Advertising
Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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.

Advertising

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

More by this author

Robert Locke

Freelance writer

What Your Fear of Being Alone Is Really About and How to Get over It How to Work Smarter Not Harder with These 12 Tips 12 Secrets To a Super Productive Meeting You Should Know 10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day 40 Powerful Productivity Quotes From Highly Successful People

Trending in Food and Drink

1 15 Flavorful and Healthy Family Meals That are Perfect for Picky Eaters 2 15 Most Effective and Nutritious Healthy Foods to Lose Weight 3 Stock up on These 9 Healthy Snack Foods to Boost Your Brainpower 4 15 Brain Foods You Should Be Eating Regularly to Keep Your Mind Sharp 5 25 Ideas for Delicious and Healthy Lunches You Can Take to Work

Read Next

Advertising
Advertising

Last Updated on October 16, 2018

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

The Ultimate Guide to Help You Sleep Through the Night Tonight

It’s well past midnight and you’ve got to get up in less than six hours. You toss and turn all night. Before you know it, another hour passes by and you start panicking.

If I don’t get to sleep in the next 30 minutes, I’m going to be exhausted tomorrow!”

One thing is for sure, you’re not alone. Over 70M+ Americans have stated that they don’t get the proper sleep they need at night.[1] So what could possibly be causing this insomnia epidemic?

Throughout my entrepreneurial journey of building my language learning company, I have experimented and researched dozens of best sleep practices. Some have flopped but a few have dramatically improved the quality of my life and work.

In this article, I’ll look into the reason why you’re sleep deprived and how to sleep through the night tonight.

Why you can’t sleep through the night

The first step to improving anything is getting to the bottom of the root problem. Different studies have shown the reasons why most people cannot sleep well at night.[2] Here are the main ones that the average person faces:

Advertising

Stress

If you’ve ever stayed up at night worrying about something, know that it’s a major sleep inhibitor. When you’re feeling stress, your mind and body becomes more activated, making it incredibly difficult to fall asleep. Even when you do manage to sleep, it won’t be deep enough to help you feel rested the next day.

Exposure to blue light before sleep time

We’re exposed to harmful blue light on a daily basis through the use of our digital screens. If you’ve never heard of blue light, it’s part of the visible light spectrum that suppresses melatonin, our sleep hormones. Other harmful effects include digital eye strains and macular cellular damage.

While daytime exposure to blue light is not very harmful, night time exposure tricks our brain into thinking it’s daytime. By keeping your brain alert and suppressing melatonin, your mind is unable to shut down and relax before bedtime.

Eating close to bedtime

Eating too late can actually be an issue for many people, especially those who are older than 40. The reason is, eating before laying down increases the chances of Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), in which stomach acid backflows into the esophagus.

Another reason not to eat too late is sleep quality. Even if you manage to sleep right after eating, it’s likely that you’ll wake up tired. Instead of letting your body rest during sleep, it has to digest the food that was entered before bedtime.

Rule of thumb: eat 3-4 hours before bedtime.

Advertising

Medical conditions

In some cases, it could be medical conditions that cause your sleep problems. If you can’t relate yourself to the above reasons or any of these common sleep problem causes, you should visit the doctor.

The vicious sleep cycle

The biggest danger to repeating the bad habits mentioned above is the negative cycle that it can take you through. A bad night’s sleep can affect not only your energy but your willpower and decision making skills.

Here’s an example of a bad sleep pattern:

You get a bad night’s sleep
–> You feel tired and stressful throughout the day.
–> You compensate it with unhealthy habits (for example junk food, skipping exercises, watching Netflix etc.)
–> You can’t sleep well (again) the next night.

    You can imagine what could happen if this cycle repeats over a longer period of time.

    Advertising

    How to sleep better (throughout the night)

    To help you break the vicious cycle and stop waking up in the middle of the night, I’ll explain to you a list of actionable steps to solve your trouble staying asleep.

    1. Take control over the last 90 minutes of your night

    What you do (or don’t do) before bedtime have significant impact on the quality of your sleep. Many times, it can be the difference between staying up until 4am and sleeping like a baby.

    Here are a few suggestions:

    • Go from light to dark – Darkness stimulates production of the sleep hormone melatonin. Turn off unused light around the house, and think about investing into warm light that you can use in the bedroom before bedtime.
    • Avoid screens (or wear blue light blocking glasses) – Keep the bedroom a technology-free zone as the light from electronic devices can disturb your sleep. If you need to work, wear blue light blocking glasses (also known as computer glasses) throughout or before you sleep to prevent sleep disruption.
    • Find an activity that helps you to wind down  This could be anything that calms you down, and reduces thinking (especially unnecessary stress). Fir example, listening to soothing/good feel music, taking a hot bath, reading or meditating.
    • Keep any electronics you have on the other side of the room or outside the room – One of the most harmful things that can disrupt your sleep is the notifications you get from your smartphones. The simplest way to avoid this is to keep it away from you.
    • Create a bedtime routine – A night routine is a couple of things you do prior to going to bed. By doing these things every night, you’ll have a more restful and high-quality sleep. Learn how to pick up a night routine here: The Ultimate Night Routine Guide to Sleep Better and Wake Up Productive

    2. Eat the right nutrients (and avoid the wrong ones)

    What you eat (not just when we eat) plays a critical role in your sleep quality. If you’re ever in doubt of what to eat to improve your sleep, take the following into consideration:

    • Kiwi – This green fruit may be the ultimate pre-bed snack. When volunteers ate two kiwis an hour before hitting the hay, they slept almost a full extra hour. Kiwis are full of vitamins C and E, serotonin and folate—all of which may help you snooze.
    • Soy foods – Foods made with soy such as tofu, miso and edamame, are rich in isoflavones. These compounds increase the production of serotonin, a brain chemical that influences the body’s sleep-wake cycle.
    • Fiber-rich foods – Eating more fiber could be key for better sleep. Eating fiber was associated with more restorative slow-wave sleep—the more you eat, the better you sleep—per a study published in the Journal of Clinical Sleep Medicine. Fiber prevents blood sugar surges that may lower melatonin. Get a fiber boost from beans, artichokes, bran cereal and quinoa.
    • Salmon – Most fish, especially salmon, halibut and tuna boost vitamin B6, which is needed to make melatonin— a sleep-inducing hormone triggered by darkness.

    3. Adjust your sleep temperature

    Once you’ve gone through the first 2 recommendations, the last step to experiment with is temperature. According to Sleep.org, the ideal temperature for sleep is 60-67 Farenheit. This may be cooler than what most people are used to, but keep in mind that our body temperature changes once we fall asleep.

    Rule of thumb: sleeping in cooler temperature is better for sleep quality than warmer temperature.

    Advertising

    Find out how to maintain the optimal temperature to sleep better here: How to Sleep Faster with the Best Temperature

    Sleep better form now on

    Congrats on making it to the end of this guide on sleep. If you’re serious about taking the necessary steps in improving your sleep, remember to take it one step at a time.

    I recommend trying just one of the steps mentioned such as taking a hot bath, blocking out blue light at night, or sleeping in cooler temperature. From there, see how it impacts your sleep quality and you can keep doing what works, and throw away what doesn’t.

    As long as you follow these steps cautiously and diligently, I know you’ll see improved results in your sleep!

    Featured photo credit: pixabay via pixabay.com

    Reference

    Read Next