Looking for a dairy and lactose free milk? Almond milk is a great option. It tastes good and has some health benefits especially if you don’t want to drink soy milk.
However, not every option suits every person. If you’ve been having any stomach problems after starting to drink almond milk, you may be wondering, can almond milk cause constipation?
The answer is… It depends.
It depends on what is in the almond milk you drink as well as some other factors. We have all the answers below whether you are asking for yourself or wondering can almond milk make a baby constipated?
But first, a quick description of what almond milk is and why you might want to drink it.
What Is Almond Milk?
Almond milk is a low calorie (if unsweetened) alternative to cow’s milk and soy milk. It’s free of any unsaturated fats and lactose.
Almond milk is made from ground almonds and water that are blended and strained to create a smooth milk product. This is all almond milk needs to contain.
However, store bought almond milk is likely to contain other ingredients depending on the type and brand. It will usually have starches and thickeners added to give it a more consistent taste and texture and to improve its self life. Flavoring is also often added.
Naturally, there is not much calcium or protein in almond milk although some store bought versions will add calcium, vitamin A and vitamin D.
It’s all these additives that can lead to problems with almond milk and constipation.
If you have any nut or almond allergies, you should not drink almond milk.
Why Drink Almond Milk? Is It Good For You?
Almond milk can have many benefits especially when calcium and vitamins A and D are added. It doesn’t have the same amount of benefits as almonds themselves as the process of making it does not leave much of the almonds in the milk.
First of all, if you are looking for a low calorie milk option, unsweetened almond oil is your best choice. This option is also low in sugar thanks to a big percentage of almond milk being water. This makes almond milk great for weight loss.
It naturally contains vitamin E which is an antioxidant that helps with inflammation and stress in the body. Extra vitamin E is also added.
If vitamin D is added, it helps with bone health, heart and immune function. Likewise, added calcium is important for bone health and the development of bones.
Almond milk is low in phosphorus and can be a good option for people who want to reduce their potassium and phosphorus intake.
What Is Constipation?
Constipation is when it is hard to empty your bowels. It’s generally defined as having less than three bowel movements per week.
Your stools can be hard, it can hurt to take a bowel movement and your stomach can become hard and in pain.
It’s not a pleasant condition at all, but occasional constipation is quite common.
Does Almond Milk Cause Constipation?
Can almond milk make you constipated? As stated above, it depends!
It depends exactly what has been added to the almond milk and how your individual body reacts to these ingredients.
In general, it is rare homemade almond milk, which just has almonds and water, will lead to constipation.
The more things that are added to almond milk, the more likely your body will have an issue.
Some ingredients that may be added to almond milk that may cause you to experience constipation are:
- Calcium Carbonate – this is what is added to increase the calcium in almond milk. This type of calcium is concentrated and cheap and too much can cause constipation and bloating
- Carrageenan – this seaweed extract is added to some almond milks to help thicken the milk and give it a nice, creamy consistency. What isn’t so nice is that carrageenan has been found to inflame and be toxic to the digestive track although this finding can be controversial.
- Flavoring – store bought almond milk can have many flavoring additives, any of which can be problematic
- Tree Nut Sensitivity – perhaps you are sensitive or intolerant to almonds and this causes problems for you which you haven’t realized before
The best way to check if your almond milk is causing you an issue is to stop drinking it and see if the constipation goes away.
If it does, you could try a different type of almond milk with fewer additives, preferably one that avoids some of the potential problems listed above to see if you can tolerate that type.
Even better, you could make your own almond milk and avoid all the additives all together.
Can Almond Milk Cause Constipation In Babies?
Babies should be drinking formula or breast milk rather than almond milk to get all the nutrients they need.
Once they are 12+ months old, it may be possible to introduce almond milk but not in place of breast milk or formula. Toddlers have more sensitive stomachs than adults and may be more prone to get constipation from almond milk.
I hope you have found this guide to whether almond milk can cause constipation useful. To summarise, almond milk constipation can happen especially in store bought almond milk which can have many additives.
If you do experience constipation from almond milk, changing types might help and making your own almond milk should make a big difference.
Want more information on almond milk and other almond products? Find all our useful guides here and our guide to using almond milk in coffee here. You can also find out how almond milk compares to cashew milk here. Or if cashews cause constipation here.