In recent years, plant-based milk alternatives have become all the rage. But with so many options on the market, it can be hard to know which one is right for you.
In this article we're delving deeper into the world of plant-based milk and taking a closer look at the ever-popular cashew milk. We'll be uncovering the health benefits and potential drawbacks of this popular beverage so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not it's the right choice for you.
What is Cashew Milk?
Let’s explore the wonderful world of cashew milk. This plant-based milk is made from, as you may have guessed, the creamy and delicious raw cashews. The nuts are soaked in water, blended to perfection, and transformed into a luxurious liquid. Some brands even take it a step further by adding nourishing elements like salt, calcium carbonate, and vitamin E to their cashew milk, creating a truly fortified and wholesome beverage.
Is Cashew Milk Healthy?
The answer, in short, is yes! Cashew milk is an excellent choice for those looking for a healthy, dairy-free alternative to cow's milk. Here's why:
Cashew milk is low in calories. One cup of unsweetened cashew milk contains just 25 calories, compared to 149 calories in one cup of whole milk. For those watching their weight or trying to cut down on sugar, this makes cashew milk a much better choice.
Cashew milk is also a good source of essential vitamins and minerals. It's especially high in calcium and vitamin D, essential for strong bones and teeth. One cup of store-bought cashew milk contains 45% of the daily recommended value of calcium and 25% of the DV for vitamin D.
Finally, cashew milk is cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat. This makes it a heart-healthy choice for people trying to lower their cholesterol levels or avoid heart disease.
The Downside of Cashew Milk
While there are some benefits to drinking cashew milk, there are also some drawbacks. One downside is that it doesn't have as much protein as cow's milk or even almond milk. So if you're looking for a protein-rich drink, cashew milk might not be the best choice. Additionally, because it's made from nuts, it can be a trigger food for those with nut allergies.
Another potential issue with cashew milk is its often added ingredients like sugar, salt, artificial flavoring, and thickening agents. These ingredients can negate some of the health benefits of drinking cashew milk in the first place.
The Many Health Benefits of Cashew Milk
Here are just a few reasons why you should start drinking cashew milk today:
Recent research has shown that cashew milk can help improve cardiovascular health. Cashew milk is rich in monounsaturated fatty acids, which have been shown to help lower LDL cholesterol levels and blood pressure. Additionally, cashews are a good source of antioxidants and magnesium, both essential for maintaining a healthy heart.
Cashew milk is also beneficial for eye health. The lutein and zeaxanthin in cashews have been shown to help protect against age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in older adults. These antioxidants help filter out harmful blue light rays and protect the retina from damage.
Cashews contain vitamin K, which is essential for blood clotting. Vitamin K helps your body make clots to stop bleeding after an injury. Without enough vitamin K, you may risk excessive bleeding or bruising.
Studies have shown that anacardic acid, a chemical in cashews, helps to promote blood sugar absorption in muscle cells. Additionally, extracts from the nut's milk have significantly reduced blood sugar levels in rats with type 2 diabetes.
Not only that, but because cashew milk is lactose-free, it contains fewer carbohydrates than dairy milk. This makes it an excellent choice for people with diabetes who want to control their blood sugar levels.
Cashews are packed with zinc, a mineral that is essential for a healthy immune system. Zinc plays a role in innate and adaptive immunity and helps keep your skin's barrier function intact. This means that eating zinc-rich foods like cashews can help to keep your immune system functioning properly.
How to Pick the Perfect Cashew Milk
Trying to decide which type of milk to buy can be overwhelming. There are so many options on the grocery store shelves these days! How do you know which one to choose? Here are some tips for picking the perfect cashew milk.
Tip #1: Check the ingredients list
The first thing you should do when trying to pick a good cashew milk brand is to check the ingredient list. You want to ensure that the only ingredients in your cashew milk are cashews, water, and perhaps a bit of salt.
Some brands try to cut corners by using cheaper ingredients like vegetable oils or stabilizers, but these ingredients can make your cashew milk less healthy and less flavorful. So be sure to check those ingredient lists!
Tip #2: Avoid added sugar
Another tip for picking the perfect cashew milk is to avoid brands that add sugar to their products. Sure, added sugar might make your cashew milk taste sweeter, but it will also add empty calories.
If you want sweeter cashew milk, try adding a bit of honey or agave nectar yourself. That way, you'll control how much sugar goes into your cup.
Tip #3: Go for unsweetened
If you're really looking for the healthiest option, go for an unsweetened variety of cashew milk. These products don't have added sugars, so they're lower in calories and better for your health.
They might not taste as sweet as some other options on the market, but they're much better for you in the long run. And once you get used to the slightly different flavor, we think you'll find that unsweetened cashews milk is just as delicious as its sugary counterparts.
So, is cashew milk good for you? The answer is that it depends on your individual nutritional needs and dietary preferences. If you're looking for a low-calorie option high in vitamins and minerals, then cashew milk might be a good choice. However, if you're trying to cut back on sugar or have a nut allergy, you might choose another type of plant-based milk instead.