Legendary comic Lewis Black once said, "There is no such thing as soy milk. It is soy juice."
Author Dean Koontz declared, "I do not permit ... obscenities such as soy milk at my table."
People may get stirred up about soy, as well as almond, cashew, hemp, oat, pea, and rice milks, but they provide a good alternative to anyone who is lactose intolerant or allergic to dairy — and they're mostly saturated fat-free.
Until now, there wasn't much information on their mineral content. But recent research presented at the American Chemical Society meeting analyzed magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, and selenium content of plant-based milk alternatives.
Researchers highlighted these minerals because they aren't required to be listed on the "Nutrition Facts" label and are components of dairy milk, which traditionally has been many Americans' primary source for them.
The researchers also called attention to the fact that plant milks can be low in protein, calcium, iodine, and vitamin B12 — additional nutrients found in dairy milk.
What they found was that pea-based drinks had the most phosphorus, zinc, and selenium; and soy drinks averaged the highest amounts of magnesium. Of all the samples analyzed, only pea- and soy-based drinks had higher levels of those four essential minerals than cow's milk, with pea-based drinks containing about 50% higher levels of phosphorus, zinc, and selenium.
If you consume plant milks, consider the benefits of soy and pea milk. Also take half a multivitamin containing both vitamins and minerals twice a day, and make sure to get enough plant-based and lean protein.