If you’re like me, you get a serving of almond milk on most days. You can throw it into coffee, smoothies, oatmeal, and so much more — what’s not to love? And while it’s known as a great replacement for regular cow’s milk, the health benefits benefits of almond milk extend far beyond that, especially for the aging body!
Almond milk is made by simply blending almonds with water. Once they are blended, the milk is strained to remove any solids, and commercial brands will often fortify their almond milk with other vitamins. Currently, almond milk is the most popular plant milk in the country, and for good reason.
For one, it’s dairy free and contains no lactose, making it a desirable replacement for those avoiding cow’s milk. But even further, you can get nutrients from almond milk that you wouldn’t get from dairy milk. For example, one cup of commercial unsweetened almond milk contains between 20 and 50 percent of the recommended daily intake of vitamin E. Vitamin E is a vital nutrient and antioxidant that helps fight cancer, heart disease, stress, and inflammation in the body. And since these are things we typically have to worry more about as time goes along, almond milk is a great way to reduce your risks!
What’s more, the vitamin E in almond milk can be beneficial for eye, bone, brain, and skin health. While vision and bone loss are both common as we age, the vitamin E in almond milk can help protect those cells from damage. It has even shown to protect the skin from damaging free radicals that cause fine lines and wrinkles. And even more impressively, some studies suggest that vitamin E could delay brain aging and ward off neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s.
Almond milk also contains fewer calories than regular dairy milk, which can help avoid excessive weight gain — another stubborn problem that comes with age. Most commercial almond milks fall somewhere between 30 to 70 calories per serving, while cow’s milk comes in at about 150 calories per cup. And when you add that up to account for one serving each day, that’s a big difference!
What’s also great about almond milk is that since producers recognize that it is being used to replace regular milk, they are fortifying their products with healthy additives like vitamin D and calcium so that the nutrient composition is similar. Vitamin D has been shown to reduce the risk of age-related conditions like bone loss, osteoporosis, and muscle weakness. It’s also an important nutrient for good heart health and immune function, helping to ward off cardiovascular and autoimmune issues.
Fortified almond milks often contain up to 50 percent of the recommended daily intake of calcium, too. Calcium is great for keeping bones strong, reducing your risk of fractures and osteoporosis. Calcium also helps nerves, heart, and muscles to function properly.
So the next time you reach for your almond milk when making your overnight oats, rest assured that you’re doing great things for your body. This gem of a superfood will always have a place in our refrigerator!