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Have you been thinking about switching to almond milk in your cereal? Or adding a splash of it in your hot drinks or having a go at baking with it? Or maybe you’ve heard that it’s good for your skin?
All of these things are all perfectly do-able with almond milk, even applying it to your skin.
Numerous skincare products happen to be enriched with this trendy and very nutritious nut milk. It’s also a common feature in lots of people’s diets these days too.
Almond milk has rapidly become a must-have dietary and skincare ingredient. And if you’re now wondering why; read on because the wonders of almond milk will all be revealed…
Before we delve into the many benefits associated with almond milk, let’s just spend a minute focusing on what it actually is.
Almond milk is a liquid that’s made from, as the name suggests, almonds. These almonds are soaked in water to make them soft and then blended down and strained to make almond milk.
If you’re making your own, it’s possible for salt and sweeteners (e.g. one or two teaspoons of honey) to be added to the liquid to enhance the taste.1
Meanwhile, many commercially-produced boxes of almond milk tend to contain a bit more water versus almonds, as well as emulsifiers.
When you look at the labels, you’ll also see that many of them have been fortified with numerous vitamins and minerals. Almond milk’s available in two main varieties too – sweetened or unsweetened.
There are lots of pluses to switching to almond milk, many of which include the positive impact it can have on our health (more on these benefits below).
But there are wider advantages too. For instance, almond milk is a plant-based alternative for people who are lactose intolerant or allergic to cow’s milk.2
What’s more, the unsweetened variety of almond milk is recognised as being a good, low sugar alternative for those who want to keep their blood sugar levels down.3
One cup (250ml) of almond milk tends to contain around:4
Almond milk is readily available at most supermarkets, but what about if you want to make your own?
Preparation: 10 minutes
Total time: 10 minutes
Serves: 10 half cups
Suitable for: Vegan, gluten and dairy free
Can it be frozen? For 1 month
Use within: 4 to 5 days
Equipment needed: Measuring scales, blender, wooden spoon, nut milk bag, thin tea towel, mixing bowl and a jar or bottle for storage.
While almond milk isn’t as nutritious as cow's milk, the vitamins and minerals that are added to most shop-bought varieties means it still does pack a nutritious punch.
For instance, as we mentioned up above, almond milk is often fortified with vitamins and minerals, including Vitamins D and B12, protein and calcium.6
In addition to being low sugar, low calorie and dairy-free, almond milk contains numerous nutrients that can have a significant impact on the skin.7
The best-known benefits of almond milk for the skin include:
Almonds have long been lauded as a great source of Vitamin E, which is crucial for skin health and cell regeneration. 8
It may help calm skin that’s been damaged by the sun, plus it has soothing properties that can make it effective at eliminating blemishes.9
Almond milk is rich in antioxidants – AKA compounds that help protect the body from the negative effects of free radicals.10 In particular, it contains Vitamin E and flavonoids.
These antioxidants help to protect against oxidative stress, which can lead to things, such as fine lines and wrinkles.11
Almond milk on the skin is known for being very gentle.
This makes it an ideal ingredient for those who suffer from sensitivity. It’s also great at keeping the skin moisturised, thanks to its high water content and nourishing properties.12
Almond milk isn’t just a great dairy-free alternative. Because it’s plant-based, it’s also an ideal alternative to cow’s milk for people following a vegan diet.13
Handpicked content: What do vegans eat?
When you compare its calorie profile with other milk alternatives, almond milk comes out towards the top. It’s one of the alternatives that contains fewer calories, typically ranging from 30 to 55kcal per 100ml.14
Some people may stick to drinking cow’s milk because of the calcium content, but some almond milk drinks happen to be fortified with calcium.
Most commercial products are fortified with around 120mg of calcium per 100ml, which is on a par with the average calcium levels in cow’s milk.15
Some commercial almond milk brands are also fortified with additional vitamins. This includes Vitamin D, which is needed to help regulate calcium in the body.
Meanwhile, Vitamin B12 is naturally found in animal-derived foods, which means plant drinks, almond milk included, have been fortified with B12, which is important for keeping the nervous system healthy.16
Handpicked content: What is Vitamin D and why is it so important?
Dairy milk tends to contain some saturated fat compared to almond milk, which contains zero saturated fat.
In turn, it can potentially help prevent high blood pressure and promote overall good heart health; health benefits that’s been linked to Vitamin E too.17
Handpicked content: Your guide to fats
Because it’s fortified with Vitamins A, D and E, and happens to contain more of these vitamins than dairy milk, certain fortified almond drinks can really support your immune system.
Meanwhile, the B vitamins and iron can reduce tiredness and fatigue. Interestingly, cow’s milk doesn’t contain any added Vitamin D at all.18
Almond milk contains low levels of phosphorus (24mg per cup) and moderate amounts of potassium (176mg per cup), compared to soy and regular milk.
This may make almond milk a suitable alternative for people with chronic kidney disease, who are unable to clear these nutrients properly.
Speak to your GP first if you’re planning on switching your milk for health reasons.19
On the whole, there are lots of reasons to give almond milk a go, 10 of which we’ve listed above. But there are also some reasons why people may want to swerve almond milk/drinks too.
For instance, just as some shop-bought varieties are fortified with varying different levels of vitamins and minerals; this also applies to sugar, especially in sweetened almond milk.
Some brands can contain more added sugar than others, which can potentially contribute to weight gain over time.20
Meanwhile, research has found that almond milk can potentially cause gut irritation.
According to the 2017 study, carrageenan, which is an emulsifier frequently added to almond milk to make it nice and creamy, can irritate the gut and potentially cause stomach upsets. Further research is required to further evidence these findings.
And, of course, if you happen to have a nut allergy, it’s best you steer clear of almond milk because the main ingredient happens to (obviously) be almonds.
When compared to traditional milk, almond milk’s protein profile isn’t as strong as the profile offered by dairy milk either.
Despite almonds being naturally high in protein, a serving of almond milk contains hardly any protein — 1g compared with the 8g in dairy milk. The reason? Almond milk’s water content.21
Finally, due to the fact certain almond drinks can be fortified with calcium oxalate, people who already have or are prone to developing kidney stones are advised not to drink almond milk.
It’s believed that excessive consumption of calcium oxalate may increase the formation of kidney stones.22
Look around and you’ll see there are skincare products that contain almond milk as a key ingredient. It’s also possible for you to put unsweetened almond milk directly on your skin too. Here’s how:23
Keen to see how this humble nut milk might benefit your skin? Shop our full range of plant-based milk to find an almond option that you can drink, cook with or apply directly to your skin.
So there you have it, the wonders of almond milk, of which there are a few.
Thanks to being fortified with a whole range of vitamins and minerals, certain almond drinks can deliver a real health boost in so many different ways.
This ranges from increasing Vitamin B12, E and D intake, to help support our immune systems and reducing calories.
And, of course, there’s the whole skincare side of the equation to take into consideration too, because almond milk can also help here too, from soothing skin, to gently cleansing and providing sunburn relief.
You may now be wondering if it’s better to drink almond milk or simply use a skincare product that contains it.
Both have obvious benefits, with drinking it providing your entire body with a boost of nutrients, not just your skin.
Last updated: 8 June 2021
Joined Holland & Barrett: Oct 2018
BSc (Hons) in Cosmetic Science
Janine started her career as a Technical intern at Superdrug while studying for her Cosmetic Science degree at the London College of Fashion, assisting Product Technologists in their roles by progressing NPD from initial concept through to post-market launch analysis and complaints.
Her experience spanned all categories sold at Superdrug, including colour cosmetics, toiletries, accessories and electrical goods.
After graduating her degree, Janine took up the Technical specialist role at Morrison’s leading the cosmetic and toiletries category from a Regulatory angle, including visiting manufacturers and attending and carrying out audits. Afterwards she moved onto become the lead Regulatory specialist for cosmetics at 151 Products.
Here at Holland & Barrett, Janine is responsible for...