*I usually share outfits that emphasize flattering an apple shape, but while I’m settling into life with a newborn, I’ll only be doing Friday Find posts. Style posts will return when things have settled down. Today’s post is a sponsored post. Thank you for supporting the brands that make MidoriLei possible.
In years past, when you say “milk” the only options you had were those gathered from cows and goats. Today, thanks in large part to the continuous efforts of scientists and health experts as well as the public’s increasing interest in healthier lifestyles, there are now various plant-based milk alternatives derived from nuts, seeds, grains, and more.
There are many benefits of consuming plant milks rather than dairy. For one, they are much easier to digest and are thus friendlier to the gut, especially to those with digestion-related problems like irritable bowel syndrome. Plant-based milks also don’t contain cholesterol and have high amounts of heart-healthy fats and vitamin B.
The key thing to remember is that each kind of plant milk has its own unique nutritional benefit over the other. This means that depending on your health goals or health condition, one kind may be better than the other. Here’s a quick look at some of the most common plant-based milks and their health benefits.
Almond Milk: High in Vitamin E
Almond milk is naturally high in vitamin E, which keeps the immune system healthy and slows down cell aging especially those in the skin and hair. Almond milk is also rich in iron, making it an ideal supplemental beverage for those suffering from anemia. It also contains potassium, an important element in cardiovascular health, as well as bone and muscle development and strength. However, this amount of potassium (about 100 to 250 mg per cup) is not so high as to be dangerous to those who are suffering from kidney diseases.
Along with soy milk, almond milk has the closest texture to cow’s milk. Cold-milled almond milk, in particular, has a creaminess to it that will make transitioning to plant-based milks a little bit easier to those who are used to dairy.
Soy Milk: High in Protein
When it comes to protein content, no other plant milk comes close to soy milk. In fact, soy milk contains almost the same amount of protein as cow’s milk, with about 7 to 10 grams of protein per cup depending on the concentration and with the distinct advantage of having much lower calories than dairy. As long as you don’t have any allergies or intolerance to soy and its components, soy milk is one of the healthiest sources of protein you can find.
Soy milk is also rich in vitamin A, isoflavones, and phytochemicals which are all essential for heart health. What’s more, soy milk also contains calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These minerals help lower blood pressure and improve blood circulation.
Oat Milk: High in Dietary Fiber
If soy milk has the highest amount of protein, then oat milk has the highest amount of fiber. This makes oat milk an ideal beverage for digestive health. Oat milk is also a good source of healthy carbohydrates; couple this with the high fiber content and you have a delicious, filling drink that gives you a steady supply of energy and makes you feel full for longer. The latter is especially important if you want to lose weight. Compared to other grain milks, like rice or wheat, oat milk also has a higher protein and iron content.
Oat milk also contains beta glucan which helps lower cholesterol, reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes, and maintains a healthy balance of “good bacteria” in the stomach and intestines.
Rice Milk: High in Vitamin B and Minerals
Rice milk is a good source of a variety of nutrients including niacin or vitamin B3 (which helps convert food into energy), vitamin B6 (which plays a key role in metabolism and brain development), as well as iron, copper, magnesium, manganese, and selenium. The last two, in particular, are highly beneficial; manganese is important in bone and respiratory health, while selenium helps promote better blood circulation.
Another benefit of rice milk is that, because it is made from rice, it is a low-allergy food and is also gluten-free. As long as it is processed in a separate machine, you can rest assured that your allergies will not be triggered by rice milk. And while rice milk does have a high amount of calories, it comes mainly from carbohydrates; as long as you keep an active lifestyle, you shouldn’t worry too much about this aspect.
The thing about any kind of milk is that it is a “recreational” beverage — it’s main purpose is not hydration but rather to provide a pleasing experience. With that being said, however, plant milks are a good way to supplement your diet to make sure that you are receiving the right amount of nutrients that your body needs. Plant milks are especially beneficial if you have health problems that may prevent you from eating or drinking other types of food.
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