Rice milk is plant-based milk, therefore, dairy-free. Like almond, soy, and coconut milk, rice milk is also a good alternative for those who have lactose intolerance or who prefer a vegan diet. This milk is also suitable for those who are suffering from cancer and don’t want to drink animal milk as it contains hormones (1). Some rice milk benefits are good for the heart, lactose intolerance persons, and lowers the cholesterol level.
Rice milk is prepared from white or preferentially brown rice with water. Commercial preparation of rice milk is mainly with the help of the enzyme α-amylase. the liquid slurry of rice is treated with glucosidase in a saccharification step. This is then further fortified with minerals and vitamins to account for deficiencies compared to animal milk (1).
Is rice milk good for you?
Well, rice milk is not milk as it sounds, although it can be used as a substituent for milk, it definitely lacks the property of milk. But the benefits of rice milk depend upon person to person and what types of diet you want to follow. Like normal cow milk, rice milk lacks lactose which is a type of sugar and cholesterol. Therefore rice milk is healthy for the person who is lactose intolerant or who has high cholesterol.
Rice Milk benefits
Rice milk is obtained from rice. As we all know that rice is a part of staple food for maximum Asia countries since 2000 BC. The main composition of rice is a carbohydrate (80%), protein (7-8%), fat (3%), and fiber (3%) (2). The benefits of rice milk are as follows
1. Healthy for the Heart
As rice milk contains no cholesterol, therefore it is an excellent substituent for those having a high cholesterol problem.
2. Suitable for Lactose intolerance
Lactose is a type of sugar that is made from the combination of two simple types of sugar namely glucose and galactose. Some people have a problem with digesting lactose as they are unable of producing lactose-breaking enzymes in their bodies. Therefore rice milk becomes an alternative to normal dairy milk.
3. Suitable for milk protein allergic
Milk contains mainly two types of protein casins and milk albumin. People who are allergic to these proteins may suffer severe cell damage to consuming milk. Rice milk is a nice alternative source as it does not contain any dairy proteins (3).
4. Good source of Vitamin B
Rice milk is a good source of vitamin B like thiamine, niacin, riboflavin vitamin D, and calcium (2). Vitamin B keeps the nervous system, skin, and eyesight healthy. Therefore, provides energy to the body (4).
5. Good source of carbohydrate
Rice milk is a good source of carbohydrates that provides energy and less fat. Carbohydrate helps in keeping the body fit and fine and lowers the cholesterol level
6. Rice milk benefits skin
Rice is well known for its skin-healing properties. Therefore, the extract of rice is rich in antioxidants and helps in preventing aging effects (7).
Side effects of Rice milk
Rice milk is a good substitute for regular milk but it can not replace the breast milk
Drinking rice milk regularly causes obesity as rice milk contains high sugar (6). Studies show that 100 ml of rice milk contains 4 mg of sugar and therefore it is not balanced nutritionally because of sugar content.
2. Reduce insulin sensitivity
Studies show that taking dairy milk reduces the risk of type 2 diabetes but in contrast to this plant milk like rice milk contains high sugar content, therefore, is not suitable for people who have diabetes (5).
3. High arsenic
In research done on plant-based drinks in 2016 (5), it was found that rice milk contains a high amount of inorganic arsenic. High arsenic in the body causes some serious side effects like heart disease and cancer
4. Low in calcium
Rice milk is low in calcium content compared to dairy milk. Therefore regular intake of rice milk instead of regular dairy milk may increase the chances of osteoporosis. Regular milk along with calcium also contains many other minerals and vitamins which are important for normal bone development and is not present in rice milk (5).