Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Almond Milk is All Right

I have recently started to drink almond milk.  It is pretty good and very good for you. It is also a better alternative to soy milk if you don't like it, which I do not. 
Almond milk also furnishes the body with high levels of manganese, selenium and vitamin E. Manganese plays an important role in activating enzymes in the body. Manganese along with phosphorous also plays a role in keeping bones and teeth healthy. Vitamin E, an antioxidant protects the cell membranes by destroying the free radicals that cause damage to them. Selenium on the other hand is good for the functioning of the immune system, for reproduction and for metabolism of the thyroid gland. 
The magnesium obtained from almond helps break down the food consumed into energy. It also assists the functioning of the parathyroid glands, which are responsible for production of hormones known for good bone health. The potassium present helps maintain normal blood pressure. Almond milk is also a good source of flavanoids. This is because, almond milk is prepared by crushing the almonds with the skin. The skin is rich in flavanoids, which is good for cardiovascular health, thereby providing protection against various heart diseases.

You can make your own almond milk if you don't want to buy it.

Almond Milk Recipe
Raw almonds, 1½ cups
Filtered water, 4 cups 
Soak almonds in water for minimum six to eight hours. Drain the water, and blend the almond with 4 cups of water, until it reaches a milk like consistency. Strain it to remove almond skin and granules. One can store almond milk in an air-tight jar in the refrigerator for four to five days. If you want it to be sweeter, then blend in a few soaked dates as well.
You can buy a half gallon of almond milk for around $3 at the grocery store.  Vanilla flavor is my favorite.  I like to mix almond milk with my regular milk to add flavor and get the nutrients from both.  I will also put almond milk in my oatmeal along with a little brown sugar.  It is very yummy that way!  Whether you are lactose intolerant or just don't like the taste of milk, almond milk is a great option.

One serving (8 ounces) of unsweetened almond milk contains about 30-40 calories, 2.5-3 g of fat, 1 g of protein, 1 g of fiber and some vitamins and minerals. Almond milk is loaded with unsaturated fat, which means almond milk is beneficial in reducing the risk of heart diseases. Moreover, almond milk does not contain cholesterol and saturated fats. The protein content in almond milk helps the growth and repair functions of the body. Besides proteins, almond milk also contains omega fatty acids.