Can almond milk cause gas? (+3 health benefits)
In this article, we will answer the question “Can almond milk cause gas?”, and what are the health benefits of Almond milk?
Can almond milk cause gas?
Yes, almond milk can cause gas. Soybean and almond seeds both contain naturally occurring oligosaccharides (OS), predominated by α-galactooligosaccharides, including raffinose, stachyose, and verbascose.
The consumption of almond milk may cause flatulence due to the high abundance of α-galactooligosaccharides in almonds.
The flatulence-causing potential engendered the perception of α-galactooligosaccharides as undesirable components. Nonetheless, α-galactooligosaccharides have been shown to exhibit potential prebiotic activity. (1)
This problem can also occur due to the stabilizers added in the almond milk to make it last longer. One of these stabilizers, carrageenan, is particularly notorious for causing bloating, inflammation, and even stomach ulcers. (2)
Do α-galactooligosaccharides have health benefits?
Yes, despite the perception of α-galactooligosaccharides as undesirable components that urged numerous studies seeking approaches to remove them from almond and other legume products, α-galactooligosaccharides have been shown to exhibit potential prebiotic activity.
Consumption of α-galactooligosaccharides could lead to beneficial health effects, including decreasing total cholesterol and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol and reducing appetite and inflammation in overweight adults (1)
How can carrageenan cause bloating?
At low pH levels (pH < 2), carrageenan undergoes degradation, resulting in the formation of a low molecular weight compound known as “degraded carrageenan” or poligeenan. This degraded form of carrageenan is considered a highly potent inflammatory agent.
Even a small concentration of 1% carrageenan in water is capable of triggering an immune reaction, leading to inflammation within the gastrointestinal system.
Research has shown that prolonged inflammation can serve as a precursor to more severe conditions, including cancer.
Many individuals who have encountered gastrointestinal symptoms, ranging from mild bloating to severe inflammatory bowel disease, have reported significant improvements in their gastrointestinal health by eliminating carrageenan from their diets. (2)
What is the nutritional profile of almond milk?
Almonds consist of several key components, including proteins, lipids (fats), soluble sugars, minerals, and fibers.
The predominant component in almonds is lipids, comprising approximately 35 to 52% of their composition, while proteins make up around 22 to 25%. The lipids found in almonds are predominantly composed of unsaturated fatty acids, while the proteins primarily consist of essential amino acids.
Almonds are abundant in various nutrients, including calcium, magnesium, selenium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, and copper.
Furthermore, they possess prebiotic properties, which can be attributed to the presence of arabinose, a type of carbohydrate that serves as a food source for beneficial gut bacteria. (3)
How can almond milk actually help with gas and bloating?
Almond milk is an alternative milk beverage to people suffering from health conditions which include cow’s milk allergy and lactose intolerance.
Lactose intolerance exhibits symptoms such as flatulence, abdominal discomfort, feeling of swelling, bloating, nausea, borborygmus, vomiting, constipation, depending on the intensity of the clinical case.
The consumption of almond milk can be an effective solution to those suffering with allergy or intolerance against animal milk. (3, 4)
What are the health benefits of almond milk?
Consuming almond milk offers several health benefits, particularly in terms of improving the lipid profile of blood and reducing the risks of cardiovascular diseases.
Almonds also contribute to promoting healthy intestinal transit, preventing anemia and certain types of cancer, and providing protection against free radicals.
Almonds are known for being an excellent source of vitamin E and other antioxidants. However, it’s important to note that almond milk, being primarily composed of water, is a less concentrated source of these beneficial nutrients compared to whole almonds.
Nevertheless, almond milk contains valuable bioactive compounds, including antioxidants such as flavonoids, vitamin E, and polyamines. Additionally, almond milk provides dietary fibers and phytosterols, which contribute to its overall health-promoting properties.(3, 4)
Does almond milk made without stabilizers and preservatives have a short shelf life ?
Yes, when almond milk is made without stabilizers and preservatives and stored at room temperature, its shelf life is relatively short, typically lasting only a few hours. However, if refrigerated at temperatures between 4°C and 5°C, it can stay fresh for approximately 2 to 3 days.
In contrast, almond milk that undergoes pasteurization, followed by aseptic packaging and refrigeration, has a significantly longer shelf life. Under these conditions, it remains stable for a period ranging from 12 to 30 days.
For almond milk that undergoes ultra-pasteurization and is aseptically packaged, its shelf life is substantially extended. At room temperature, this type of almond milk can stay fresh for an impressive duration of 90 to 170 days. (5)
Other FAQs about Milk which you may be interested in.
In this article, we answered the question “Can almond milk cause gas?”, and what are the health benefits of Almond milk?
- Yu-Ping Huang, Bruna Paviani, Naomi K. Fukagawa, Katherine M. Phillips, Daniela Barile, Comprehensive oligosaccharide profiling of commercial almond milk, soy milk, and soy flour. Food Chemistry, 409, 135267, ISSN 0308-8146, 2023.
- Siddiqui, A. A., Feroz, A., Khaki, P. S. S., & Bano, B. Binding of λ-carrageenan (a food additive) to almond cystatin: An insight involving spectroscopic and thermodynamic approach. International Journal of Biological Macromolecules, 98, 684–690. 2017.
- Silva, A. R. A., Silva, M. M. N., & Ribeiro, B. D. Health Issues and Technological Aspects of Plant-based Alternative Milk. Food Research International, 108972. 2020.
- Vanga SK, Raghavan V. How well do plant based alternatives fare nutritionally compared to cow’s milk? J Food Sci Technol.;55(1):10-20.2018.
- Reyes-Jurado, F., et. al. Plant-Based Milk Alternatives: Types, Processes, Benefits, and Characteristics. Food Reviews International, 1–32, 2021