A healthy alternative to milk
In India around 68 percent of milk does not conform to quality standards, so switching over to almond milk is a healthy solution
For years we have been told that milk is exceptionally good for health. It is rich in calcium and includes nutrients such as vitamin C, K and even magnesium, all of which are responsible in strengthening our bones.
However, an international study recently stated that a diet which is rich in milk (so much of which is adulterated in India) could have detrimental effects on the human body, including heart ailments and even cancer.
68 percent Indian milk is of bad quality
Not to forget, that in India around 68 percent of milk does not conform to quality standards. Products such as detergents, glucose, caustic soda, refined oil and white paint, which are all extremely hazardous and can cause serious ailments are often added to milk.
So this ‘liquid gold’ that we so religiously feed our kids has now in reality become a deterrent to their health. So what’s the solution? What should we give them instead of milk?
Well, the answer lies in your own kitchen closet! Yes, you read that right.
The only ingredient you need is almonds. Instead of giving them regular cow’s milk, You can give your kids almond milk that can easily be prepared at home!
Benefits of switching to almond milk
Given the two reports, if you have decided to make a switch to almond milk, then you must consider its various benefits, as well its cons. We spoke to Dr Prashanth Gowda, Consultant, Neonatologist and paediatrician, Motherhood Hospitals, Bengaluru, to understand the subject better.
- Strengthens bones and is good for skin and hair: Almond milk is rich in vitamin E and D, both of which together aid in strengthening of bones (not as much as cow’s milk, but in a substantial percentage). It also aids in silky smooth hair as well as good skin, something almond is well known for. “Almond milk provides 30 percent of calcium and 25 percent of Vitamin D. These two nutrients work together to provide healthy bones and teeth formation,” explains Dr Gowda.
- Keeps fat at bay: Almond milk is low on calories as compared to cow’s milk. It is also free of cholesterol, saturated fat and due to no natural sweeteners, is naturally lactose free, thereby keeping childhood obesity away.
- Increases strength of muscles: Almond milk contains 1gm protein per serving, thereby, proving the muscles with increased strength. It also contains riboflavin and vitamin B, both of which are needed for muscle growth and healing.
- Improves immunity: “The alkali materials present in almonds help in increasing the immunity level. It also acts as a great antioxidant. It removes all the damaging radicals of the body keeping diseases away,” shares Dr Gowda.
- Ensures healthy digestion: Almond milk contains one gram of fiber per serving. Dr Gowda explains, “This avoids constipation and helps in the healthy digestion among kids.”
- Brain development: Almond contains riboflavin and L-Cartinine which are the two essential nutrients responsible for the development of the brain.
- Energy booster: Almonds comprise manganese, copper and riboflavin. It helps in the boosting up of energy in kids.
While these are the benefits, the cons of permanently switching over to almond milk is that it does not contain calcium, vitamin B12, nor is it protein rich. And while of these are essential for an infant who is less than one year and an expecting women, you can supplement them by adding eggs, leafy greens, meats and dairy products to your daily diet.
Why parents should switch to almond milk from regular milk NOW!
“Many kids face lactose intolerance or cow’s milk intolerance. Some kids may develop symptoms like vomiting, abdominal pain or blood in stool. This shows that they have difficulty in digesting the sugar in cow’s milk. Usually at this time paediatricians recommend the parents to avoid cow’s milk and use the other supplements which suits the kids,” he explains.
Almond milk is a suitable, lactose-free substitute. He adds, “Also it contains all the required proteins and Vitamins for the kids and helps them to have a glowing skin and strong muscles.”
Either way, when you do make the switch, do not opt for cans sold in the market. Instead, prepare almond milk at home.
3 steps to prepare almond milk at home
In a three-step process, you can easily prepare almond milk at the comfort of your home.
Remember that when you buy ready made almond milk in boxed and cans, it comes with artificial sweeteners that are high in calories and can be harmful if you or your kid is lactose intolerant.
- Soak two cups of almond in water overnight
- Once soft, add three tablespoons of water and grind the two together
- Sieve through the pulp or the husk of the almond so you are left with its milk
You can include almond milk in cereals and add honey or sugar to it when feeding it your kid. Either way, it’s certainly a healthy alternative to adulterated cow’s milk. So what’s the wait, switch over now!