For a while now, plant-based alternatives are seen to use in place of cow’s milk – and the benefit is that it is for everybody. You may be a vegan or even lactose-free, and you have your grocery stores to thank for their nutrient-rich foodies that you can enjoy.
But the main problem starts when you come to the diary section – you are a vegan, so, of course, you would want to look for its alternatives, but everywhere you see, there are only versions of nut seed and legume-based milk out there. Sure, they can give you the needed protein as they are made by blending the main ingredient with water plus they contain 100 calories or less depending on the ratio.
Consuming fewer calories is okay, but it is certainly is not if you have to take your plant-based milk with iced coffee daily – it is not a healthy option if you are looking to adopt a healthy and nutritious morning. Studies show that many of these plant-based milk can be notoriously expensive, and they can be loaded with added sugar – so not good for your health.
It is suggested that one should make sure to check out the label of a plant-based milk product before deciding to stick with it. Some of the best milk alternatives are either unsweetened soy or pea-based blends – they come loaded with calcium and vitamin D that are beneficial for strong bones, hormones regulation, and general well-being.
Take a look at some of the best plant-based milk that you can include in your daily intake.
It is said to be one of the best plant-alternatives to milk – it packs in about 80 calories per cup and with 8g of proteins from soybeans alone.
Filled with fiber and antioxidants, soy milk is made by soaking and blending the soybeans and then, straining out the leftover pulp before they can be consumed.
Pea milk has gained cult status only recently – made from pea protein isolate and water and to which emulsifiers are added such as sunflower oil, gellan gums, guar, and even algal oil, pea milk packs in 70 calories per cup.
It is suggested to opt for the pea milk that includes algal oil as it provides DHA, which is a key omega-3 fatty acid and which is linked to good immunity, heart health, and cognition.
Made from water and coconut cream or coconut water by some brands, coconut milk is higher in fat, but they are low in carbohydrates than nut or grain-based milk.
Most of the calories in coconut milk come from unsaturated fats and which is 4g per cup, and the best part is it is 20 percent of our daily intake.
It’s creamy and lightly flavored, and can be added to coffee, tea, cereal, and even smoothies without any guilt – of course, we are talking about oat milk.
It is a powerhouse of fiber, thus making it one of the most filling milk out in the market – plus, it is also lower in protein than soy-based milk, that is, it has 2-4g per cup.
Made from almonds and water, almond milk comes packed with 35-90 calories per cup, and they are loaded with vitamins and nutrients.
If you prefer the low-calorie version of almond milk, make sure to remember that since it only gives 1g of protein per cup, it is recommended that you consider adding in nut butter or chopped proteins along with almond milk if you are taking it with homemade smoothies to balance your daily intake of proteins.
Made in the same way as that of almond milk, cashew milk is best taken with matcha as L-theanine, a compound found in matcha is beneficial for our cognition and focus abilities.
Its nutritional composition is the same as that of almond milk – ranging from 40-50g calories per cup, plus, it also helps that cashews are a rich source of zinc, magnesium, and copper that helps to support our immunity system.
Which is the best between almond milk and cashew milk, if they both packs in the same calories? The answer depends on the flavor – both are different in flavors, and it’s up to you which one you prefer, but do remember to go for an unsweetened version, if you want to reap in the health benefits.
Having a similar profile in both flavor and nutrients, peanut milk is good for you as well as our planet too. Since the peanuts grow underground, they use less water, plus, not to mention that they are loaded with proteins.
And the best part – despite peanut milk having a higher percentage of protein, they are much more cost-effective as compared to other plant-based milk.
Packing in 70 calories per cup, flax milk is very hard to beat – made from a combination of water, flaxseed oil, and pea protein, their nutrient profile is quite similar to pea milk.
Plus it also helps that flaxseed is rich in alpha-linolenic acid and which is beneficial in supporting our immunity system and has been linked to a reduction in heart diseases.
From a nutritional point of view, hemp milk is a solid choice – made by blending in hulled hemp seeds with water, it comes loaded with calcium, magnesium, and vitamin D. as if that’s not enough, hemp seed is also rich in both omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids which are beneficial for our immune system and cognition abilities.
It packs in 3g of protein at 60 calories per cup.
Made by blending rice with water, rice milk is another plant-based milk option that you can opt for – it’s best to go for the unsweetened version, and since the flavor is very mid, many store versions contain added sugar, take note of that.
If you are looking to boost your intake of plant-based omega-3, nothing comes close to walnut milk. It packs in 3g of plant-based protein for 120 calories, and tastes a bit earthy, so, it’s recommended that you add it in either tea or coffee to balance out the flavor.