Almond milk has become a popular alternative to dairy milk in recent years, thanks to its numerous health benefits. It’s low in calories, naturally sugar-free, and good for the heart.
But, is almond milk hard to digest? This is a question that many people with digestive issues have been asking. In this article, we’ll explore the digestive properties of almond milk and whether it’s safe for people with sensitive stomachs.
So, if you’re a fan of almond milk but have been experiencing stomach problems after drinking it, keep reading to find out more!
Is Almond Milk Hard To Digest?
Almond milk is generally considered easy to digest, especially when compared to dairy milk. It’s a plant-based drink that provides essential nutrients such as protein, fiber, and healthy fats. It’s also low in calories and naturally sugar-free, making it an excellent choice for people who are watching their sugar intake or have diabetes.
However, some people may experience digestive issues after consuming almond milk. This is usually due to the additives included in commercial almond milk. Carrageenan, a naturally-occurring thickening agent found in red seaweed, is commonly used as a stabilizer and thickening agent in almond milk. It has been known to cause intestinal bloating and gas when consumed.
Additionally, some people may be intolerant to the typical preservatives or thickeners in almond milk. This can lead to symptoms such as bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.
What Is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is a dairy-free alternative to cow’s milk that is made by blending almonds with water and then straining the mixture to remove the solids. It has a pleasant, nutty flavor and a creamy texture similar to that of regular milk. Almond milk is a popular choice for people following a vegan diet and those who are allergic or intolerant to dairy.
Almond milk is rich in vitamins and minerals, including calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin E. It’s also a good source of protein and healthy fats. Almond milk is lower in calories than cow’s milk and doesn’t contain any cholesterol or saturated fat.
However, it’s important to note that almond milk may not provide the same health benefits as whole almonds. This is because manufacturers usually make the milk out of blanched (skinless) almonds, and they strain the liquid. This removes most of the fiber and a large portion of the almonds’ antioxidants. Also, almond milk is watered down, making it a much less concentrated source of nutrients than whole almonds.
When choosing almond milk, it’s best to look for brands that do not contain added sugar or Carrageenan, which has been linked to gastrointestinal inflammation. It’s also worth noting that most almond milk is made in California, so if you’re purchasing it (but don’t live there), it’s likely traveling large distances to reach you, which increases its carbon footprint.
Nutritional Benefits Of Almond Milk
Despite being lower in nutrients compared to cow’s milk, almond milk is still a good source of several vitamins and minerals. One of the most notable nutrients found in almond milk is vitamin E, which is important for healthy skin, eyesight, and immune system. A cup of store-bought unsweetened almond milk contains approximately half a day’s recommended intake of vitamin E.
Almond milk is also a good source of calcium, which is essential for healthy bones. Fortified almond milk contains calcium and vitamin D, both of which are crucial for bone health. Drinking almond milk is an easy way to boost your intake of these nutrients and take care of your bone health.
In addition, almond milk is naturally rich in potassium and several other minerals that are important for overall health. It’s also full of antioxidants, which protect the body from various health issues such as mild infections and cancer.
Almond milk is also low in calories and fat compared to other milk products, making it an excellent choice for people who are trying to lose weight. The majority of calories from fat in each serving are from heart-healthy mono- and polyunsaturated fatty acids, both of which have been tied to a long list of health benefits.
Digestive Properties Of Almond Milk
Almond milk is rich in fiber, which is essential for healthy digestion. It can help reduce problems like constipation and other intestinal issues, keeping your digestive system healthy. The unflavored variety of almond milk is relatively low in calories when compared to dairy milk or most other plant-based milk alternatives.
A 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving of plain, unsweetened almond milk contains only 15 calories, 0.3 grams of carbs, 0 grams of sugar, and 0.6 grams of protein. It also contains 1.2 grams of fat, which is the healthy kind (unsaturated), helping to keep cholesterol levels down.
Fortified almond milk is an excellent source of vitamins A, E, and D, as well as calcium and potassium. These nutrients are crucial for maintaining healthy bones, skin, eyesight, and immune system.
Almond milk is also listed as a low-FODMAP food because it’s easy to digest compared to dairy. It will not trigger or worsen abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, and bloating, which are symptoms of an upset stomach. As such, it’s safe to assume that you can drink almond milk when you’re having stomach issues.
However, it’s important to note that some people may be intolerant to the additives in commercial almond milk. If you experience digestive issues after consuming almond milk, it’s recommended to read the label before buying and opt for brands that don’t contain carrageenan or other thickeners that may harm the digestive system.
Lastly, if you’re making homemade almond milk, it’s advised to remove the skins before blending for better digestion and a cleaner milk. Overall, almond milk is a healthy and nutritious alternative to dairy milk that is easy to digest for most people.
Common Digestive Issues And Almond Milk
While almond milk is generally easy to digest for most people, it can cause digestive issues for some. Some common digestive issues associated with almond milk consumption include bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea. These issues are often caused by the additives included in commercial almond milk, such as carrageenan, soy lecithin, and guar gum.
Carrageenan is a common additive used as a thickening agent in many dairy-free products, including almond milk. It has been linked to inflammation in the gut and can cause intestinal bloating and gas when consumed. Soy lecithin and guar gum are also commonly used as emulsifiers and thickeners in almond milk. While they are generally considered safe, some people may be intolerant to these additives and experience digestive issues as a result.
In addition to additives, the high fiber content of almonds can also cause digestive issues for some people. Almonds are high in both soluble and insoluble fiber, which can be difficult for some people to digest. This can lead to symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain, and gas.
To minimize the risk of digestive issues when consuming almond milk, it’s important to choose products with fewer additives and to introduce it slowly into your diet. If you experience persistent digestive issues after consuming almond milk, it’s best to consult with a healthcare professional to rule out any underlying conditions or allergies. Overall, while almond milk is generally considered easy to digest, it’s important to be mindful of the additives included in commercial products and listen to your body’s reactions when consuming it.
Tips For Easy Digestion Of Almond Milk
If you want to enjoy almond milk without experiencing any digestive issues, there are a few tips you can follow:
1. Choose unsweetened almond milk: Sweetened almond milk contains added sugars that can be difficult to digest. Opt for unsweetened varieties instead.
2. Read the label: Before buying almond milk, read the label to check for any additives or preservatives that may cause digestive issues. Look for brands that use minimal additives and preservatives.
3. Make your own almond milk: Making your own almond milk at home is an easy way to avoid any additives or preservatives. Soak raw almonds overnight, then blend them with water and strain the mixture through a cheesecloth or nut milk bag.
4. Remove the skins: While almonds are easy to digest, their skins are not. If you have time, remove the skins before making your almond milk for better digestion and a cleaner taste.
5. Start with small amounts: If you’re new to drinking almond milk, start with small amounts and gradually increase your intake to allow your body to adjust.
By following these tips, you can enjoy the many health benefits of almond milk without experiencing any digestive issues.