Article written by Cloe Vaz-Wiggins
Image via Pinterest
Let’s start with this truth: dairy is not your friend.
And trust me, I feel you, that’s a harsh statement. I grew up in Lisbon, the city of delicious butter, cheese, and some of the most delicious food in the world, some of which, often times contain cheese, butter and in some very decadent cases, both. So, I get it, why is it not our friend!? But this is just a fact. The bottom line is that products that contain dairy are mucus-forming and the protein in dairy has been found to increase inflammation in some fundamental parts of our body, such as, our thyroid gland and our digestive tract.
Now, like in a lot of cases and perspectives in western medicine, I’m sure there are also studies that show something different. As always and with anything related to your health, always consult a doctor or a specialist, but most of all listen to your body. Notice your cues, what do they tell you. What happens when you eat dairy vs. when you don’t? What happens when you drink whole milk or eat cheese instead of plant-based milks or cheese substitutes?
How do you feel? How does your skin feel? Your breathing? Get in tune with your body as often and as much as you can.
If you have been paying attention and are ready to transition slowly to a more plant-based approach when it comes to your diet and your choices, obviously with a heavy heart, then starting with a milk swap is the place to be and the way to go. Plant-based milks are a great substitute for milk and there are some great things about them, other than the many options you have. To name a few: they contain no hormones, less sugar, are typically lower in fat and calories, and are environmentally friendly.
Let’s get back to the many options for a second, it is absolutely possible for you to find a substitute that you’d be happy with, not pretend happy, like genuinely satisfied.
Almond milk is sort of a classic in the plant-based milk world, but for good reason, yes, there’s a nutty undertone, but for the most part, it’s pretty subtle. It’s rich in magnesium, which all of us need and most times lack or don’t consider into our lifestyles. It’s also rich in vitamin E which is a great antioxidant.
Coconut milk is a great option if you’re after something more tropical or something different that pairs well with the drink, recipe, or vibe you’re going for. It’s light, fresh, and, yes, coconutty. It’s also low in calories and according to some studies may support cardiovascular health and may have anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal properties.
I’m biased, but anything latte, is oat milk for me. Slightly denser than the previous alternatives which makes it smoother and fluffier but also, high in fiber, high in vitamins, and some studies show that it may lower blood sugar and cholesterol levels.
Hemp milk is amongst the not-so-popular or mainstream options, but it’s a great option if you’re into the benefits it provides. Studies show that omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may boost your brain health and improve your immune system.
Other options are hazelnut milk, cashew milk, quinoa, pea, and soy to name a few.
Like with everything, there are pros and cons, plant-based doesn’t necessarily mean it’s healthier for you, it’s not that black and white. Make sure you’re doing your own research to ensure you find the best option for your lifestyle, your body, and your preferences.
Plant-based milk options have a lot of benefits but might not work for what you’re after, some of them are lower in protein than cow’s milk or higher in calories and carbs, so ensuring you’re doing your own research and finding exactly what works for you is key.
The truth about them is you have options and you get to choose, so choose well, for what works for YOU.
Home-made Plant Based Milk Maker
Use any nut, seed, or grain to make healthy homemade plant-based milk in moments