nut milk

                      courtesy of Nectar and Green and Brian Samuels Photography

Are you looking for a healthy alternative to cow’s milk? Do you want to eat healthy on a budget? NL’s guide to nut milks can help.

Should you avoid dairy? Not everyone needs to stay away from dairy; some people can digest it well and their body actually feels good with dairy. However, dairy sensitivity is more prevalent these days. You’ve got to eat what’s right for you.

Well, this is intolerable!

If you suspect that a dairy intolerance causes your digestion issues, you may have actually have a casein A1 intolerance

Cardiologist and heart surgeon Dr. Steven R. Gundry, M.D. is the author of The Plant Paradox: The Hidden Dangers in “Healthy” Foods That Cause Disease and Weight Gain. One of the things that he discusses in his book is how our food sources have changed. Over the years, dairy cows developed a genetic mutation which caused their milk to contain casein A1, a lectin-like protein. He states that “the way this protein digests in our body can create all kinds of ongoing problems you might want to avoid.” 

Did you ever notice that dairy bothers you less when you’re traveling? Like me, Dr. Gundry suggests that pain and bloating from dairy are actually caused by the casein A1 protein: “In Southern Europe, the cows happen to make a different protein which is casein A2, and this protein is better for you and more tolerable.” Recent studies show that there are lower incidences of heart health and blood sugar issues in those people that consume casein A2 milk.

Reading the signs

Here are some possible dairy sensitivity signs and symptoms:

  1. Constipation
  2. Bloating
  3. Diarrhea
  4. Abdominal cramps
  5. Nasal congestion
  6. Earaches
  7. Colic in babies
  8. Runny nose
  9. Itchy eyes
  10. Hives (could also be related to a histamine intolerance)
  11. Heartburn
  12. IBS or celiac disease
  13. Arthritis and joint inflammation

Please note: These signs and symptoms do not necessarily mean that you have a dairy intolerance. There could be many other reasons for your discomfort, so I suggest working with a nutritionist, someone like myself, or a functional medicine doctor who understands nutrition.

And one more thing: Did you know that dairy can actually raise insulin levels? The combination of dairy proteins and lactose affects your blood sugar levels: so if you’re stressed, already insulin resistant, trying to lose weight, or have thyroid issues, dairy is not your friend.

Should you avoid dairy? Not everyone needs to stay away from dairy; some people can digest it well and their body actually feels good with dairy. However, dairy sensitivity is more prevalent these days. You’ve got to eat what’s right… Click To Tweet

Nut milk vs. cow’s milk        

Dairy and I do not get along. I get unpleasant symptoms from it as I heal myself from heavy metal toxicity, Lyme, systemic mastocytosis, active EBV, parasites and other issues. I have chosen to remove all dairy from my diet; the hives and other symptoms aren’t worth it. My body uses these symptoms to tell me that I’m still on a healing journey, so I choose to honor this truth about my path.

Nut milk is generally easier on digestion, tastes great and is affordable. Making nut milk is super simple and affordable, too. Many clients think that nut milks are expensive, but if you purchase nuts or seeds in bulk and make your own nut milk, this dairy alternative should be much more affordable.

The homemade version is much healthier because you use just a few simple ingredients. Many store-bought options have questionable ingredients, such as carrageenan.

What is carrageenan? It’s a common “natural” food additive derived from seaweed and used as an emulsifier or thickener. Studies show that carrageenan may increase the risk for glucose intolerance and promote cancer. If you’d like to avoid carrageenan, here’s a helpful resource.

I’m often asked: “What about calcium? Do I need to get calcium from milk?”

This is a widespread concern. The Dairy Council does a great job marketing that dairy is the only and best way to get daily calcium and vitamin D. The truth is that calcium is widespread and found in many plant foods.

Great ways to get more calcium:
1 cup of 1% milk = 305 mg
100 grams of broccoli = 100 grams of calcium
1 cup of sesame seeds = 1400 mg of calcium
100 grams of almonds = 380 mg of calcium

You can get Vitamin D from sunlight, by spending 20-30 minutes a day outside (with sunscreen!) or by adding vitamin D and K2 supplements to your diet.

Go nuts

What kinds of nut milks can you enjoy? Here are some interesting choices:

  • Macadamia nut milk
  • Pumpkin seed milk
  • Flax milk
  • Hemp milk
  • Watermelon seed milk
  • Cashew milk

Experiment and make your own!

How to Make Nut Milk

nut milk

Ingredients

  • 1 cup raw almonds, hazelnuts, pistachios, pecans, walnuts, cashews
  • 2 dates
  • 3 cups water
  • ⅛ teaspoon kosher or sea salt

Directions

  1. Place nuts in a jar or container and add water. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
  2. Drain and rinse nuts; place in a blender and add 3 cups of filtered water. Blend on high speed for 2 to 3 minutes or until smooth. Strain through a nut milk bag or fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth, squeezing out as much liquid as possible.
  3. For almonds, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts and pecans, dump pulp back into blender along with 1 cup of filtered water. Blend on high for about a minute; strain again through nut milk bag. (Cashews have nowhere near as much pulp, so blending them twice is unnecessary.)
  4. If you want a thinner nut milk, add more water as desired.
  5. If you prefer a smoother, less gritty nut milk, strain it again. (Let the liquid drain slowly without squeezing, to prevent grit from getting through.)
  6. Pour into jars and refrigerate for up to 1 week.

How to use your nut milk

  • Pour on quinoa porridge
  • Try anti-inflammatory turmeric nut milk
  • Make a matcha tea latte
  • Use in NL’s GutLoving Smoothies
Did you know that dairy can actually raise insulin levels? The combination of dairy proteins and lactose affects your blood sugar levels: so if you’re stressed, already insulin resistant, trying to lose weight, or have thyroid… Click To Tweet

Did you try making a nut milk? Have fun experimenting with different choices and adding your nut milk to your diet in different ways. And share them all with me and others in the community on insta @nourishinglab – we can inspire each other!

melissa

 

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