Why You Should Be Drinking Oat Milk
Veganism has seen an incredible boom over the past few years. Many companies and brands are starting to move away from only producing animal-based products and start offering up more plant-based options. Whether it be a burger made out of beans or a turkey made out of tofu, many people including myself worldwide are taking a step back and reconsidering the things we have been putting in our bodies.
One of the most popular vegan industries popping up is the non-dairy milk industry. Almond milk, walnut milk, soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk, hemp milk and many more trying to steer you away from cow’s milk. Recently, a new type of non-dairy milk appeared and it’s been receiving an abundance of attention from nutritionists, this milk is called oat milk.
What Is Oat Milk?
Oat Milk is a plant-based milk alternative that is free of lactose, nuts, soy and gluten if made with the right kind of gluten-free oats. It’s an excellent choice for people with dietary restrictions who need a healthy milk alternative. According to Healthline, they are made by blending and soaking steel-cut and rolled oats with water then straining them through cheesecloth to split the oats from the milk.
Oat milk doesn’t naturally have as many nutrients as eating a bowl of whole oats, so companies selling oat milk usually fortify it with various minerals and vitamins such as vitamins A, D, B and B12. This makes oat milk a great choice for a large demographic of people from people with allergies and sensitive stomachs to people trying to lose weight using personalized meal plans and need a healthy beverage to accompany their food. You can even make it yourself at home, all you’ll need are oat, water, a blender and a cheesecloth.
Benefits Of Drinking Oat Milk
Excellent Source of Nutrients
As I said earlier, oat milk contains a plethora of vitamins and minerals essential to our health. Consuming the proper nutrients will help improve your bodily functions and give you more energy throughout the day. According to the oat milk brand Oatly, one cup of their unsweetened, fortified oat milk contains approximately:
- Calories: 120
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 5 grams
- Carbs: 16 grams
- Dietary fiber: 2 grams
- Vitamin B12: 50% of the Daily Value (DV)
- Riboflavin: 46% of the DV
- Calcium: 27% of the DV
- Phosphorus: 22% of the DV
- Vitamin D: 18% of the DV
- Vitamin A: 18% of the DV
- Potassium: 6% of the DV
- Iron: 2% of the DV
Vegan and Allergen Friendly
Oat milk is very cheap to make since the only ingredients are oats and water. The ingredient list is so short means that oat milk is dairy-free, soy-free and nut-free. Oat milk can also be gluten-free as oats are naturally without gluten, but some companies manufacturer the oat milk with other grains that do contain gluten so make sure the milk carton says certified gluten-free before purchasing.
Lowers Blood Cholesterol Levels
Oat milk contains a soluble fiber called beta-glucans. One cup of oat milk contains about 1.3 grams of beta-glucans – these fibers have a special ability to bind to cholesterol inside your stomach and reduce its absorption rate. A study on men drinking oat milk found that drinking 3 cups a day for 5 weeks lowered their total blood cholesterol by 3%.
Anemia is an illness that develops when a person doesn’t have enough healthy blood cells to keep the body energized. People living a vegan lifestyle are more at risk of developing this disease because many plant-based foods certain lack micronutrients your body needs. A way to combat this is to increase your iron intake, and one cup of oat milk contains around 10% of your daily iron needs.
Great For Your Bones
Commercial oat milk is usually sold containing calcium and vitamin D, which are both essential to keeping your bones strong. The main mineral used to form your bones is calcium so having a steady calcium intake will keep your bones strong and healthy. Vitamin D is a great pair for calcium because it increases calcium’s absorption rate in your digestive tract. Without these two things keeping your bones healthy, you’re risking weakening your bones making them more susceptible to break or developing osteoporosis which makes your bones weak and brittle.
Oat Milk Vs. Other Kinds of Milk
How does oat milk stack up to the huge list of other dairy-free milk alternatives? Well, generally speaking, oat milk has more calories, carbs and fiber than most other alternatives including almond milk and soy milk. The only area where oat milk is lacking compared to the competition is in its amount of protein.
Oat milk is a fantastic choice as a milk alternative whether you’re vegan, have dietary restrictions or just want healthier milk to drink. It is delicious, nutritious and definitely one of my favorites!