milk boasts a modest 40 calories. Diets that encourage consuming healthy fats, such as the ketogenic diet or various other low-carb diets, often include the regular consumption of almond milk because it’s low in calories, carbs and sugars (if unsweetened).

There are also other weight loss-related benefits in addition to a low calorie count. For one, almond milk only minimally affects your blood sugar, meaning it’s great for people who are watching their blood sugar, and your body will use the nutrients found in almond milk to create energy, not store as fat.

Almond-based products also help increase energy levels and even resting energy expenditure, meaning that you burn fat faster and have more energy to achieve your fitness goals, too. (4, 5)

3. Keeps Your Heart Strong

The fat in almond milk nutrition benefits your heart greatly. By replacing saturated fat with other mono- and polyunsaturated fats, you help to protect your heart against coronary heart disease. (6)

Reasons behind this may be reflected in the way that these monounsaturated fats affect various processes. For instance, almond products help lower cholesterol naturally while also increasing levels of “good” HDL cholesterol.

These fats also have a significant role to play in decreasing the risk of a cluster disorder known as metabolic syndrome. This condition is a combination of high blood pressure, elevated blood sugar, extra body fat around the core and poor cholesterol levels and is a precursor to heart attack or stroke. (7)

4. Helps Build Strong Teeth and Bones

Concerned that eliminating animal-based milk from your diet means your bones won’t be strong? Not to worry — although it may not contain as much vitamin D or protein per serving as animal milks, one of the benefits of almond milk nutrition is that it’s still a good source of this vitamin that helps keep your bones and teeth strong and dense.

Those awesome fats in almond milk also contribute to bone health. Consuming monounsaturated fat is one method of helping prevent osteoporosis and bone weakness, as shown in female mice. (8)

5. Fights Free Radical Damage and Disease Formation

Almond milk is also high in vitamin E, a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants work by fighting free radical damage caused by chemicals in food, sun exposure and various other things. Some free radicals in the body are perfectly normal, but many people living a Western lifestyle retain more than is good for you, so it’s important to eat antioxidant foods that can help prevent the oxidative damage caused by these molecules.

Almond milk is one of those foods. By consuming significant amounts of vitamin E, your body can fight off the disease-causing effects of free radicals. It even helps keep your skin healthy and slows the aging process.

6. May Slow the Process of Alzheimer’s

Alzheimer’s currently has no cure, but there are many natural ways scientists are finding to help prevent or slow this disease. Vitamin E plays a key role in helping slow the degeneration that occurs with Alzheimer’s disease.

Almond Milk Recipes

As I mentioned, almond milk is a common ingredient for smoothie recipes. Try some of these Healthy Smoothie Recipes with almond milk and let me know what you think.

I also love to use the powerfully nutritious turmeric alongside almond milk to make a delicious Turmeric Latte Recipe. This hot drink has incredible cancer-fighting and anti-inflammatory properties.

Interested in some non-edible uses of almond milk? One of my favorite soothing and Detox Bath Recipes is a simple almond milk bath.


Almond Milk History and Interesting Facts

Before you assume the wide production of almond milk is simply a hipster phenomenon, you might be interested to know that it’s actually been around since medieval times. (I’m imagining King Richard the Lionheart walking into “Knightbucks” and ordering an almond milk latte through his thick-rimmed glasses… but let’s not get off topic here.)

Seriously, though, almond milk was no joking matter for cooks in the Middle Ages. Cow’s milk was not a reliable source of nutrition, especially because it spoiled so quickly without modern refrigeration. In addition, many Christians weren’t able to drink milk from animals during Lent, the 40-day period between Ash Wednesday and Easter Sunday, meaning that recipes with a milk substance were essentially useless during that time.

But milking almonds isn’t nearly as unreliable as milking cows, and as a huge bonus, it keeps for quite some time on the shelf. Because of its high fat content, it was common to churn almond milk into plant-based butter during Lent. There are recipes online of various medieval methods of almond milk preparation, but they’re all quite similar to modern-day homemade almond milk recipes. (15)

In addition to its plant-based fatty goodness, many physicians praised the assumed benefits of almond milk in the Middle Ages, too. It’s said that almond products, including milk, were prescribed to help increase sperm production. Folklore also claimed that consuming almonds or almond products the night before drinking alcohol would prevent drunkenness.

During modern times, almond milk dwindled in popularity for some time because of its limited nutritional value compared to cow’s milk (but we now understand that even that was exaggerated). It was still produced as a more specialty health food item, ranking below soy milk, the “healthy milk” of the end of the 20th century, until it started rising in popularity in the early 2000s when some of the drawbacks of soy became more widely understood.

It finally surpassed soy milk in the health food sector in 2013 and in 2014 accounted for 60 percent of sales of plant-based milk. Today, it accounts for around 4.1 percent of overall milk sales in the United States.


Potential Side Effects/Caution Regarding Almond Milk Nutrition

Because nut allergies are common, only drink almond milk if you’re aware you’re not allergic to almonds or other nuts.

There have been a few reported cases of children developing kidney stones related to excessive almond milk consumption, due to the oxalate found in almonds. (16) If you give your children almond milk, I recommend they drink it in moderation, alongside coconut and possibly goat’s milk, to avoid oxalate buildup that may cause kidney stones.


Final Thoughts on Almond Milk Nutrition

  • Almond milk is derived from soaked and processed almonds, and is easy to find or make.
  • Almond milk does not contain the same nutrient load as almonds, but there are still great things in almond milk that make it a desirable part of your diet.
  • When comparing the various milk products available, I recommend trying goat, coconut and almond milk to enjoy their various benefits.
  • If you’re eating a plant-based or low-carb diet, almond milk is a great alternative to conventional dairy or other animal-derived milk.
  • Nutrients in almond milk help fight cancer, maintain peak heart health, develop strong bones and even slow the process of Alzheimer’s.
  • Almond milk is a common weight-loss drink because of its low calorie and carb count per serving.
  • Almond milk has been used since medieval times as a common ingredient in recipes and has recently surged again in popularity with the desire of many people to eliminate conventional dairy from their diets.
  • I recommend first making your own almond milk, and if that’s not an option, purchase organic, unsweetened almond milk free of carrageenan.

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