Almond milk is a popular and nutritious nut-based beverage. Compared with other plant-based alternatives, many individuals prefer almond milk due to its mild flavor and use it as a substitute for dairy milk in beverages and baking recipes.
Almond milk is prepared by blending soaked almond nuts with water and straining the pulp. You may also prepare it by mixing almond butter with water. It has a nutty flavor and a creamy texture similar to cow’s milk. As a result, it is a preferred option among vegans and people with lactose intolerance or dairy allergy (1, 2).
Almond milk is commonly found in the health food department of most stores. Commercial almond milk is available in different flavors and brands fortified with vitamins, minerals, or proteins. For health reasons, almond milk without added sugar (2).
This article is a review of whether almond milk is good for teeth.
The health benefits of almond milk
Aside from containing diverse nutrients, almond milk has several benefits that can help the human body. Below are some of the health benefits of almond milk
The nutritional profile of almond milk varies greatly depending on whether it is homemade or an enhanced product. Homemade almond milk does not compare to the nutritional value of cow’s milk, though it is naturally high in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin E.
Vegetarians and people with lactose intolerance and dairy allergy will find almond milk a suitable alternative to cow’s milk because it is plant-based and has no cow’s milk or animal ingredient.
Lactose intolerance is when your body cannot break down or digest lactose. Lactose is a sugar found in milk and broken down in the small intestine by the enzyme lactase.
When the undigested lactose goes down to the colon, it is fermented by the indigenous bacteria, causing unpleasant symptoms including excessive gas, diarrhea, and bloating. Almond milk is dairy-free and does not contain lactose making it a good substitute for cow’s milk in lactose-intolerant persons (4).
Milk or dairy allergies occur when the immune system identifies milk and other dairy products as dangerous invaders and reacts to them. This reaction can cause hives, an upset stomach, vomiting, bloody stools, and even life-threatening allergic reactions. (5).
Though these allergies affect Cows’ milk allergy affects approximately 2–3% of infants/young children, almond milk may not be a suitable substitute for them due to its lower protein content than dairy milk (6).
Good for weight management
Plant-based beverages have fewer calories than dairy milk. If your goal is to lower your calorie intake, switch to almond milk to help reduce weight (7).
However, several commercial almond milks have added sugars, increasing the calories in them. The amount of sugar varies with different brands, so it is necessary to read the labels of commercial almond milk carefully for added sugars and calorie content.
Low in phosphorus with a moderate amount of potassium
There are high levels of potassium and phosphorus in dairy milk, which can build up in the blood if your kidneys do not clear these nutrients adequately. Thus, people with chronic kidney disease (CKD) often avoid this kind of milk.
A high phosphorus level in the blood can lead to heart disease, hyperparathyroidism, and bone damage. The risk of irregular heartbeat and heart attacks increases with too much potassium in the blood (8, 9)
The stage of the kidney disease and the current blood potassium and phosphorus levels may determine the requirements and limits of these nutrients (10)
For those with CKD, almond milk could be a good dairy substitute. However, the nutrient contents vary with brands, so you’ll need to read the nutrition label.
Always consult a healthcare professional before making dietary changes.
Supports a healthy heart
Almond milk is a plant-based product. Including it in your diet is an effective strategy for improving nutrient intake, which may help maintain a healthy heart.
Properly planned plant-based diets are healthful and effective for weight and glycemic control and may help lower the risk of cardiometabolic disorders like ischemic heart disease, stroke, obesity, and type 2 diabetes (11).
In a study investigating the effectiveness of a whole food plant-based diet, 65 adults in New Zealand were separated into two groups. The intervention group followed a low-fat, whole-food plant-based (WFPB) diet with Vitamin B12 supplementation, and the control group continued eating their usual diet.
Results from the study showed a reduction in total cholesterol and body mass index after 12 weeks in the intervention group compared with the control group (12).
Great source of Vitamin E
Almond milk is a good choice source of vitamin E, with a 3.5-ounce (100-gram) serving to provide 22 percent of the daily vitamin E requirement.
Vitamin E is a potent antioxidant that can help your body fight inflammation and stress. It may also aid in the prevention of heart disease and cancer, as well as bone and eye health. Vitamin E may also help the body lose weight by enhancing its ability to burn fat (13, 14, 15).
Is almond milk good for your teeth?
Almond milk is good for your teeth. Though it is low in calcium and vitamin D levels compared to dairy milk, fortified almond milk products have additional vitamin D and calcium, which are essential for oral health, especially in children.
Many almond milk products are sold with added sugar to make them tastier, but these are more likely to cause cavities (16).
Dairy milk is the most reliable choice of milk for dentists and many other healthcare workers and is a key source of calcium in many people’s diets. In addition to calcium, dairy milk has a high vitamin D content, and these two ingredients are essential in keeping our teeth and bones strong and healthy (17).
Almond milk is used often as a substitute for dairy milk; thus, many manufacturers fortify commercial almond milk with calcium.
If you prefer homemade almond milk, consider including other sources of calcium such as yogurt, fish, seeds, leafy greens and legumes to supplement your diet.
Teeth decay can be prevented by drinking plain cow’s milk. If taken in a cup with meals, it usually does not induce cavities. Cavities are more likely to occur in flavored milk that includes sugar, such as chocolate or strawberry milk.
How to make almond milk at home
Almond milk may be found in most supermarkets. It is, however, incredibly simple to create at home. You’ll need almonds, water, a cheesecloth, and a blender to make almond milk at home.
First, soak 1 cup of raw almonds overnight with 2 inches of water. This allows the almonds to soften
Filter the soaked almonds, and rinse in a fine mesh under cold running water
In a blender, add the soaked almonds with 2 cups of water and blend on high speed until the almonds are finely ground and the mixture is milky or opaque.
Pour the mixture into a nut milk bag or cheesecloth and strain into a large measuring cup. Squeeze out as much of the almond milk as you can until most of the milk is separated from the pulp.
Adjust the quantity of water to make your almond milk thinner or thicker.
You may want to adjust the seasoning or enhance the flavor by adding a pinch of salt or a sprinkle of maple syrup.
The milk can be kept refrigerated for up to 5 days. Shake before serving.
Almond milk: How to Use It
Almond milk is a beverage that can be a substitute for dairy milk in different meals. The following outlines a few ideas on how to use almond milk:
- in cereals or oats
- in a cup of coffee or tea
- in smoothies.
- in homemade ice creams or almond yogurt
- in soups, sauces, and salad dressings.
- in a variety of baked recipes
- as a refreshing drink
Almond milk is good for your teeth in general. Almonds, water, sweeteners, thickeners, and vitamins like Vitamin D are commonly used.
Almond milk sweeteners can induce cavities in the mouth. Most pediatric dentists, on the other hand, will urge you to drink cow’s milk unless you are unable to do so due to dietary restrictions.