When it comes to beautiful skin and hair, you might be surprised to know that dairy products can actually hamper your natural beauty goals. We have been told since a young age that we must eat dairy for the health of our bones, to promote healthy intestinal flora (think Activia yogurt belly dancing ads), weight loss and for the cool white moustache. But really think about it. Milk comes from the breast of a cow – to feed her young. Humans are the only species that habitually drink others’ milk, and the only species that continues to consume dairy in their adult years. It is no wonder that milk products are difficult for a large percentage of the population to digest. Lactose intollerance is so common that you don’t go far without meeting someone who can’t digest dairy; and yet, people take pills to avoid the affects of eating dairy! Shouldn’t we take a hint from our body’s reaction?
While there are many reasons that dairy has negative impacts on your health, for example the prominence of antibiotics and horomones such as the recombinant bovine growth horomone (the Monsanto engineered horomone that studies show increases risk of heart disease and cancer), there are more reasons to keep away from the dairy aisle and I want to highlight three: casein, acidity and lactose.
Casein & Cancer
A famous study by Dr. T. Colin Campbell called “The China Study” is worth noting (and worth reading during your own health journey) when we discuss dairy. In his 20 year study focusing on nutrition and health, the link between diet and diseases such as diabetes, cancer and heart disease is seemingly uncovered. In his study, casein (found in dairy products and makes up 80% of the protein found in cow’s milk) was found to have a carcinogenic effect on humans – at all stages of the cancer’s development. Many other studies have been conducted on the case, and are worth taking a further look.
Acidity, Beauty & Osteoporosis
For beauty, we know digestion is key. When we eat “acidically”, our digestive system creates more mucus and slows itself down. Slow digestion means blocked toxins and where else can they release but through your largest organ, your skin. Many people who consume a lot of dairy find they have skin problems despite doing everything else right. Dr. Colin Campbell argues that because consuming dairy increases the acidic pH of your body, calcium is actually leeched from your bones to help alkalize the body back to a stable state, weakening the bones and teeth. It is no wonder that countries that do not consume much dairy and instead have primarily plant based diets (think China and Japan) have significantly lower incidences of osteoporosis.
Lactose & Bloat
The last point is lactose; a sugar naturally occurring in milk products. Simply put, sugar is a sure fire way to increase the rate at which you age and acidify your body and lactose itself is great at promoting gas and bloating. The best bet is to just avoid it.
I avoid dairy wherever possible and find that to be easy with the wide array of substitutions available at health food stores, organic shops and natural food grocers. Try almond, quinoa, hemp, coconut and amaranth milks, or better yet, make your own!
Organic Almond Milk Recipe
The best way is homemade, so if you have a few minutes avoid the preservatives (even if they seem natural in origin) and get blending. Below is a quick (aside from the soaking) and easy way to make your own organic almond milk. So without further adieu, here is an easy almond milk recipe.
Step 1: Soak 1 cp of organic almonds for 8 hours
Step 2: Drain almonds with a strainer (use the drainage to water plants – the water is full of nutrients)
Step 3: Blend soaked almonds in with 4 cps of water (let it go for a minute or two) and add in any flavouring you wish (vanilla, dates, or nothing at all!)
Step 4: Pour the contents through a nut bag (below) or use cheese cloth to strain the grits
Step 5: Pour into a glass capped bottle and refrigerate. Enjoy within 3 days.
Cheers to your health, beauties!