June is National Dairy Month, giving you one more reason to incorporate milk, cheese, yogurt, and other delicious dairy foods into your daily diet. If you happen to be vegan or following a dairy-free diet for health reasons, you can celebrate the month with tasty non-dairy alternatives. Here are a few dairy-rich recipes with tasty suggestions for non-dairy substitutes.

Woman drinking milk

Dairy for health

According to the National Dairy Council, Americans are currently only consuming about two dairy servings per day, putting them at risk for deficiencies in calcium, vitamin D, magnesium, potassium and other key nutrients for health. Adding just one more daily serving of low-fat or fat-free dairy can help fill some of America's nutrient gaps.

Further, research shows that three servings of dairy is not only good for your bones, it can help you lose weight, improve your heart health, and reduce your risk of diabetes and metabolic syndrome.

Dairy for athletes

If you're an athlete, research indicates that drinking chocolate milk as a post-workout drink promotes hydration, reduces muscle damage, and improves muscle recovery. Milk is a high-quality source of carbohydrates, protein, and electrolytes.

The health benefits of drinking milk >>

Common non-dairy substitutes

Due to a growing number of people who are turning to non-dairy alternatives, there are many dairy-free substitutions you can incorporate into your meals so you can continue to enjoy your favorite recipes.

  • Dairy-free milks include soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, rice milk, hemp milk, and flaxmilk (the most recent addition to the non-dairy milk options).
  • Dairy-free cream is available or you can make your own coconut milk whipped cream.
  • Swap out regular butter with Earth Balance and vegan margarines.
  • Substitute cheese with dairy-free cheeses including almond cheese, tofu-based cheese, and a variety of vegan cheeses.
  • Dairy-free yogurt includes soy-based yogurts and cultured coconut milk.
  • Peruse the freezer section at your local health foods store for non-dairy ice creams.

Easy ways to remove dairy from your diet >>

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