When it comes to milk, you probably immediately think of dairy. This isn't surprising, as it's what most people grew up drinking and continue to consume. You always heard about the calcium in a cow's milk making your bones stronger so that you can grow tall and mighty by the time you hit the fifth grade. But what are some of the alternatives to dairy milk in the market, and why do people drink them?
There's a plethora of reasons to choose a dairy alternative when it comes to milk. Some people have dairy sensitivity or are full on lactose intolerant, others keep it at bay for health and fitness reasons, while some simply don't like the taste.
Whatever your reasons may be, your options are of the many, regardless of your flavor likings.
1. Almond Milk
This is one of the dairy-free alternatives that's probably the most well-known and used of the dairy-free milks, and there's a good reason for that, too. Almond milk lacks saturated fat and the calories that tend to weigh down dairy milk, making it a more health-conscious and low-calorie option for the fitness lovers of the world.
It's only downfall? Unlike cow's milk, almond milk doesn't provide ample, if any, amounts of calcium to strengthen your bones. Nonetheless, this is a great option if dairy isn't your thing.
2. Coconut Milk
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For starters, coconut milk can extend far beyond the general uses of dairy milk. Whip up a paleo coconut curry with the addition of full-fat (it's good for you -- promise!) coconut milk for a rich and creamy entree you thought was only possible with heavy cream. Not only does it provide a lighter option with the good-for-you fats, it's also stocked with iron, providing nearly half of the the recommended daily intake for iron in just 3.9 milligrams.
Another advantage of coconut milk is the taste. If you're not a fan of raw coconut, don't transfer that opinion onto coconut milk! It has a sweet, but creamy flavor, something almond milk definitely lacks.
3. Soy Milk
Soy milk tends to be more controversial on the dairy-alternative milk lists due to the talk about soy in various corners of the health industry, such as the followers of the paleo diet. Things such as leptin sensitivity, which is the action of your brain triggering your body that it's hungry when it actually isn't, are some of the arguments against soy.
However, there are many benefits to soy milk. Firstly, it's packed with protein, so you can easily get your daily fix a splash or two of soy milk in you morning smoothies. Soy milk is also high in essential fatty acids and fiber. Did we mention you can get it in chocolate, too? All sounds like a plus to us!
4. Cashew Milk
When it comes to cashew milk, the most ideal way to get the best bang for your buck is to make it your own. When you do so, you'll be allotting six times the amount of protein per cup. If that doesn't inspire you to learn how to make this stuff on your own, then we don't know what will.
Besides protein, the flavor of cashew milk is like coconut milk in that it's more prominent and creamy than almond milk. Cashew milk also carries 15 percent of your daily Vitamin K intake per cup, meaning what cashew milk may lack calcium for making strong bones, it's made up for in the form of Vitamin K.
5. Hemp Milk
Hemp milk is a conglomerate of health benefits in itself. First, let's talk about what hemp milk even is. Hemp milk is completely vegan and made from the combination of hemp seeds and water. While it carries all 1o amino acids, it also has no cholesterol whatsoever, allowing you to indulge in your daily servings without running the risk of your health breaking down.
Besides the essential amino acids and its lack of cholesterol, hemp milk also contains notable amounts of potassium, digestible proteins, folic acid, vitamin B-12, and so much more.