Cutting dairy and most of its products from all your meals is one of the hallmarks of the Paleo diet. The challenge then is finding healthy alternatives that are also flavorful.
With many other options ruled out because of their seed, grain, or nut source, some alternatives like hemp milk are emerging. Hemp milk is also a tricky choice for many since you make it from the hemp seed, which brings the question, is hemp milk paleo?
Hemp milk will serve as an excellent alternative to dairy milk in a paleo diet when used in a supporting role. However, paleo experts recommend using it in moderation because it lacks the balance of nutrients. But hemp milk does have several other health benefits.
Hemp milks omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is 3:1 compared to the ideal optimal of 4:1. Fortunately, this ratio is better than that of soy milk, which you cannot have on a paleo diet or even almond milk as it also lacks omega 3. Another reason why hemp milk is suitable for paleo is that your body tolerates it better. It also does not have anti-nutrients common in legumes and nuts.
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What Are The Benefits Of Hemp Milk?
After finding the answer to is hemp milk paleo, you need to know its benefits. These benefits are what make it one of the healthiest dairy milk alternatives. Hemp milk contains the following nutrients;
- It has plenty of calcium
- Potassium: which helps mitigate pain and aches.
- Zinc, whose deficiency is a common issue across the population
- Vitamins A, B12, and Vitamin E; which boost your immune system and other bodily functions.
- It contains 20 amino acids, including the ten essential amino acids that your body cannot make by itself.
- It contains omega-6 and omega-3 fatty acids between 2:1 and 3:1. These two are essential for your brain and cardiovascular health.
- It naturally reduces the levels of bad cholesterol in your body without negatively affecting other blood components.
- The milk contains anti-inflammatory properties, which help in fighting various conditions in the body.
- Hemp milk does not contain phytic acid, which is an anti-nutrient as it binds with important minerals in the human diet affecting their absorption.
- Hemp milk contains a higher amount of concentrated and highly digestible proteins.
- It is a low-FODMAP food that makes it an excellent alternative to people who may not tolerate almond and coconut milk.
Where To Find Hemp Milk
You get hemp milk from hemp hearts which is the name for shelled hemp seeds. The milk is available commercially, and you can also create it from scratch at home. If you are going to buy from commercial sources, you will need to watch out for sweeteners and additives. These include ingredients like xantham gum and carrageenan, which could harm your gut.
Fortunately, you have the option of making your hemp milk. The ingredients you need include;
- A cup of hemp hearts
- 4 cups of filtered water
- Two dates
- A pinch of salt
For tools, all you will need is a blender and a strainer. Place all your ingredients in the blender and blend for about 90 seconds until all the ingredients are thoroughly blended or turn milky in color. Then strain the milk into a cup, and you will have your hemp milk ready for use. Your homemade hemp lacks any stabilizer, so it will separate while in the refrigerator.
A good shaking will always solve it before you use it for any recipe and anywhere as an alternative for dairy milk.
Other Dairy Milk Alternatives
Hemp milk is not the only option you have as an alternative to dairy milk. Other solutions include;
Coconut milk is a common option and a good one, too, if you do not have any digestive complications with it. It is delicious and nutritious, and readily available. There are also multiple recipes on how to use it for your meals and other snacks. Coconut milk is also an excellent option for recipes that need thick creams.
These usually come from almonds and cashews and occasionally hazelnut or pistachio. They are not as readily available as coconut milk, and you also must be strict in your selection to avoid picking options full of junk. The best option, as with hemp, is to make your nut milk at home to avoid the risk of picking products with additives.
Dairy Alternatives To Avoid
As you look for dairy alternatives, there are some options you should avoid. These are often grain source types of milk and include options like;
- Soy milk: soy is not a paleo food, and neither is any of its many products, including soy milk.
- Rice milk: while white rice could be borderline paleo, the same does not apply to brown rice, which is often used to make rice milk.
- Oat milk: oats are grains and are not paleo.
Even though you can drink hemp milk on the paleo diet, it’s best only to drink it in small quantities because the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio is 3:1 compared to the ideal optimal of 4:1. However, you may be able to balance the ratio out with your overall diet.
Another thing to keep in mind when it comes to the omega-6 to omega-3 ratio, studies have shown ratios from 1:1 to 5:1 have helped with various health issues.