Many people grew up with milk as a comforting and nutritious companion; a warm cup of milk to help you sleep, a big glass of milk to wash that peanut butter sandwich down and that ever popular tip of the cereal bowl to get a big gulp of the leftover milk. More and more, people are actually starting to wonder about the health benefits of milk and whether or not they are actually doing something good for their body. With all of the controversy that surrounds milk these days, it is not surprising that you might be curious as to whether milk benefits you or not.
Nutritional Value and Health Benefits
Milk is filled with vitamins and nutrients that every body needs. The most important nutrients include:
• Vitamin D
• Vitamin A
• Vitamin B12
An 8 oz glass of milk gives you a head start on strong bones, good skin, and a powerful immune system. The protein in milk can help build and repair muscle tissue. It also contains Riboflavin (B2), which helps turn food into energy and is one of the reasons that dairy has been found to aid in weight loss. That is right, according to a study published by Dr. Brian at Brock University; milk can actually help with the difficult task of losing weight if used in conjunction with exercise by balancing your metabolism.
Milk and Disease Prevention
Peter Elwood at Cardiff University conducted a study showing that milk can actually lessen the chance of death through Coronary Heart Disease (heart attack) and stroke by up to 20%. Elwood also found that milk could also decrease the risk in death with certain cases of type II diabetes, colon cancer and possibly even bladder cancer. Dr. Elwood strongly suggests that because of these findings, milk could directly help to cut medical costs as well.
Of course, milk does have its share of controversies. There are some who question the validity of the studies that show milk helps in weight loss and the prevention of disease like Coronary Heart Disease; however, both studies are performed by leading experts in their respective fields. Dr. Elwood and Dr. Roy continue to defend their studies. Most of the controversy surrounding milk comes from people in different fields and different levels of experience with health and disease. It is important to note the qualifications of anybody who discusses the health benefits of milk and any other topic on health. Too many people claim to be experts without the extensive training that Dr. Elwood and Dr. Roy have had.
Uses for Milk
Experts say that you should have three servings of milk or dairy a day for optimal health, but you can receive many benefits with at least one 8 oz glass of milk a day. If you find this boring, ponder these other uses for Milk.
• Add flavor to your fish or chicken by thawing them out while soaking in milk.
• Increase the flavor of your boiled vegetables by adding powdered milk to the water.
• Use powdered milk in a bath or in a paste to soften your skin.
• Milk can make any tea more satisfying, including herbal teas.
• Think of milk as a weight loss tool, drink a glass after a workout to help build and repair your muscles, and balance your metabolism.
• Add as a creamy thickener to soups and sauces.
Milk benefits for adults and children alike are vast and important. It can be confusing to sift through a lot of conflicting information, but one thing is clear, repeatedly, experts in the health field recommend milk as part of a daily diet. With so many new studies about the health benefits of milk coming out, it is a good idea to do more research and find a way to fit milk into your diet.
What About Organic Milk? A note from our readers:
Nutrition is something that many people are starting to pay more attention to in recent times. With concerns over chemicals such as pesticides and other harmful things popping up in foods, many are concerned with the effects that these foods may be having on long-term health and they are taking steps to live healthier lives through more natural foods free of these harmful things. One of the steps people are taking towards maintaining a healthier diet is the use of organic foods and organic does not stop at just fruits and vegetables, as is widely thought. Dairy products are now available in organic form too and organic milk is one product that packs a punch when it comes to natural, wholesome nutrition that is great for the whole family!
Raw organic milk is from cows that have been fed organic feed and have never been given any medications or synthetic hormones to treat illnesses. This means that when you drink this type of milk, you are getting a purer product that will provide the health benefits that we are supposed to get from dairy products but have not been getting in recent years. Nutrients are kept intact, there is no worry about pesticides being ingested and you still get that same great taste you love.
Although regular milk is cheaper than organic milk, if you chose to continue drinking it for the sake of saving a few cents, you could be putting your health at risk. It has been discovered that the cows who produce non-organic milk are kept in small-spaces where they get little exercise and are fed foods that are sprayed with pesticides. These two things alone make for an unhealthy animal who cannot produce healthy milk and this is what we have been drinking for years. Going organic will ensure that you are getting a better quality product that will positively affect your health in the short and long-term and that is worth the small extra cost you will pay!
Organic milk can be purchased from many mainstream grocery stores, at a local dairy or at natural health food stores.
A Note from the Author:
We purchase milk that is delivered to our front door and could not be happier with it. It is not certified organic, but almost as close as you can get. Getting certified organic is very expensive and there are many hurdles a dairy has to adhere to. So my point is to do your research when you sign up for milk delivery and ask questions. Most places can show you where their cows eat, how they are milked, and what sources of food they are eating from. Our dairy grows their own alfalfa and we are confident that we are drinking pure milk that is both hormone and antibiotic free. At the same time, we are also using a few milk alternatives in our diet including coconut milk and almond milk (although my kids still prefer cow’s milk). The dairy we use is located in Bellvue, CO and close to the city of Greeley. If you live in this area you might want to check it out: Morning Fresh Dairy