Which milk is the best milk? What do you drink?
The options when it comes to milk these days are endless …but which milk is best? Everyone is different and everyone’s bodies can tolerate different things. To help make an informed decision on which is the right milk for you, here’s a breakdown of what lies in that glass of goodness.
Nut and seed milks
Almond, cashew, brazil nut, macadamia, walnut, sesame and hazelnut milks are some of the biggest things in health food at present. Nuts and seeds are an incredible source of quality Omega 3 fats, which are vital for mental health and balanced cholesterol levels. The variety of these milks now spans supermarket shelves so we have plenty of choice, but we need to ensure we are picking up the best on offer. Look out for those that are sweetened (both in long shelf life products and in the fridge) and leave them behind. We don’t need extra sweetening in our milk before we use it. If time allows make your own, they’re simple to do with a blender and a clean stocking!
Going nuts for coconuts? Creamy, naturally sweet and when consumed moderately (too much of any one particular thing isn’t great for balance) can charge up your health and protect the body from bacteria, viruses and other lurking microbes that do not serve us well. Coconut milk is particularly rich and does contain a significant amount of fat, however the fat in coconuts is a medium chain fatty acid (MCFA), which converts quickly to energy when the liver processes it, instead of storing as fat as other saturated fats might do.
Quinoa has taken the centre of the dietary stage for some time now, so it was only inevitable that with that would come quinoa milk too. Quinoa is a fruit seed boasting a rich nutrition profile including amino acids, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytochemicals and plenty of plant based protein. The milk of quinoa can be a dairy free milk option that’s relatively easy for most people to digest. The taste however is probably not as palatable as other dairy free milks available.
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Rice and oat milks
For those who need to avoid dairy, soy, nuts and seeds, then maybe consider rice and oat milks. These are simple to digest and easy to find on the supermarket shelf. They don’t contain the protein and calcium found in other milks, but their flavours are gentle, so they don’t overpower the drinks or foods you combine them with. These milk options are often a great option for kids with lactose or nut intolerances and naturally much sweeter in flavor due to the carbohydrate content.
Previously, we were told to avoid the fats in dairy. But we now know that it is exactly these fats that the body craves in order to function optimally. Skim milk (milk without fats) is high in lactose, a naturally occurring sugar, which can contribute to digestive discomfort and intolerances. So where does that leave us in regards to cow’s milk? If you can tolerate dairy, always aim for full cream and when possible organic to truly reap the nutrition benefits.
Once perceived the best alternative to dairy, sadly, soy isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. It contains phytoestrogens, which mimic the action of oestrogen in the body. This is an important consideration, especially for women. Our hormones need to function with as little interference as possible; too much soy and they could move out of balance. However, if soy is still your preference, simply aim for good quality, organically grown, non-GMO soybeans and consume only small amounts every now and then.
So what do I drink?
I go for organic full cream dairy milk for tea (and the occasional coffee) and almond milk for yummy hot chocolates and smoothies. It’s all dependant on your system and what your system can handle. Try different milks for a month at a time and see what works best. How do you feel after you’ve drunk the milk you’ve chosen? What milk works for you?
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