There is now a plethora of plant-based milks available on the market, with many individuals now avoiding (or consuming less) of the dairy based options due to health or personal choice.
But is a plant-based milk necessarily healthier? With many options containing very little of the plant they come from, it’s important to take a look at the nutritional profile.
1. Calcium One of the key reasons milk is recommended in our diets is the calcium content. Most plant-based milks simply do not have the same calcium content that dairy based milks have, so it is important to check they’ve been fortified. Whilst weak bones and broken hips may seem years away when you’re in your 20s (or even in your 30s!), it’s imperative to lay solid foundations for your bone health early on, with plant fortified milks a key source of calcium.
2. Protein Similar to calcium content, many plant milks are naturally lower in protein than their dairy counterparts, with the exception of soy. If your milk is low in protein, it’s important to get that protein from elsewhere, for example adding whole nuts or seeds to your smoothie (or if really necessary, protein powder).
3. Sugar Sugar is often added to plant milks to make them taste nicer. Be mindful that the ‘original’ version is often the sweetened one; choose an unsweetened one instead, then you can add your own sweetener if required.
4. Preservatives Does your milk contain any artificial preservatives? Many people do not tolerate these well, with some milks found on supermarket shelves being a source of these. Check out the label reading guide for which ones to avoid.
What is the milk actually made from? Whilst water is likely the top ingredient on your plant milk, check out what it’s made from. For example, is your Almond Milk made from almonds? How much is there?
Get Pureharvest in the July 'Gut Lovin' Box
In this months box you’ll find the Pureharvest Almond or Hazelnut quench, which is a unique combination of activated almond or hazelnuts with coconut milk. This is perfect in your morning smoothie; try out the below for something delicious!
1 cup Pure Harvest Almond Quench
1 handful of spinach
2 tsp chia seeds
¼ cup frozen pineapple
¼ cup Greek yoghurt
Blend until smooth, then top with coconut flakes and hemp seeds for an extra protein and omega 3 boost!