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The Benefits of Drinking Cashew Milk

The Benefits of Drinking Cashew Milk

There’s no doubt that milk is one of the healthiest drinks. Not only is it rich in bone-strengthening calcium, but it’s high in protein and vitamin A. Many brands of milk are also fortified with other vitamins and minerals. But, what if you don’t tolerate dairy products that well? This can happen when you’re lactose intolerant or have other conditions, like a milk allergy, an intestinal infection or Celiac disease. In those cases — and in instances when you want to try other milk — you might want to consider cashew milk.

The Benefits of Cashew Milk

Cashew milk is an excellent non-dairy alternative to cow’s milk. This means those who do not tolerate cow’s milk well can rely on cashew milk. Below are the other benefits of cashew milk:

1. It Is Nutritious

Compared to 300 mg of calcium found in 1 cup of skim or whole milk, 100 ml of this non-dairy milk only contains about 8 mg.

However, it’s rich in other nutrients. According to the US Food Data Central, 100 ml of cashew milk has¹:

  • 66 calories
  • 1.9 g of protein
  • 4.65 g of total fat
  • 4.44 carbohydrates
  • 0.8 g of dietary fiber

Cashew milk also contains iron, sodium, and healthy fatty acids.

2. It May Help Improve Heart Health

Did you know that you can boost your heart health by limiting your intake of the unhealthy, saturated fats and replacing them with the healthy, unsaturated fats? Reports say doing so can lower your risk of coronary heart disease³.

Here’s great news: this non-dairy milk is rich in both polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fatty acids!

3. It Helps Build Strong Bones

Like mentioned earlier, cashew milk is naturally low in calcium compared to dairy milk. So, how come it can still boost bone health?

Just as regular milk can be fortified with many nutrients, cashew milk can also be fortified with calcium. In fact, a good, calcium-fortified brand can fulfill up to 30% of your daily calcium requirements.

4. It May Protect the Eyes

Cashew nuts are rich in lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants⁴ that can protect the eyes. You see, one report found an association between low levels of lutein and zeaxanthin and poor retinal health⁵.

5. It May Help To Control Blood Sugar

One animal study mentioned that the anacardic acid in cashews can increase glucose uptake in the muscle cells⁶. This means that with anacardic acid, muscle cells can use more glucose, so they don’t accumulate in the blood.

Although we need more studies about it, it’s possible that cashew milk can help improve blood sugar control.

Reminders When Buying and Drinking Cashew Milk

Now that we have a better idea of the benefits of this plant-based milk, let’s proceed with some reminders.

First, choose your brand wisely. Because there is an increasing interest in non-dairy milk, don’t be surprised to see numerous brands.

Brands differ in nutrient content; some even have flavors. As much as possible, steer clear of brands that contain lots of added sugar. Too much sugar is associated with many conditions, including obesity.

Other reminders when buying and drinking plant-based milk include:

  • Be mindful of the shelf-life. Many bottled cashew milk can last for up to 7 days in the fridge. Don’t consume it past its shelf life.
  • This plant-based milk is just as versatile as cow’s milk. You can use it in baked goods, dessert, smoothies, and sauces.

You can make your own cashew milk by soaking a cup of cashew nuts in 4 cups of water. Leave them for 4 hours or overnight. Take the soaked cashews and blend it thoroughly with 2 cups of water. Add more water until you get your desired consistency. You can also add a little honey for added flavor and nutrients.

Learn more about Healthy Eating here.

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Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Sources

1 [HISTORICAL RECORD]: CASHEW MILK, https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/549863/nutrients, Accessed December 17, 2021

2 Calcium Content of Foods, https://www.ucsfhealth.org/education/calcium-content-of-foods, Accessed December 17, 2021

3 Saturated Fats Compared With Unsaturated Fats and Sources of Carbohydrates in Relation to Risk of Coronary Heart Disease: A Prospective Cohort Study, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/26429077/, Accessed December 17, 2021

4 Bioactive compounds in cashew nut (Anacardium occidentale L.) kernels: effect of different shelling methods, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20387832/, Accessed December 17, 2021

5 Association of serum lutein and zeaxanthin with quantitative measures of retinal vascular parameters, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/30260964/, Accessed December 17, 2021

6 Hydro-ethanolic extract of cashew tree (Anacardium occidentale) nut and its principal compound, anacardic acid, stimulate glucose uptake in C2C12 muscle cells, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/20603833/, Accessed December 17, 2021

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Written by Lorraine Bunag, R.N. Updated Apr 19
Expertly reviewed by Chris Icamen