Hélène Baribeau, MSc, DtP
The best food for babies is their mothersâ?? milk; it is perfectly adapted to their needs. For adults, however, lactose intolerance is just one reason to look for an alternative to cowsâ?? milk.
The best food for babies is their mothers’ milk; it is perfectly adapted to their needs. For adults, however, lactose intolerance is just one reason to look for an alternative to cows’ milk. Can we find in other beverages the daily intake of calcium we need?
We grow up with the idea that only cows’ milk can provide us with calcium. In fact, many foods exist that provide high levels of calcium, including almonds, salmon, sesame seeds, sardines, and broccoli. Fortified vegetal beverages also provide an excellent source of calcium and offer a wide variety of choices.
Rice is Nice
Rice beverages are easily digestible, especially for people who have systemic digestive disorders. Rice beverages are also gluten free and are suitable for people who are allergic to soy or milk. Thirst-quenching and low fat, rice drinks are appreciated by athletes for their energy-giving properties. Basmati rice beverages are particularly tasty.
Soy’s Many Benefits
Fortified soy beverages are also a great alternative to cows’ milk. Soy’s many health benefits (thanks to isoflavones) are backed by scientific studies and include helping to lower blood cholesterol, reducing risk of developing cardiovascular diseases, certain cancers, and bone loss, as well as alleviating some menopausal symptoms. Soy isoflavones are present in soy drinks made of whole soybeans.
Fortified soy milk is low in saturated fat and loaded with high-quality proteins. It contains neither cholesterol nor trans fats. It is also a good source of vitamin D, iron, and magnesium, which contribute to the absorption and assimilation of calcium in the body. Legumes, such as soy products, should appear on our menus at least two to three times a week to provide protein and other nutrients in diets replacing or reducing the intake of animal products. Soy beverages are an easy way to introduce soy foods.
Because soybeans contain a wide variety of healthy compounds, they join the select category of functional foods, which possess unique medicinal attributes as well as nutritional value. Soy beverages containing whole oat products offer another functional food also known to lower blood cholesterol.
Many parents are concerned about the alarming increase of child obesity and child-onset type 2 diabetes. Since vegetal beverages are lower in carbohydrates than most juices, they don’t contribute to sudden spikes in blood sugar, which can contribute to these conditions. Vegetal beverages are a great nutritional option for children.
Vegetal beverages, both rice–and soy-based, and in a variety of flavours, are available in health food stores.