In a quest to lead healthy lives, we’re always on the lookout for drinks and foods that promise to give us the best as far as our dietary needs are concerned. Almond milk is one of the drinks popping up in almost every search. If digestion is a concern, you may be asking, can almond milk cause constipation?
Commercially processed almond milk can cause constipation because they contain additives, thickness and preservatives which interfere with digestion. Homemade almond milk is less likely to cause constipation because of the lack of additives and high fiber content.
Although almond milk’s popularity has skyrocketed, not everyone has seamlessly replaced their dairy milk with almond milk. Keep reading to find out what there is to know about almond milk and constipation. In addition, this article includes answers to FAQS about almond milk consumption.
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Does Almond Milk Cause Constipation?
Constipation occurs when one has difficulty emptying their bowels 1. A person with constipation may poop less than three times per week. Several dietary-related factors cause this condition, the primary cause being a low fiber intake 2.
Almond milk doesn’t make you constipated because of its high fiber content 3.
However, some store-bought almond milk brands may trigger stomach upsets, including constipation, due to the various additives in the end product, e.g., thickeners and artificial flavors 4.
Here are five reasons why commercially processed almond milk may trigger constipation:
- Some commercially produced almond milk brands are fortified with calcium carbonate to boost calcium naturally present in animal-based milk but significantly low in plant-based milk alternatives. Although the calcium carbonate helps mimic regular milk, most manufacturers go for cheap calcium carbonate often highly concentrated.
- A high calcium intake can interfere with the digestive system causing constipation, bloating and kidney stones, among other gastrointestinal issues 5.
- Artificial flavors added to enhance the almond milk’s flavor cause digestive issues linked to constipation.
- Given that almond milk is made from almonds, individuals with nut sensitivity can get constipation from its consumption.
- Some brands contain questionable ingredients like carrageenan obtained from red algae. Such components are linked to gastrointestinal issues, including constipation. Therefore, it’s advisable to read the ingredients list on the packaging before getting a certain almond milk brand from the stores 6.
How To Deal With Constipation Caused by Almond Milk
If, after consuming store-bought almond milk, you experience constipation and suspect the milk might be the trigger, here’s how you can address the situation.
Stop drinking almond milk for a while and observe the changes. If constipation ceases, its clear almond milk is the trigger. In such a case, if you still want to consume this plant-based dairy alternative, you should consider going for homemade varieties.
Homemade almond milk is better than store-bought variants because:
- It contains no added preservatives and chemicals.
- It’s made from 100% natural ingredients—it doesn’t contain questionable elements.
- Since homemade almond milk isn’t mass-produced, it contains no thickeners, sweeteners, and stabilizers.
In a nutshell, when it comes to homemade almond milk, you control what gets into it, which means you can easily eliminate the use of questionable ingredients and additives that can trigger constipation.
Side Effects of Almond Milk
In addition to constipation, does almond milk have side effects? Almond milk has the following four side effects:
- Allergic reactions: If you’re sensitive to tree nuts, this milk is likely to trigger allergic reactions in your body.
- Sugar-laden: Some commercially processed brands contain artificial sweeteners to boost their flavor, which increases the milk’s sugar content. Consuming sweetened almond milk can put you at risk of diabetes, weight gain or tooth cavities.
- Affect thyroids: Almond’s nutty flavor may irritate thyroid glands when consumed in large quantities. This irritation may cause swelling of the thyroid glands, which interferes with the absorption and assimilation of iodine in the body.
- Migraines: Almond milk contains amino acid tyrosine which can trigger or increase migraine attacks in highly sensitive individuals.
Almond Milk Nutritional Composition
Before finding out whether almond milk can cause you constipation, let’s first look at its nutritional composition.
Almond milk is nutrient-dense, rich in fiber, and low in calories compared to standard animal-based milk. It is also rich in vitamins E and D, magnesium, amino acids and antioxidants 7.
Its significant amount of minerals, antioxidants and fiber make it an ideal substitute for animal-based milk for people with lactose intolerance and those looking for a healthy beverage.
Q: Is Almond Milk Safe for Consumption?
Almond milk is safe for consumption because it’s a healthy, nutrient-dense substitute for animal-based milk. It’s rich in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, essential for the well-being of the body.
Q: Can Almond Milk Cause Stomach Upsets?
Almond milk can cause stomach upsets because some people with tree nut allergies react to almond milk. A nut-based drink can irritate the stomach lining upon its consumption. This can cause gastrointestinal issues like bloating, nausea and gas.
Q: Is Almond Milk Good for Toddlers?
Almond milk is not good for toddlers because the high fiber content might be too complex for a toddler’s digestive system. In addition, toddlers need higher servings of fat the comes with animal-based milk that nut-based milk doesn’t contain.
Fats are critical for proper brain development and gross motor skills, and if toddlers are not getting enough fats in their diets, they might have learning issues later in life 8.
Therefore, one or two servings of almond milk either on its own or when mixed with cereals might be okay for toddlers unless they are allergic to nuts. Always check with a physician about what nutrition is appropriate for you or your child.
Wrapping Up Almond Milk
Almond milk is a nutritious plant-based milk alternative for regular animal-based milk 9. This beverage has won the hearts of vegans, lactose intolerant individuals and those on the path of a healthy lifestyle 10.
Homemade almond milk is the best compared to commercially processed versions. It comes loaded with fiber and doesn’t contain artificial sweeteners, preservatives and questionable ingredients that can trigger stomach upsets, including constipation.
However, if you have nut sensitivity, this nut-based milk may not be a good alternative for you.
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- National Institute of Diabetes, and Digestive and Kidney Diseases: Symptoms & Causes of Constipation
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Medical Management of Constipation
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Complementary and Alternative Therapies for Chronic Constipation
- Frontiers in Pediatrics: The Role of Carrageenan and Carboxymethylcellulose in the Development of Intestinal Inflammation
- National Institutes of Health: Calcium
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Digestive fate of dietary carrageenan: Evidence of interference with digestive proteolysis and disruption of gut epithelial function
- USDA: Beverages, almond milk, unsweetened, shelf stable
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Iron requirements of infants and toddlers
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Foods for Special Dietary Needs: Non-dairy Plant-based Milk Substitutes and Fermented Dairy-type Products
- National Center for Biotechnology Information: Effect of high pressure processing on dispersive and aggregative properties of almond milk