Cow Dairy Alternatives
If you have a sensitivity to cow dairy it is important to know about various milk alternatives and calcium substitutes. The effects of cow dairy allergies and sensitivities range from person to person. In a full fledged dairy allergy, lactose and casein create an adverse response in the immune system, creating a range of symptoms from skin rashes, flatulence and fatigue. Those who are not “allergic” to cow dairy, may still be “dairy intolerant”, lacking in the digestive enzyme necessary to breakdown lactose. If you suspect a dairy allergy consider getting allergy testing or consider cutting dairy out of your diet for four weeks and see how you feel when you add it back in.
Though many of us grew up believing milk was the only way to meet our calcium needs, this is simply not true. Calcium is abundant in many non-dairy, vegan sources including sesame seeds, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, mozarella cheese, blackstrap mollases and mustard greens. If you find yourself sensitive to cow dairy, try some of the following milk alternatives:
Goat milk– the protein structure of goat milk is less complex than cow dairy and may be easier for your body to digest. The taste is slightly “tangy” and may take some getting used to.
Hemp Milk– made from the chia seed, hemp milk has the full benefits of omega 3 fatty acids. Hemp milk is a great substitute for morning smoothies and cereals.
Almond milk- with a nice nutty flavor, almonds are complete with Vitamin E and offer a great source of protein. Almond cheese offers an interesting twist on the traditional grill cheese sandwich.
Soy milk- is a very popular beverage and a good alternative in moderation. Some research shows that it can interfere with our body’s natural estrogen receptors, and therefore it is best to avoid in refined forms like isolated protein powders.