March 31, 2021 · Written by Foodtolive Team
What Are The Healthiest Non-Dairy Milk To Drink
The production of non-dairy milk is rapidly expanding these days. Both for lactose intolerant people and for vegans, plant-based “milk” is a wonderful milk substitute. Perhaps one of the greatest advantages of non-dairy milk alternatives is the fact that much less water is used during its production. Consequently, it is not as harmful to the environment as dairy milk is.
There is a great number of non-dairy milk options for you to choose from:
- Almond milk
- Rice milk
- Soy milk
- Oat milk
- Hemp milk
- Flaxseed milk
- Coconut milk
Let’s single out the most prominent health benefits of each:
Almond milk contains fiber, which helps to protect the intestinal wall. Vitamin B2, (also found in almond milk) helps strengthen nails and hair, as well as keep skin hydrated. In addition, due to phosphorus and magnesium content, almond milk maintains the work of the heart.
However, there are certain contraindications:
If you are allergic to nuts, almond milk is not for you. Furthermore, it can be harmful to children. As babies develop, they require a certain amount of vitamin C, which almond milk lacks.
Rice milk is a valuable energy resource that improves digestion and promotes cell growth. As a result, the aging process is slowed down and the blood flow is significantly increased. Rice milk is extremely good for our skin due to para amino benzoic acid – one of the components that help to protect the skin from the negative sun rays. Moreover, it is useful for our digestive system, making our intestine work more efficiently. Check out an easy homemade Rice Milk recipe, that we tested and can vouch for Homemade Brown Rice Milk
Soy milk is rich in macro-and micronutrients, proteins, thiamine, pyridoxine, vitamin B12, and vitamin E. Due to the content of Vitamin E, soy milk is widely used in cosmetology – it strengthens hair and improves skin condition. This vegetable milk contains a large amount of protein that is essential for muscle function and tissue cell growth. Another beneficial property of soy milk is that it improves blood vessels. Due to the content of Omega-6, Omega-3 fatty acids, and iron, soy milk makes the walls of blood vessels more elastic and strong.
Oat milk contains fiber that can restore the digestive system. It is an indispensable source of energy for sportsmen. If you drink it regularly, you can train much more intensely without getting tired too quickly. Regular consumption of oat milk relieves fatigue and sleep problems. Oat milk contains a lot of proteins and carbohydrates, therefore, it is the best option for long-term saturation and force maintenance. Being rich in vitamins B, oat milk allows sports enthusiasts to build muscle mass. Taking the example, Vitamin B1 helps to absorb carbohydrates from food faster and better, so the energy supply of muscles is increasing simultaneously. Check out Food to Live’s recipe for delicious Oat Milk – How To Make Oat Milk At Home
Generally, this milk is good for children because it is rich in calcium but for newborns, oat milk is not recommended.
Hemp milk is a vegetable drink, in simple words – a mixture of ground hemp seeds and water. It can be used as a cow’s milk alternative and it is suitable for vegans. Hemp milk is rich in vegetable proteins and contains many different minerals, including high levels of calcium that are essential for improving bone mineral density and reducing the risk of osteoporosis. The levels of magnesium, zinc, potassium, and iron are also high.
Being cholesterol and lactose-free, this is wonderful plant-based milk. Flaxseeds come filled with natural soluble and insoluble fiber that is optimal for your fiber intake. Flaxseed milk is also low in calories and sugar compared to other plant-based milk on the market. 
Coconut milk is rich in such minerals as potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, zinc, sodium, selenium, iron and Vitamins В, С, РР, А.
Coconut milk is beneficial for various body systems, namely by reducing the level of bad cholesterol and by strengthening the immune system.
This product is very useful for women! Vitamins, minerals and antioxidants become invisible fighters against aging. The product copes well with pathogenic bacteria and fungi, which is very good for the health of the female reproductive system.
Like absolutely any product, coconut milk does have certain contraindications:
If you are suffering from bowel disorders (diarrhea, constipation), coconut milk is not for you. In case of chronic and other diseases, you should consult with a health specialist before adding coconut to your daily diet.
Considering the fact that most people are attracted to foods and beverages by taste rather than nutritional value, let’s examine a comparison chart, presenting non-dairy milk’s flavor, texture and uses.
According to a University of Oxford study, producing a glass of dairy milk results in almost three times the greenhouse gas emissions of any non-dairy milks. 
See the chart below presented in the article By Clara Guibourg and Helen Briggs “Climate change: Which vegan milk is best?” 
Almond milk requires more water to produce than soy or oat milk. A single glass requires 74 liters (130 pints of water) – that is more than a typical shower. Rice milk is also comparatively thirsty, requiring 54 liters of water per glass. 
However, it’s worth knowing that both almond and rice milk still require less water to produce than the typical glass of dairy milk. 
Superfoods is not the only option helping us maintain a healthy lifestyle. Beverages also play a crucial role in promoting overall health. Each of the above-mentioned vegan milk sources are rich in valuable vitamins and minerals, so you can choose any of them relying on your general preference. If you are environmentally friendly, soy milk and rice milk are probably the best milk alternatives.