There are many dairy alternatives on the market nowadays, the vast majority of which are now made from nuts, but you cannot beat the original, liquid gold that is cows’ milk!
Milk, as you well know, is a vital source of calcium. In fact, it is one of the world’s top sources of calcium and as the saying goes, ‘them bones them bones need calcium’. But there are also an abundance of other health benefits associated with enjoying a milk-filled diet, some of which you can check out below!
The National Dairy Council note that milk is cram-packed full of nutrients, including nine pretty important ones. These Include: Calcium, Vitamins A, B12 and D. Riboflavin, Niacin, Phosphorus and protein.
Calcium: Not that it needs any further mentioning, but calcium is vital for both bone function AND formation. It helps build up healthy bones, teeth and also helps maintain bone mass and normal muscle function and neurotransmission.
Vitamin A: This is important for the immune system. It helps ensure it is operating efficiently, whilst also presenting benefits for eyesight and skin. The antioxidant potential of milk eliminates, free radicals, which are a dangerous by-product of cellular metabolism and partially to blame for early aging of skin.
Riboflavin (B2): This is what enables us to convert foods into energies. Without this, eating would be pretty pointless. B2 helps reduce tiredness and also helps maintain red blood cells. It is also good for your skin.
Vitamin B12: Excellent for the health of red blood cells and nerve tissues. B12, like Riboflavin, is an excellent energy source.
Vitamin D: This is another one which is vital for bone health. It ensures the maintenance of bone health and strength. A vitamin D deficiency has also been associated with depression, PMS and chronic fatigue.
Phosphorus: Another nutrient which ensures bone strength and aids in bone development. Not only this, but it also helps generate energy for the body.
Potassium: Vital for keeping blood pressure at healthy levels, potassium also aids in the normal function of the nervous system and muscle function.
Protein: For the avid gym-goer or work-obsessed farmer, protein serves as a vital energy source, while it also allows for the building of muscle. Proteins also help repair damaged muscles and promotes the normal growth of bones in children.
Iodine: Milk is also known to contain iodine, which promotes normal growth in children and the maintenance of normal skin. It also aids in normal cognitive development and function, according to the National Dairy Council.
Choline: Milk contains choline, which is a nutrient that not only helps with sleep but also learning, memory and muscle movements. It assists in the absorption of fat, helps lessen inflammation, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses and helps maintain the structure of cell membranes.
Niacin: This enables the metabolization of fatty acids and sugars found in the body.
Other Health Benefits -
There have been many recent studies published over the past few years, showcasing the health benefits of milk in your diet.
One such study dispelled the myth that milk is bad for Asthma. The study reported that there is no evidence to suggest that milk consumption leads to worsening respiratory and asthmatic conditions, or excessive mucus secretion.
Another study conducted in 2018, by a team from the Human Nutraceutical Research Unit of the University of Guelp in conjunction with the University of Toronto, found that having high-protein milk as part of a balanced breakfast can lower blood sugar levels. Read more here.
Recent studies have also suggested that a daily intake of milk will help improve symptoms of those suffering from colon cancer and even extend their lives! Milk also contains healthy levels of Selenium and healthy fatty acids. Other recent studies have meanwhile linked regular milk consumption to the prevention of weight gain, with a team from the Brock University in Canada finding that when milk was consumed by young adults after weight training, they lost more body fat and gained more muscle.
A study conducted by a team from Cardiff University found that drinking milk can reduce a person's risk of dying from coronary heart disease and strokes by up to 20%.
How much should you have?
According to the Department of Health’s Food Pyramid, adults should have at least three servings of dairy per day, whether that’s milk, yogurts or cheese.
For those of you aged from 9-18 years old, at least five servings per day are recommended.