(WellnessNova.com) - You put it in your coffee, over your cereal, and sometimes you drink it on its own. Milk is a staple for most of us. The question is, should you really be adding dairy milk to everything?
Growing up, you were told that milk is good for your teeth and bones and that you need to drink more milk in order to be healthy. It turns out milk isn’t as healthy as you were taught. Milk consumption has been linked to a whole host of health problems including bone fractures, acne, allergies, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer — just to name a few.
The good news is, there are alternatives. Today, you’ll find a wide range of non-dairy milks on your supermarket shelves that you can buy instead of conventional cow’s milk. Here are some of the healthiest you can choose from:
1. Soy Milk
Packed with plant protein and low in saturated fat, soy milk is one of the best plant-based milks you’ll find. Made of water with 6 percent soy beans, this milk comes with a host of health benefits such as osteoporosis prevention and weight loss. It’s also said to reduce postmenopausal symptoms, strengthen your blood vessels, and even cut your risk of prostate cancer.
You can add this milk to your cereal, your coffee, your tea, and you can also cook with it. Add it to pancake mix or cake batter and you’ll hardly notice it’s not cow’s milk. Remember to choose the unsweetened variety to avoid unhealthy processed sugars.
Make sure to choose non-GMO soy milk. Eighty percent of soy beans come from China and are laden with GMOs and dangerous chemicals.
2. Oat Milk
Made from oats and water, oat milk is another tasty and nutritious alternative to cow’s milk. Oats, as you may know, boost your immune system and reduce cholesterol levels, as studies have proven. Bursting with fiber, iron, potassium and B Vitamins, oat milk is a perfect way to get essential nutrition from a natural, non-dairy source every day.
As it’s naturally sweet, you can drink oat milk on its own. You can add a few flavorings and spices like vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, or chocolate to make it extra tasty. Thanks to its light, creamy texture, it works perfectly in soups and curries.
3. Coconut Milk
Derived from the meat of a brown coconut, coconut milk is similar in consistency and taste to dairy milk but with the added benefit of being great for your health. Rich in fiber, iron, calcium, and vitamins C, E, B1, B3, B5 and B6, coconut milk is one of the perfect substitutes for cow’s milk. Coconut milk can also help with weight loss, boost your immune system, and brighten up your skin.
You can use it in your tea, coffee or for baking. It’s also a key ingredient in some curries. You’ll also enjoy drinking it straight from the carton, as it’s pretty delicious.
4. Cashew Milk
Many people say cashew milk is their favorite plant-based milk. That’s probably because it’s rich, creamy, and delicious. Made primarily out of cashews blended with water, you can expect some fantastic health benefits from this tasty, clean-looking white liquid. Full of protein, calcium, magnesium and a host of B vitamins, cashew milk is a pantry necessity. It’s also cholesterol free and can help reduce your risk of heart disease.
Cashew milk works pretty much the same way in your kitchen as cow’s milk. You can add it to your oatmeal, use it as a base in your smoothies, add it to soups to give them a creamy texture, or even use it to make homemade vegan ice-cream.
5. Almond Milk
Another popular non-dairy milk is almond milk. In fact, it’s so popular it overtook soy milk and covered two-thirds of the U.S. vegan milk market by 2014. When you blend together water and soaked almonds, the result is a creamy, nutty liquid that works perfectly in beverages, baking, soups, stews, curries and desserts.
Research says that almond milk keeps your heart healthy, your bones strong, your skin glowing, and your digestion in check. It’s also low in saturated fat and high in vitamins A, D and E.
It also tastes so much better than cow’s milk!
6. Rice Milk
Made from boiled rice, starch, and brown rice syrup, rice milk is another healthy, dairy-free milk. Low in fat, cholesterol-free, and bursting with vitamins A, D and B12, drinking rice milk everyday can only be good for your whole body.
Because it’s naturally sweet, rice milk is great for baking. It’s also lovely served warm with cinnamon, nutmeg or cocoa powder. Some people even make ice cream with it! It’s definitely worth a try.
7. Hazelnut Milk
Hazelnut milk isn’t as popular as some of the other nut milks, but it’s quite underrated. Low in calories, rich in vitamins, and packed with omega-3, hazelnut milk can help prevent anemia, heart-disease, and cancer.
Hazelnut milk is actually really delicious and creamy. With its nutty flavor, it’s ideal for baking and also good enough to drink on its own. The great thing about this milk is that it’s so versatile. In addition to adding it to beverages, you can also use it in pancake batter, smoothies, soups, curries, and lots more. With this milk you can definitely let your imagination run wild.
8. Hemp Milk
Last but not least, there’s hemp milk. Incredibly tasty and nutritious, you’ll want to change the well-known phrase “Got Milk?” to “Got Hemp Milk?” once you try it! Made out of a blend of water and hemp seeds, hemp milk contains no end of nutrients including your omega-3s, potassium, calcium, iron, zinc, magnesium, and a stack of other vitamins. This miracle liquid can also strengthen your immune system, increase mental capacity, and give you healthy skin, hair, and nails.
Hemp milk is yet another plant-based milk that’s great for baking. You can make some lovely cakes and cookies using hemp milk.
Stop drinking dairy milk and switch to one of these healthier alternatives today! They’ll protect your heart and body while keeping your morning cereal or coffee just as tasty!