Whatever you need to know about the current dairy alternative trend, we have got it all here.
Changes in dairy trends are on the rise these days and people are turning towards dairy alternatives.
Much of this is because of the increasing awareness and consequent preference towards veganism.
Another major reason is the various different kinds of allergies that people are increasingly developing.
What is Hemp Milk?
Let’s understand what hemp milk is exactly and how it can help you with your well-being. Hemp milk is a plant-based milk type and hence, the biggest source of plant-based protein.
It is also currently the only non-dairy milk that is rich in Omega 3 and 6 and does not require any pesticides to grow.
We can safely call it the most environmental friendly dairy alternative.
For many people who avoid dairy products and also seek nutritional advantages — hemp milk is one of the healthiest choices available.
How is Hemp Milk Prepared?
It is quite a simple process and you can easily do it at your home. The only tricky part would be getting your hands on hemp seeds as they are relatively difficult to find.
However, if you are aware of natural health food stores in your neighbourhood — you can easily find them there or you can also purchase them online.
Once you find hemp seeds, take one of these seeds and mix it with up to 6 cups of water in a blender.
You should mix it until you get a smooth texture and your hemp milk is ready to be consumed. If you like it thinner, you can add more water to the mixture.
For flavours, you can always add honey or vanilla extract to the mixture and use it in your coffee or simply as is.
Health Benefits of Hemp Milk
The protein found in hemp milk is higher than what is found in beef or any other protein powder.
This is one of the major reasons behind its popularity among people who base their diet on different protein based meals.
The presence of Omega 6 helps with the anti-inflammatory effects of hemp. Other naturally found nutrients include Iron, Magnesium, Vitamin B1, Calcium and Zinc.
And finally, it contains less saturated fats than are found in Olive Oil. Thus, it is a healthier option especially with the presence of Omega 3.
Since, it is an already established fact that industrial hemp extracted in a proper, legal way only contains 0.3% THC.
So, you may rest assure that it won’t make you feel high.
Let’s discuss each of these nutrients below and how each helps individuals to lead and healthy balanced life.
Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus
All these three nutrients are present in hemp milk in a good amount – some even more than what can be found in cow’s milk. This has obvious benefits to improve bones and teeth health, proper functioning of nerves and muscles and a healthy heart.
Vitamins B and D
Vitamins, including thiamine and riboflavin are present in good doses in a cup of hemp milk that an adult consumes.
Vitamin B as we know helps in making and repairing red blood cells, while on the other hand Vitamin D supports in the absorption of all the calcium in your body that the milk has.
Low in Saturated Fats
Intake of products that are high on sugar content or consuming too much of flavoured milk is unhealthy for your heart and may lead to various heart diseases.
Hemp milk, on the contrary, has low saturated fats that help to reduce your risks of developing heart diseases.
How Does Hemp Milk Taste?
Talking about the benefits of hemp milk, we have to mention its taste. Hemp, whether it is in oil or milk form, has a buttery odour and flavour.
Some might also say that it has a nutty flavour too because the seeds that it is made from are similar to sesame.
Hemp Milk and other Non-dairy Alternatives: A Contrast
Did you know that hemp milk contains more calcium naturally as compared to dairy milk?
By contrasting its nutritional components, it is quite clear that calcium, protein and essential fatty acids are ideally present in hemp milk.
It’s in a ratio that is required by a human body for the well-being of our heart and brain.
Contrasting hemp milk with almond milk or its nutritional components, it would be a little difficult to give the exact percentage of the nutrition you are getting apart from almonds being a source of Vitamin A and being low in calories.
It is difficult because it depends of the amount of almond used in the making of a particular brand’s milk.
Another non-dairy alternative is soy milk that many people consume but may not know much about.
One thing that is pretty clear is that soy milk usually comes in the market as GMO. While hemp is strictly a non-GMO flower or plant.
To get a better soy milk product, you would have to look specifically for organic soy milk.
It is important in a situation where most of the available soy milk products have canola to increase its thickness or they may have other kinds of vegetable oils that can have inflammatory effects.
Soy milk also contains oligosaccharides that may cause gastric troubles in some people and allergies in others for it sometimes becomes hard to digest easily.
Thus, people who are vegan and soy intolerant, hemp is the best available option. It contain a great ratio of fatty acids and amino acids.
Hemp Milk Cons
Having outlined all the benefits of using hemp milk, let’s turn towards discussing some cons that some researchers have concluded after their studies.
There are some studies that claim that the amount of protein present in soy milk is higher than what we may find in hemp milk.
So, if someone is merely looking for a protein-rich dairy alternative and is soy tolerant, they may want to give soy milk a try as compared to hemp milk.
Another disadvantage linked with hemp milk is the issue of its accessibility. Users say that it is hard to find as it is difficult to locate it.
They will have to stock in too because it might get unavailable later.
Since its demand is huge, it is also costlier to pocket and is relatively expensive than other non-dairy products.
The accessibility may also be associated with it being not available locally. It would have to be imported from elsewhere since usually people prefer to consumer locally produced dairy or non-dairy alternatives.
Are there any Side Effects?
Now that we are discussing the cons, let’s also talk about the side effects of hemp milk, if any.
There are certain people who have very sensitive digestive systems and their bodies may reject the hemp injected to it. Some of the common side effects that might occur due to reasons that are not in our control include:
- Hemp milk may cause certain allergic reactions to some people. The symptoms may include eye irritation, asthma or hives.
- Hemp contains saponins and tannins that may be heavy to digest for some people and may lead to stomach ache.
- The absorption of zinc and iron may get difficult for certain body types because of the presence of phytic acid.
- Not all body types react normally to synthetic vitamin B12 and sometimes it may cause low levels of potassium in the blood.
- Hemp milk is not advised to be used by babies.
- It is also advisable to approach a health practitioner if the individual is pregnant of lactating before consuming hemp milk as it may interfere.
On a separate note, if the particular brand of hemp milk that you are consuming uses gelling agents, it may have carrageenan.
Consumers need to be careful about that because that may influence the digestive patterns.
However, mostly brands do not have carrageenan in their hemp products.
One of the major considerations is that hemp milk should not be administered to babies or toddlers. It is strictly an ideal non-dairy alternative for adults, and not for babies.
If you are thinking to substitute the formula milk with hemp milk, you might want to think again. It doesn’t provide the necessary ingredients and nutrients that babies require in that stage.
Without doubt, hemp milk offers great nutritional benefits to adults. However, like any other good thing comes with a price, same holds true for hemp milk.
You should be willing to spend a good amount of money on a carton of hemp milk.
Since it isn’t easily available, you might want to stock on it one time and keep using it for a longer period.
On the other hand, you may see at times that the Omega 3 benefits are a little exaggerated and it may not offer as much Omega 3 content as you might expect.
Vegans are usually in love with hemp milk not only because of its non-dairy features or the nutritional value that it has to offer, but also because of its great and natural flavours.