Are Nut Milks Healthy to Drink on a Daily Basis
Ramya asked this question last time – “What do u think about almond milk? Everywhere I see around me people are drinking almond/cashew milks instead of cow’s milk. I don’t have lactose intolerance and I won’t give up cow’s milk but are nut milks good in general? Aren’t they actually processed food?”
If you look at the method of preparations and the history of origin of nut milks then you will realize that there is nothing inherently unhealthy about nut milks although it isn’t exactly a superfood too by any means. And if we compare them with nut butters then somehow, we see, there is more love (less confusion) in people for nut butters than there is for nut milks even though nut milks are almost a similar variant of these butters i.e some people make nut milks just by adding water to the nut butters.
Hmm.. Let us look at the rise of nut milks… It’s origin dates back to a time when there were no refrigerators.
And since cow’s milk need refrigeration for long time preservation without spoiling so, in such affairs, women use to make nut milks, example almond milk, at home using a blender, almonds and water for a simple and healthy beverage. Then the refrigerators were invented and cow’s milk became the staple. Nut milks still existed but not as a ‘health’ product as such but as a substitute of cow’s milk for the people who were lactose intolerant. It is only recently that it became famous as a health product primarily because of the fitness myths that started attaching stigmas to the cow’s milk.
Now as far as, it being a healthy beverage is concerned. I believe that nuts are an excellent source of protein, healthy fats, vitamins and antioxidants so it is a nice beverage to consume esp as a quick post or pre workout meal but the problem really lies in the cartons that are sold in the market these days, which have just handful of nuts but cartonful of sweeteners, flavors, thickeners, fortified vitamins etc. So to me, essentially they are a carton of sweet- flavored water with very little nuts (nutritional value) . Sometimes even fortified with vitamins thus making it more of a multivitamin water.
None of the above things are bad but my point is that none of them are good too esp when you are expecting it to be. The best solutions is to make the beverage at home so that nuts sans any additive or fortified vitamins gets into your body. Plus keep changing the nut for the milk (Every nut has a different nutrition profile
One other thing I want to mention is that no nut milk could be a replacement for the cow’s milk. Nut milks could be had as a beverage but cow’s milk is what our body understands and needs better. Unless you cannot have it.
As far as the question of fame of almond or cashew milk over soya milk is concerned. It is because, the way soy is grown, a lot of it is genetically modified which are given lethal doses of herbicide. Hence in the recent past soya milk started creating health problems in women. Due to which, the only soya I recommend is organic soya, which is properly fermented. If you get them, use them to make your beverage.
Hope this helps. Please keep asking your questions.