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3 Concrete Reasons Why You Should Drink Almond Milk Instead Of Normal Milk

3 Concrete Reasons Why You Should Drink Almond Milk Instead Of Normal Milk

You may be concerned about greenhouse gas emissions, antibiotics, and the carbon footprint associated with dairy milk. There are also exaggerated claims of the benefits of normal milk as outlined by Dr. Mark Hyman who has written many books on dieting. He has pointed out that a glass of raw, organic cow’s milk may have up to 60 hormones in it and that can lead to growth in many areas, including cancerous cells.

You may be lactose-intolerant like me. Whatever the reason, you will be interested to learn about alternatives.

There is quite a wide selection of alternative drinks on sale now – almond, hemp, soya, and coconut milk are all easily available. Almond milk is one of the best and healthiest of all the alternatives. You may be surprised to know that in medieval times, the nobility often preferred it to cow’s milk so it has been around for a long time! This is mentioned in the book Food in Medieval Times.

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Here are 3 sound reasons you should consider changing over to almond milk.

1. It contains no cholesterol

If you are worried about your heart health, drinking almond milk may be a lifesaver. It contains a large number of monounsaturated fats which lower the risk of heart attacks and strokes, according to the American Heart Association. These are the fats to go for, rather than the trans and saturated fats found in many foods. Almond milk has 0 grams of saturated fats. In addition, almond milk is free of cholesterol so there is no need to worry about that if you have your diet under control.

2. It has a low calorie count

If you are watching your weight, make sure you go for the unsweetened variety of almond milk as it contains only half the calories of dairy milk, which makes it a great weight loss dietary choice. See the infographic here by Kristin Kirkpatrick who is a dietitian and manager at the Cleveland Clinic Wellness Institute.

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You will need to watch your protein intake when you switch over to almond milk. You might think that it would contain lots of protein as it a ground nut but this is not the case. In fact, it has a much lower protein count than milk. This is estimated at only 1 gram of protein a cup, compared to the 8 grams contained in cow’s milk.

Look at the pack of any almond milk and you will probably find that almonds are actually down a few places on the ingredients list as many brands use lots of sweetener, water, minerals, and thickening agents.

If you are concerned about getting more protein at breakfast, you can ramp up on other protein rich foods such as eggs, fish, soya, or chicken. It is great to lose weight but make sure you are getting enough protein, especially if you are also on weight training program. The experts say that you need 1gram of protein for every kilo you weigh.

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3. It may help to prevent cancer

There is a very interesting study published in the Nutrition and Cancer Journal which shows that drinking almond milk may actually help to prevent prostate cancer. The study showed that cow’s milk tended to stimulate the growth of cancerous cells because of the estrogen hormones it contains. But almond milk had the opposite effect. It actually suppressed the cancerous cells by as much as 30%.

Finally, make sure you choose fortified almond milk for that extra vitamin content. Did you know that just one cup contains 10% of the RDA for vitamin A, 25% for vitamin D and 50% for vitamin E? The other great plus almond milk has is that it has lower potassium and phosphorous counts than dairy or soy milk. This is a great boon for people with kidney problems. Another great advantage is that it has 30% of the RDA for calcium which is vital to build healthy bones and prevent osteoporosis later on in life.

I have also found that almond milk does not need to be kept in the fridge and that makes it a great choice for picnics and camping trips. It is a great way to lighten the ice chest. If you are interested in making your own almond milk, there is a very good recipe here.

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Featured photo credit: Springtime flowers, Almond tree flowers/ Bea via flickr.com

More by this author

Robert Locke

Author of Ziger the Tiger Stories, a health enthusiast specializing in relationships, life improvement and mental health.

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Last Updated on December 9, 2019

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

1. Get Rationally Optimistic

Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

The result: no more mental stress.

2. Unplug

Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

3. Easy on the Caffeine

Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

  • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
  • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
  • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

The result: mental stress will be gone!

So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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