Every time you have your favourite ice cream or bite into a slice of pizza, do you have discomfort in your stomach? Then there is a high probability that your suffering from lactose intolerance.
Research shows that a large number of the world’s population is lactose intolerant. You must be wondering, what is this lactose intolerance all about. It is nothing but a digestive problem, in which your body cannot digest lactose, which is the sugar found in milk and milk products. Due the body’s inability to digest dairy products, it may result in mild to severe symptoms like diarrhoea, bloating, gas, vomiting and stomach cramps and pain.
Unfortunately there is no proper treatment to permanently cure this medical condition. However there are ways to minis the symptoms of lactose intolerance. Majority of people with this condition may not be able to tolerate milk. well for those of you who don’t like milk, you may not consider this as that big of a problem. But for those who like to drink milk every day, you need not worry as there are plenty of alternative plant based milk that are safe for you.
Note: Children below the age of five should not be fed plant-based milk, as this milk lacks some of the key nutritions needed for overall development. children should avoid any flavored milks.
For those of you who are reading this article, you might be wondering what are plant based milk and how can it be prepared. Well to find out, continue reading this article.
Plant based milk is a non-dairy beverage made with plant extracts for flavoring and aroma. These plant extracts are water-based. Plant-based milk is made from soy, rice, hemp, almonds, cashew, coconut and oats. Most of the plant based milk are low in fat, extremely rich in vitamins and minerals. They do not contain cholesterol. These plant-based milk are also a healthy combination of polyunsaturated and mono fats. This type of milk is suitable for people allergic to milk and also those who eat only vegetarian.
1. Soy Milk- One of the popular type of plant-based milk that is easily available in the grocery stores or in coffee shops is soy milk. This type of milk can also be made at home. This plant-based drink is from soybeans. it is made by soaking soybeans. These soaked beans are boiled and the remaining particles are filtered. Soy milk originated in East Asia and became a commonly consumed beverage in North America and Europe.
Soy milk can be easily made at home-
• Soak about 1 cup of soybeans in water overnight.
• The next morning, drain and rinse thoroughly. Now place the drained soybeans in a high-speed blender. Make it into a smooth paste by adding water.
• Now using a cloth, strain the milk.
• You can use this milk to make delicious smoothies or can even add it to your cereal bowl.
Note: Soy is a common allergen for both children and adults. Hence try this milk for a day or two and if your allergic then go with another type of milk.
2. Rice Milk- As the name suggests, this milk is made from rice. Rice milk that is available in the market is made with brown rice and brown rice syrup. This type of milk is the least to cause any allergies. Coming to its health benefits, rice milk is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin D and calcium. This type of milk prevents sun burn, enhances immune system, good for digestion and for maintaining healthy skin. Rice milk contains absolutely no cholesterol, hence it helps people suffering from cardiovascular problems. Milk made with rice contains high amount of magnesium, calcium, Vitamin D and iron, all of which are vital for bone health. This type of milk is also known to slow the process of skin aging and promotes blood circulation.
Note: Not recommended for people who are diabetic. Also for those who are trying to lose weight. Due to its high content of arsenic, it causes some serious side effects like heart diseases and cancer. Hence it should only be consumed in moderation.
Rice milk can be made at home:
• Take 1/2 cup of cooked brown rice, 2 cups of filtered water and a pinch of salt.
• Using an electric blender, blend together all three ingredients and for a smoother consistency, strain the particles using a clean cloth.
• This rice milk can be used to make smoothies or can even be added in a bowl of cereal or oats.
• Use rice milk to use a variety of smoothies- strawberry and banana smoothie, dates and honey smoothie, blueberry and nutmeg smoothie, Mango and passion fruit smoothie, and chocolate smoothie.
3. Almond milk- Another popular healthy alternative for milk is almond milk. This type of milk is made with almonds. It is rich in fiber, protein, iron, magnesium and vitamins. Since it is made from almonds, it has a nutty flavor with a creamy texture. Almond milk contains less protein content and fewer calories. As far as the health benefits are concerned, this milk is recommended for people with diabetes as the unsweetened almond milk is very low in sugar. Its a great beverage to combat stress and inflammation in your body. Due to the presence of Vitamin E, it is extremely good for brain health. Along with brain, drinking almond milk is also good for eye sight and bones. Studies have shown that this type of milk has lowered the risk of Alzheimer’s disease.
Almond milk can be made at home:
• Soak 1 cup of almonds in water overnight or for a day.
• Drain the soaked almonds from water and wash them thoroughly.
• Using a clean cloth, strain the blended almond paste.
• This almond milk can be used in a variety of smoothies or to make oatmeal. It can also be consumed by itself or by adding a sweetener (honey, dates or maple syrup).
Note: It is not recommended for people with nut allergies.
4. Hemp milk- Did you know the plant which is used to make this milk is also used to make marijuana?
As the name suggests hemp milk is made by mixing water with the seeds of the hemp plant, known as cannabis sativa. This type of milk has a creamy texture with a more nutty and earthy flavour. It is highly nutritious and loaded with healthy fats and proteins. Hemp milk contains essential nutrients, which play a key role in preventing heart diseases. By consuming this milk, your body gets amino acid, arginine, which is needed to make nitric oxide. This nitric oxide helps in maintaining healthy blood pressure. Hemp is also good for skin as it contains omega-6 and omega-3.
Hemp milk can be made at home:
• Soak 1/2 cup hemp seeds in water overnight.
• Drain the soaked hemp seeds from water and wash them thoroughly.
• Now for 1/2 cup of hemp seeds, you'll need about 3 cups of water. In a blender, add these two ingredients and blend into a smooth paste.
• This hemp milk can be used in a variety of smoothies or to make oatmeal. It can also be consumed by itself or by adding a sweetener (honey, dates or maple syrup).
Note: Not recommended for people with gluten intolerance or coeliac disease (an autoimmune disease).
For those of you who are allergic to milk and milk products, try out some of these healthy alternatives at home and notice significant chances in your digestive system and your overall wellness.
- Akhila Kakarala
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