Almond Milk Health Benefits, Natural Breast Enlargement, and Breastfeeding
Whether you’re vegan or just looking for ways to cut back on dairy, you may be thinking of adding almond milk to your diet. With cow’s milk, many women have concerns about hormones. But what about almond milk? Should you have the same concerns? Can almond milk make your breasts bigger?
Before we dive into these questions, let’s take a closer look at what almond milk is and its potential health benefits.
What Is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is exactly what it sounds like – milk made from almonds. It’s not milk in the traditional sense (it doesn’t come from an animal), but its color and texture are similar. It’s meant to serve as an alternative to cow’s milk for vegans, those who are lactose intolerant or anyone wanting to limit their intake of dairy products.
While this plant milk has recently surged in popularity, it’s not a new invention. In fact, almond milk was invented in Italy in the 12th century. It was often consumed during times of religious fasting.
Almond milk is incredibly simple to make.
- First, the almonds are soaked in water.
- Next, the almonds are ground up in excess water.
- The pulp, or flesh, of the almonds is filtered out.
- The creamy white liquid that’s left behind is almond milk.
Another way to make almond milk is to add water to almond butter.
The almond milk you find in the grocery store is also pasteurized and homogenized to extend its shelf life.
Sweeteners and flavors (like vanilla) may also be added. Many manufacturers also add protein, vitamins and minerals.
Almond Milk Health Benefits
Although not as nutrient-dense and beneficial as whole almonds, almond milk does offer some health benefits.
Enriched almond milk is rich in beneficial nutrients. In fact, some are just as nutritious as cow’s milk.
Enriched products may include added:
- Vitamin D
But even products that aren’t enriched contain several vitamins and minerals, including:
- Vitamin E
Unfortunately, many of the minerals in almond milk aren’t well absorbed, and that’s because almonds contain phytic acid. Phytic acid is an anti-nutrient that makes it harder for the body to absorb zinc, magnesium and iron.
Low in Calories
Whole almonds have quite a bit of fat and are generally high in calories. Almond milk, however, is diluted with water, so it’s low in calories. Its fat content is comparable to 1% cow’s milk.
On average, one cup of almond milk contains less than 50 calories. However, some types of almond milk may have added sugar and other ingredients that increase the calorie count. Homemade almond milk may also have more calories because it’s not as diluted as their commercial counterparts.
May Reduce the Risk of Heart Disease
Oleic acid is the main fatty acid in almond oil, and this fatty acid is believed to help lower bad cholesterol. In fact, one study found that adults who consumed 66g of almonds per day for six weeks lowered their bad cholesterol by 6% and their triglycerides by 14%.
The vitamin E and polyphenols in almond milk also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that can help promote heart health.
Can Be a Great Source of Calcium
For many people, dairy products are an important source of calcium. If you’re on a plant-based diet or are lactose intolerant, almond milk may be able to fill that calcium gap.
Almonds only contain a small amount of calcium, but manufacturers of commercial almond milk typically enrich their products with added calcium. In many cases, enriched products are on par with cow’s milk in the calcium department.
Why is calcium so important? For starters, it supports healthy bones. For women, calcium is especially important because it helps reduce the risk of osteoporosis and can help reduce the risk of fractures in those who already have osteoporosis.
Can Almonds Make Your Breasts Bigger (If Not Breastfeeding)?
There’s a rumor going around that drinking almond milk can make your breasts bigger. Women who are looking for natural ways to enhance their breasts may turn to almond milk thinking that they’ve found a safe solution. But does it really work? Can almond milk make your breasts bigger?
Unfortunately, there’s no solid evidence that almond milk will have any effect on the size of your breasts. Sure, you can search “can almond milk make your breasts bigger” on Google and find lots of results that say “yes, it can.” But we don’t have any solid studies or research to back up this claim. All we have is anecdotal evidence.
So, where did this rumor come from anyway? One word: phytoestrogens.
Phytoestrogens are plant compounds that can mimic the hormone estrogen. Estrogen plays an important role in breast growth during puberty.
Because almonds are rich in phytoestrogens, people assume that they can help your breasts grow.
According to research, most (three-fourths) of almond’s phytoestrogens are lignans, which are actually just precursors to phytoestrogens. Although phytoestrogens can have an estrogenic effect, it’s typically much weaker than what naturally occurs in the body.
That being said, a quarter of the phytoestrogens in almond milk are isoflavones, and these have a more significant estrogenic effect. Isoflavones act more like the estrogen found in your body, but almond milk only contains a small amount of them.
Does Almond Milk Help You Grow Breasts?
Right now, we have no evidence that almonds can help you grow breasts. We discussed the phytoestrogens in almonds and how they don’t really impact breast growth (that we know of).
But there’s another thing to consider here.
Phytoestrogens are believed to bind to estrogen receptors in the body, which can actually block natural estrogen. What does this mean? It’s possible that phytoestrogens may prevent breast growth.
What Food Makes Your Breasts Bigger (If Not Breastfeeding)?
If you’re looking for a natural way to increase your breast size, you may be wondering whether there are any foods that you can eat to achieve your goal.
And if you search online, you’ll find plenty of articles that claim you can eat certain foods and get bigger breasts, including:
- Cow’s milk
Again, the belief is that many of these foods contain phytoestrogens that can trigger breast growth. But there is no evidence that any foods can increase your breast size, even those that contain phytoestrogens.
Protein-rich foods may increase your breast size, but only if you’re incorporating strength-training exercises that target the chest, back and shoulders.
What Hormones Make Your Breasts Bigger?
So, if almond milk won’t make your breasts bigger and no other foods will help, what can make your breasts bigger? It helps to understand which hormones have an effect on breast growth.
First, it’s important to note that breast size is largely determined by genetics. Your weight and age can also affect the size of your breasts.
Now, back to the hormones.
Breast growth is a response to two main hormones: progesterone and estrogen. When you enter puberty, levels of these two hormones increase, and this causes your breasts to grow.
During pregnancy, progesterone, estrogen and prolactin stimulate breast growth and the production of milk. Your breasts will continue to grow throughout your pregnancy as your body prepares for breastfeeding.
Almond Milk While Breastfeeding
We’ve answered the question “can almond milk make your breasts bigger?” and we’ve talked about how hormones affect your breast growth. But what if you’re already breastfeeding? Is it safe to drink almond milk? Can it help with your milk supply?
Can I Drink Almond Milk While Breastfeeding?
Yes, you can drink almond milk while breastfeeding, but it’s best to avoid sweetened and flavored varieties. Plain almond milk or even homemade almond milk may be the better option.
It may be better to eat whole, raw almonds instead of drinking almond milk. Nuts are high in protein and contain some calcium.
As always, make sure that you talk to your doctor before adding almonds or almond milk to your diet.
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Does Almond Milk Increase Milk Supply?
Can almond milk actually increase your milk supply? Possibly. Almonds and other nuts contain monounsaturated fats that can boost the richness of your milk. But it’s important to remember that we’re talking about whole nuts here.
Almond milk is heavily diluted with water, which greatly reduces the fat content. There’s no solid research that states whether almond milk can boost your milk supply.
Almond Milk While Breastfeeding – Pros and Cons
There are benefits and drawbacks to drinking almond milk while you’re breastfeeding.
- Easy to add into your diet
- Enriched products are a great source of calcium
- Low in calories
- Added sugar and flavors can add calories
- Some moms don’t like the flavor
Almond Milk Breastfeeding Gas
You may have heard that dairy foods can cause gas for both moms and babies while breastfeeding, but what about almond milk?
It really depends on you and your baby. With some babies, all types of milk – dairy and non-dairy – make them gassy.
In other cases, moms who had to cut out all dairy found that almond milk helped get rid of their baby’s gas.
Almond milk is a great alternative to cow’s milk, whether you’re breastfeeding or just looking to remove dairy from your diet. While you shouldn’t expect it to increase the size of your breasts, it may help increase your milk supply if you’re breastfeeding and offer some health benefits.