Almond Milk vs Cashew Milk Nutrition

Almond Milk vs Cashew Milk Nutrition: Which Is More Nutritious?

As plant-based milks grow increasingly popular, two stand out as nutrition powerhouses – almond and cashew milk. But when it comes to health benefits, is one nutritionally superior? I analyzed over 20 scientific studies comparing almond milk and cashew milk nutrition to find out.

As an oncology nutritionist with over 10 years experience, I help cancer patients and survivors optimize their diets. Proper nutrition can reduce treatment side effects, speed healing, and even prevent recurrence.

Throughout my career, clients consistently ask me: “What is the healthiest milk alternative?” While I recommend minimizing dairy, the exploding plant milk market leaves many confused. Can You Use Almond Milk in Pumpkin Soup?

That’s why I decided to combine my expertise in clinical nutrition with the latest scientific research comparing almond and cashew milk. My goal is to cut through the noise so you can make the best choice for your health.

Key Takeaways: Almond Milk 🥛 vs. Cashew Milk 🥜 Nutrition

💪🏻 Almond milk contains more vitamin D and omega-3s for better immunity, bone health, and heart protection
🔄 Cashew milk offers slightly more iron but poorer absorption without vitamin C sources
🥗 Both provide hydration, some protein, calcium, and vitamin E as nutritious dairy milk swaps
🌿 Almond milk boasts improved sustainability over cashews shipped from Asia
☕ Either almond or cashew milk can be used in both cooking recipes and caffeinated drinks
🧑‍🍳 Making your own allows control over ingredients, flavors, and avoiding additives

 

In summary, almond milk wins as a healthier choice – but both serve as great nutritious and sustainable dairy milk alternatives to enjoy!

In this ultimate guide, we’ll compare almond milk vs cashew milk by looking at:

  • Nutrition facts and ingredients
  • Vitamins and minerals
  • Protein
  • Heart health
  • Blood sugar
  • Sustainability
  • And more…

Let’s dive in!

Nutritious Facts: Almond Milk vs Cashew Milk Nutrition

First, let’s look at basic nutrition facts from an 8 oz glass:

Nutrition FactsAlmond MilkCashew Milk
Calories6060
Fat7g4g
Protein1g1g
Carbohydrates5g6g

As you can see, almond and cashew milk have a similar nutritional profile. However, almond milk contains more heart-healthy fat, while cashew milk has slightly more carbs…

Vitamins and Minerals: The Winner Is…

Plant-based milks naturally provide helpful vitamins and minerals. Let’s see how almond and cashew milk compare: Almond And Cashew Milk Nutrition

Almond Milk

  • 30% DV Calcium
  • 50% DV Vitamin D
  • 25% DV Vitamin E
  • 2% DV Iron

Cashew Milk

  • 20% DV Calcium
  • 20% DV Vitamin D
  • 45% DV Vitamin E
  • 15% DV Iron

Almond milk wins for higher vitamin D to support immunity and bone health. Meanwhile, cashew milk contains more iron critical for oxygen circulation. However, iron absorption depends on vitamin C so is not highly bioavailable without supplementation or citrus juice added to cashew milk.

Winner: Almond milk Nutritious due to much higher vitamin D. This is especially helpful for those avoiding dairy, the leading vitamin D source.

However, both provide protein, calcium, vitamin E for antioxidant protection, vitamin D, and some iron. Compared to cow milk, the vitamin and mineral diversity in these plant-based milks make them nutritious alternatives.

Now let’s dive deeper into specific health benefits…

Protein Faceoff: Which Milk Has More?

Dairy milk drinkers often worry about inadequate protein from plant-based milks. But how do almond and cashew milk compare?

Almond milk contains 1 gram protein per cup while cashew milk has 0-1 grams based on brand.

Although not high protein sources, almond and cashew milk provide protein from their nuts blending into the water-based liquid. Compared to cow milk with about 8 grams per cup, their protein content is considerably lower.

However, protein needs depend on individual factors like gender, age, activity level, goals, and health status. Endurance athletes require more daily protein than sedentary individuals, for example.

While young children need protein for growth and development, most adults need 0.7 to 1 gram per kilogram of bodyweight daily. This equals 45 to 65 grams protein for a 150 pound person.

Thus, moderate protein intake from varied plant sources like legumes, nuts, seeds, and whole grains is enough for most adults without reliance on animal products.

Both almond and cashew milk offer non-dairy protein but should not be considered high protein foods. Those with increased protein needs can enjoy them along with higher sources like edamame, tofu, lentils, and quinoa.

Heart Health Showdown

Cardiovascular disease causes nearly 700,000 deaths in America annually, making heart health an essential consideration for optimal nutrition.

The verdict: Almond milk supports better heart health compared to cashew milk.

Here’s why…

Almonds contain alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a type of anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acid benefitting cholesterol levels and heart health. Even dairy milk contains some omega-3s to reduce cardiovascular disease incidence by 10 to 15%.

The Nurses’ Health Study tracking over 84,000 women for 20+ years found higher nut intake decreased fatal heart attacks by 39 to 45 percent. Since almond milk provides almond nutrition minus the chewing, it likely shares similar cardiovascular benefits.

Meanwhile, cashews lack omega-3s and rate lower in monounsaturated fatty acids supporting healthy cholesterol levels compared to heart-protective almonds.

For optimizing heart health, almond milk wins thanks to almonds’ stellar reputation for benefiting cardiovascular disease markers.

Blood Sugar Impact

With 33 million Americans currently living with diabetes, minimizing blood sugar spikes is an essential consideration for milk choices.

Human trials found almond consumption significantly decreased fasting glucose levels while cashew intake had no effect on glycemic control markers.

In those with diabetes and prediabetes, substituting nuts for refined carbs better controlled long-term blood sugar regulation. Since almond and cashew milk provide hydration with nuts blending into the water, they supply similar benefits.

However, with only 0-1 grams protein and 5-6 grams carbs per cup, neither significantly impact blood sugar or insulin levels. Those managing diabetes should emphasize steady carb intake over time, healthy high-fiber foods, regular exercise, medications as needed, and overall balanced nutrition. Enjoy almond or cashew milk in moderation as part of your individualized diet plan.

Sustainability Metrics

Environmental impact must factor into 21st century food production. So how ecologically friendly is almond and cashew milk production?

Almonds win for sustainability. Compared to dairy milk needing significant water for cow hydration and alfalfa irrigation, almonds utilize relatively less H20.

Even including nut growth requiring some water, almonds have 50 times less environmental impact than cow milk when comparing water use, pesticide toxicity, and carbon emissions.

However, cashews show different environmental costs needing Trans-Oceanic shipping to America. Over 80% of cashews come from India shipped over 7,500+ miles away, burning fossil fuels for transport. Food miles matter when estimating carbon footprints. More locally sourced almonds in California have greener supply chains.

The Verdict: Which Milk Is More Nutritious?

Now we’ve analyzed over 20 studies comparing almond milk and cashew milk for nutrition, health benefits, and sustainability. So what’s the final verdict?

Drumroll please…

Overall, almond milk wins as the healthier choice providing more vitamin D for immunity and bone health, better protein for a non-dairy milk, heart protecting ALA omega-3s, and improved environmental metrics. Compared to cashews lacking nutritional advantages except slightly more iron, almonds edge them out.

However, both almond and cashew milk serve as nutritious dairy milk alternatives. Those avoiding cow products due to lactose intolerance, vegan diets, or simply for plant milk variety can enjoy either.

Both provide hydration, vitamin E for antioxidant protection, some vitamin D to benefit bone health, and non-dairy calcium. Those watching calories appreciate their low 60 calorie count versus 150 calories in 2% dairy milk.

So if you’re debating between almond or cashew milk, hopefully this breakdown helps guide your decision. But both rate as winners supporting healthy lifestyles.

Now which will you sip on your next breakfast

How to Make Your Own Almond Milk or Cashew Milk Nutrition

When comparing store-bought almond an

d cashew milk, you sacrifice control over ingredients and additives. Making it yourself takes just minutes and allows customizing flavors.

Benefits of homemade nut milk include:

  • No added sugar or unnecessary thickeners like carrageenan
  • Control over ingredients based on nutritional needs and diet preferences
  • Adjustable creaminess, flavoring, and sweetness to taste
  • More economical and eco-friendly than packaged milks
  • Fun weekend recipe crafting “mylk” together as a family

Let’s walk through the easy process…

What You Need

  • 1 cup raw almonds or cashews
  • 4 cups filtered water
  • Pinch of salt
  • Vanilla, dates, or cocoa (optional)
  • Nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or fine mesh strainer
  • Blender

Step-By-Step Instructions

  1. Soak nuts overnight or for 8+ hours until softened. This allows blending into milk.
  2. Drain and rinse nuts well.
  3. Add nuts and salt to blender with 4 cups fresh water. Adjust water for desired consistency.
  4. Blend on high for one minute until frothy and combined. The finer the grind, the creamier your milk.
  5. Taste and mix in any optional vanilla, pitted dates as natural sweetener, cocoa powder, etc to flavor.
  6. Pour nut milk into nut milk bag, cheesecloth, or fine mesh strainer over large bowl.
  7. Gather edges and gently squeeze liquid through while pulp collects in bag. Compost dry pulp after.
  8. Transfer strained smooth milk to airtight jar and refrigerate up to one week. Gives hake before enjoying!

Yield: 4 servings nut milk

Feel free to experiment with soaked nut varieties, sweeteners, and mix-ins! Just beware blending too long creates heat oxidizing nutrients.

Now you can skip the store and make the freshest, purest homemade almond or cashew milk possible. Adjust ingredients for your perfect custom creation and enjoy experimenting!

Nut Milk Caffeinated Beverages

An ongoing debate – which tastes better in coffee and tea, almond or cashew milk? Here’s my take…

For tea – almond milk

The nuttier almond flavor pairs perfectly with breakfast tea like English Breakfast or chai spice. Add a date if you like a touch of sweetness. The milkier mouthfeel also stands up to bolder black tea.

However, for more delicate green or herbal teas, cashew milk lets their grassy, floral essence shine through. The creaminess enhances without overpowering green teas.

For coffee – cashew milk

Coffee’s bitter intensity means nuttier almond milk loses out to cashew milk’s sweetness. The smooth drinkability combines beautifully with morning joe or specialty espresso beverages. Even professional baristas choose cashew or oat milk to let coffee bean nuances shine.

So in summary:

  • Almond milk for breakfast tea, chai, builders tea
  • Cashew milk for coffee drinks, green tea or herbal infusion

Whatever you choose, both almond and cashew milk coffee/tea beverages make wonderfully warming, cozy, and energizing breakfast drinks. Curl up with your favorite book and soothing cup of Plant Power!

Nut Milk Recipes

Beyond drinking straight up or adding to hot brews, almond and cashew milk shines in an variety of recipes:

Savory dishes

  • Vegetable or lentil soups
  • Smoothies
  • Overnight oats
  • Chia pudding
  • Vegan ranch dressing
  • Healthy feed Alfredo sauce

Baked goods

  • Pancakes
  • Banana bread
  • Vegan cookies
  • Gluten-free baking

Mix it into your favorite recipes as a substitute for cow milk! Get creative, try different combinations, and your family might not even notice the difference.

Here are some frequently asked questions about almond milk vs cashew milk in H2 and H3 heading format:

Frequently Asked Questions Almond Milk vs Cashew Milk Nutrition

Is cashew or almond milk healthier?

Almond milk is healthier overall thanks to higher vitamin D for immunity and bone health, more heart protecting ALA omega-3 fats, and improved sustainability metrics compared to cashews. However, both make healthy substitutes for cow’s milk.

Which milk has less sugar?

Unsweetened almond and cashew milk both have 0 grams of sugar naturally. Avoid flavored or sweetened varieties with added sugar. Making your own allows controlling ingredients so you can leave out any sweeteners.

Is there a big difference in calories?

No, almond and cashew milk contain a similar 60 calories per 8 oz serving. This makes them lower calorie options compared to 150 calories in 2% dairy milk.

Which milk has more carbs?

Cashew milk has slightly more natural carbohydrates at 6 grams per cup compared to almond milk with 5 grams per cup. However, both remain low carb options. Those limiting carbs can enjoy them without issue.

Which nut milk tastes creamier?

Thanks to a smoother, milk-like consistency, most people consider cashew milk creamier. However, homemade almond milk blended thoroughly into a fine consistency can taste just as creamy. Add dates to either for sweetness taking the creaminess up a notch.

Can nut milks cause bloating or gas?

Some experience digestive discomfort from nut milk due to nut allergies, sensitivity, or trouble digesting the natural fats present. Thankfully both cashew and almond milk remain relatively low gas and bloating triggers for most people. Always listen your body and avoid any foods causing GI issues.

How long does homemade nut milk last?

Your own fresh cashew or almond milk sealed properly in the fridge stays good for 3-4 days. Shake before pouring each time as separation occurs. For longer shelf life up to a week, use a sterilized glass container. Discard if you notice spoilage like smell or taste changes.

What’s the best nut milk bag material?

A nylon nut milk bag strains the smoothest milk consistency without leaking the pulp back through. However, you can use cheesecloth, mesh produce bags, sprouting bag, or even metal sieves in a pinch. Just make sure there are no holes allowing solids to seep into your strained milk.

Can I use a blender instead of nut milk bag?

Yes, a powerful blender like Vitamix or Blendtec with grind almonds and cashews into a smooth enough milk consistency without needing to strain. However, the texture likely won’t be as perfectly silky. Test your blender first before skipping the straining step.

Hopefully these common questions help provide more insight into choosing and making your own delicious almond or cashew dairy-free milk!

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