I have bad news for all of you cheese-lovers, ice-cream fanatics, and people who are all about milk, pizza, and sour cream; dairy allergies are on the rise in America, and at an alarming rate.
What’s worse, conventional wisdom of milk products is slowly being disregarded by major studies; indeed, people who once thought that dairy milk was the absolute healthiest food in the world are now slowly realizing that there may be a dark association between dairy milk and several types of cancer.
That doesn’t mean you can’t have a glass of milk once in a while or even enjoy a little pizza here and there (if you don’t have a dairy allergy). However, whether you have dairy allergies or just are looking to incorporate more ultra-healthy, satisfying plant foods for health into your life, we have a list for of the ten most popular, healthiest alternatives to dairy milk.
10. Flax Milk
Flax milk is rich in Alpha Linoleic acids, a group of Omega-3 fatty acids, which have been consistently shown in studies to ameliorate the effects of inflammation on the body. That means that flax milk could be good for people with inflammatory diseases, such as autoimmune conditions as well as skin conditions like severe acne (DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor).
Flax milk has just as much calcium in it as regular milk, making it a sensible option for people who wish to maintain healthy, adequate levels of calcium. Most flax milk is produced by organic, ethically responsible companies that use non-gmo flax.
And best of all, it is actually quite creamy and delicious – it tastes absolutely delicious when blended with smoothies. A great choice the whole family can enjoy.
9. Oat Milk
Oat milk is a very nutritious milk made from the grains of the oatmeal cereal. Oats are very immune system friendly; studies have proven that eating oats actually reduces the your “bad” cholesterol levels while raising your “good” cholesterol levels.
Oat milk is a powerhouse of protein, with around 4-5g of healthy plant protein per serving. It is also extremely high in soluble fiber, which allows for healthy digestion and promotes “regularity.”
Unfortunately, people with gluten intolerance should avoid oat milk; although oat does not regularly contain gluten itself, most oats in the US are grown in the same fields as wheat, and are thus regularly contaminated with wheat.
Many oat milks are fortified with Vitamin D, making oat milks a healthy, sensible alternative to regular dairy milks.
8. Macadamia Nut Milk
A milk that is not as common on grocery store shelves as oat milk and other health-conscious dairy alternative milks, macadamia nut milk is a nutritional powerhouse of antioxidants, omega-6 fatty acids, and phytochemicals guaranteed to improve your health. Although high in fat per serving, the fats are plant-based, which is usually a good sign that the fats are not “saturated fats” or “trans fats.”
Additionally, macadamia nut milk is totally delicious! On its own, it resembles a semi-sweet, exotic type of beverage. I suggest adding cinnamon and vanilla to it, as well as fruit if you want to make a smoothie – I guarantee your taste buds will be blown away with the savory, crisp, creamy goodness of this healthy, rising-in-popularity vegan alternative to dairy milk.
7. Coconut Milk
Derived from the fruit of the exotic coconut, this milk has become a staple in the kitchens of health fanatics, dairy-free people, and vegans the world over. Coconut milk is rich in essential minerals, including manganese, selenium, copper, even zinc and iron (though plant-based iron is absorbed less than meat-based iron).
Coconut milk is also low in sugar, and does not even contain fructose, a common sugar found in many fruits, particularly grapes, blackberries, apples, and bananas. Although it is not as high in calcium as other vegan dairy milk alternatives, it is still a good source of calcium.
6. Rice Milk
A staple among people who enjoy milks that are both gluten and dairy free, rice milk is a very common, healthy, and nutritionally wise option for those seeking an alternative to conventional dairy and milk products. As products like macadamia nut milk and coconut milk tend to be more expensive, rice milk, made from one of the world’s most common and frequently cultivated grains, is typically found at a cheaper price point than other dairy-free milks.
Rice milk enjoys a healthy blend of carbohydrates and protein, boasting a very minimal amount of fat per serving, unlike other vegan milks such as almond and macadamia nut milk. Best served when blended in with the powerhouses of kale, berries, bananas, flax seeds, and avocados, rice milk is a delicious, healthy beginning for anyone trying to find a healthy alternative to milk products.