So the question is: why drink nut milks?Many people suffer from a dairy intolerance – there may be a problem with digestion of the lactose in milk – the milk sugar – or one of the proteins such as whey or casein. These intolerances may present as:
- Increased gas
- Constipation, diarrhoea or IBS-type symptoms
- Increased mucus production
- A weakness in the respiratory system with regular coughs, colds, phlegm or ear infections
- Atopic immune conditions such as eczema, asthma or hay fever
Reduction or removal of dairy may help to reduce these symptomsHealth benefits of non-dairy milks reach far and wide – they are made from nuts or seeds that often contain monounsaturated fatty acids, along with dietary fibre, vitamin E, antioxidants and trace minerals such as phosphorus, zinc and magnesium. So not just tasty, but good for your health too.
But where do I get my calcium from?Calcium is found in many non-dairy foods, including leafy green vegetables, tinned salmon and sardines, okra, dried figs, broccoli, molasses, and almonds and sesame seeds. Consuming a range of nut milks along with a broad variety of whole foods will help you to reach your target intake of 1000 mg of calcium each day. Whilst we are lucky to have such a number of alternatives milks on the market today, it pays to be mindful and read labels of processed nut milks, as they may contain undesirable ingredients like:
- Added sugar, agave syrup or sweeteners
- Thickeners such as carrageenan
- Emulsifiers such as xantham gum
- And as little as 3% nut content in the whole milk – what is the rest?