We are lucky enough to live in a world with an incredible variety of plant-based milk, or non-dairy alternatives. With so many options overflowing the shelves of the grocery store, it’s important to know the nutritional benefits of each, so you can make a decision that fits your dietary needs and allergy restrictions.
Whether you are choosing coconut, soy, almond, oat, or rice milk, there is sure to be a delicious plant-based milk for you!
1. Soy Milk
Homemade Soy Milk/One Green Planet
Soy milk, the original plant-based milk, typically offers 8 grams of carbohydrates, 7 grams of protein, and yields 100 calories in an 8-ounce pour. It is also a great option for those adhering to a diet lower in fat as it contains only 4 grams of fat with only .5 grams of saturated fat, and is also low in sugar.
As far as vitamins and minerals go, soy milk is loaded with riboflavin or vitamin B2. Riboflavin is important because it acts as an antioxidant, helps boost energy levels, and is responsible for promoting healthy blood cells. Soy milk also contains about 299 mg of calcium and is fortified with vitamin D.
2. Hemp Milk
Hemp Milk/One Green Planet
Hemp milk, unlike soy milk, is lower in protein and calcium, but higher in omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Fatty acids are essential for proper nervous, immune, and cardiovascular functioning, and play a part in the formation of cell membranes.
Most hemp milk is fortified with doses of calcium, vitamin D, and vitamin A.
3. Almond Milk
Almond Milk/One Green Planet
Almond milk is not only delicious, and an awesome alternative to dairy, but it is low in calories and fat, and high in vitamin E. Vitamin E is an antioxidant that works to prevent free radical damage and is also required for proper neurological processes, organ function, and enzymatic activities.
4. Cashew Milk
Super Easy Versatile Cashew Cream/One Green Planet
Cashew milk has got to be the creamiest plant-based milk out there in the market. It is a bit on the lower side protein-wise, but it only has 5 grams of fat per-serving and contains vitamin K. Vitamin K is important for bone health and regulating proper blood clotting after an injury.
Like many other store brands, cashew milk is usually fortified with vitamin D, B-12, calcium, and vitamin A.
5. Oat Milk
Simple Vanilla Oat Milk/One Green Planet
Oat milk is the perfect alternative for those allergic to nuts. It also contains fiber, more vitamin A than dairy milk, iron, and calcium. However, oat milk is another low-protein option.
Because of the high amount of calcium and iron in oat milk, it can also help strengthen bones and the fiber content can boost the immune system and aid with digestion.
6. Coconut Milk
Coconut/One Green Planet
Naturally sweet, coconut milk is gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and nut-free. Coconut milk is a bit higher in saturated fat than the rest of the plant-based milk options so far, with about 4 grams, but it does have zinc and selenium, which are great for improving the immune system. It also contains minerals, magnesium, phosphorus, and manganese.
7. Rice Milk
Often overlooked, rice milk offers a wide array of nutrients including calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin A. It also has roughly 23 grams of carbohydrates, 1 gram of protein, and 2.5 grams of fat with a caloric intake of about 120 calories per serving.
8. Seed Milk
Vanilla Pumpkin Seed Milk/One Green Planet
Seed milk can include just about any seed you can imagine from pumpkin seeds to sunflower seeds, to sesame seeds. Dependent upon which one you chose the nutritional information will vary, but a few nutrients remain constant throughout. These include dietary fiber, essential amino acids, calcium, copper, zinc, and magnesium.
Seeds are an excellent option for nut-allergy sufferers, and there are a ton of varieties to choose from. Making your own, like this Vanilla Pumpkin Seed Milk, pictured above, is an extra tasty choice.
9. Pea Protein Milk
Pea protein milk, like soy milk, is high in protein, with roughly 8 grams of protein a serving. It also has about 4.5 grams of fat, a great dose of omega-3 fatty acids, and about 450 mg of potassium.
If you are looking to try out pea milk, Ripple is a great brand!
10. Hazelnut Milk
Hazelnut Fig Milk/One Green Planet
Drinking a glass of hazelnut milk is a real luxurious treat, but it also has some pretty great things going for it! It is an excellent source of vitamins B1, B2, and B6, it contains the antioxidant vitamin E, and it is rich in omega-3s.
Hazelnut milk also has an extremely unique, aromatic nutty taste to help it stand apart from the other nut-based milks!
To find the right plant-milk for you, check out How to Pick the Right Plant-Based Milk. We recommend downloading our Food Monster App, which is available for both Android and iPhone and can also be found on Instagram and Facebook. The app has more than 10,000 plant-based, allergy-friendly recipes, and subscribers gain access to new recipes every day. Check it out!
Lead Image Source: Soy Milk Kefir/One Green Planet