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First of all, we all wonder if there is anything bad about milk. We have always heard that is milk is very essential for one’s good health. There are many factors you might not know about milk, either good or bad. Yes, there are a few reasons you will want to know before you ‘want or not want’ your favorite milk!

Nutritional break down of milk

One cup of Whole milk (with 3.25% of fat) can provide 146 calories, 8 grams fat, 13 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of protein.

One cup of non-fat or skim milk can provide 86 calories, 0 grams of fat, 12 grams of carbohydrates, and 8 grams of protein.

Calcium

  • Calcium is a very important component that is required to build healthy bones and teeth.
  • It helps to create a blood clot, heals wounds, and regulates blood pressure
  • It helps in muscle contraction that is important for your heart to beat

For an adult, 1000 mg of calcium is required on a daily basis (recommended by the National Institute of health). One cup of Skim Milk can provide 306 mg of calcium.

Milk

Choline

  • Important to help you sleep, learn and improve memory
  • It helps in muscle movement
  • It helps in maintaining the cellular structure and transmission of nerve impulses
  • It also helps in the absorption of fat required for your body
  • It reduces inflammation

Potassium

  • Reduces the chances of stroke, heart disease, and high blood pressure
  • It also reduces the risk of developing kidney stones
  • It protects the minerals in our bones and the bone density
  • It also reduces muscle loss
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Vitamin D

  • It is very essential in the formation, growth, and repair of bones
  • It increases immunity
  • It is very important for calcium absorption in the body

Milk also provides – magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins A, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, and vitamin B-12.

Now let’s see all about milk for our health

Bone health

Since milk is a good source of calcium and vitamin D, it is always said that milk is good for developing healthy bones.

In a New York Times article, American food journalist Mark Bittman says, “The rate of fractures is highest in milk-drinking countries, and it turns out that the keys to bone strength are lifelong exercise and vitamin D, which you can get from sunshine.

Most humans never tasted fresh milk from any source other than their mother for almost all of human history, and fresh cow’s milk could not be routinely available to urbanites without industrial production.

The [US] federal government not only supports the milk industry by spending more money on dairy than any other item in the school lunch program but by contributing free propaganda as well as subsidies amounting to well over $4 billion in the last 10 years.”

An adequate amount of calcium and vitamin D, alone cannot prevent osteoporosis. So it means drinking milk alone cannot give you good bones, you need to work out daily and also expose yourself to the sun for some time every day.

Allergies and sensitivity

Milk is generally not allergic to many and they consume it just like water. But there are people who may be consuming milk and facing the below-mentioned allergies without knowing that it can be caused because of milk.

People who lack the enzymes to breakdown the sugar content found in milk have digestion issues when it comes to milk and milk products. This is called lactose intolerance. It generally leads to bloating, flatulence, and even diarrhea.

Even babies are prone to this type of allergy. Lactose-free milk is available in the market which has the enzymes added in it to facilitate proper digestion. Levels of the intolerance to lactose in milk may vary from person to person. Some may be able to consume yogurt and cheese, but some may be allergic to even a spoon of milk in their coffee.

People who are lactose intolerant can consume lactose-free milk. But there is something called Milk allergy. It is an abnormal immunologic reaction in which the body’s immune system produces an allergic antibody, called immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody, which results in allergic symptoms such as wheezing, diarrhea, or vomiting. People with milk allergy should completely stop consuming milk and milk products.

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Casein is a type of protein present in milk. People who are allergic to that specific protein may feel inflammation all through the body, sinus congestion, acne, rashes on the skin, and migraines.

If you think you will miss the nutrition present in milk because of allergies, you can replace soy milk and products for required nutrition.

Brain Health

Glutathione is a powerful antioxidant that is present in milk. It is required for a healthy brain and brain activity. According to research, people who consume 3 servings of milk seem to have 30% more anti-oxidant than people who consumed less milk. Hence doctors suggest that older people consume a minimum of 3 servings of milk every day.

But also be careful about the calories from the milk. You can go to non-fat and skim milk.

Blood pressure and heart health

An adequate amount of potassium and decreased amount of sodium is very important to have a healthy heart and avoid cardiovascular problems. People who consume 4,069mg of potassium every day, have 49% fewer chances of stroke and heart diseases.

Milk alone cannot give you the required amount of potassium. Green leaves, Kale, banana, tomatoes, and prunes are also rich sources of potassium.

Vitamin D

Like I told you earlier, Milk is a good source of Vitamin D. But milk alone cannot give you healthy bones and good health. You need to expose yourself more to the sun and do more work out. You need more Vitamin D for your body to absorb calcium from the food you intake.

Deficiency Vitamin D can lead to depression, chronic fatigue, and PMS. Vitamin D is very important for a good mood, appetite, and good sleep.

Muscle building and weight loss

Since is milk is a good source of protein and good fat, consuming whole milk can help you build body muscles in a healthy way.

For people who need to lose weight, can consume low-fat milk and still get all the nutrition you need from the milk.

Flavored milk

Flavored milk must be favorite for many. But it is not good for your health!

Strawberry milk

Though it is mentioned in the pack that there are no added preservatives and colors, it is definitely done to make the product last for a minimum of 3 to 4 months of shelf life. And sugar is added too!

As a word of precaution, people who have kidney issues must restrict or stop the consumption of milk. Too much potassium or phosphorous can affect the damaged kidneys and could be fatal in the long run.

It is always advised to consume milk that is freshly taken from cows that are organic. Simply said, Milk that you get in packets and cartons in urban cities is not as healthy as the fresh cow milk you get in the rural areas. The cows must be pasture-raised and not in a conventional way (fed only with primary grains).

Hope you got to know all about milk !

Sources

Bermudez-Aguirre, D., Mawson, R. & Barbosa-Canovas, G. V., 2008. Microstructure of Fat Globules in Whole Milk after Thermosonication Treatment. Journal of Food Science, 73(7), pp. E325-E332.

https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1750-3841.2008.00875.x

Gardon, D. & Morgan, M. E., 1972. Principal Volatile Compounds in Feed Flavored Milk. Journal of Dairy Science, 55(7), pp. 905-912.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022030272855954

Hathaway, G. M. & Trauh, J. A., 1982. Casein Kinases—Multipotential Protein Kinases. Current Topics in Cellular Regulation, Volume 21, pp. 101-127.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/B9780121528218500098

Snell, E. E. & Strong, F. M., 1939. A Microbiological Assay for Riboflavin. ACS Publications, 1 June, pp. 346-350.

https://pubs.acs.org/doi/pdf/10.1021/ac50134a020

Swagerty, D. L., Walling, A. D. & Klein, R. M., 2002. Lactose Intolerance. American Family Physician, 1 May.

https://www.aafp.org/afp/2002/0501/p1845.html?ref=Guzels.TV

Ramya Srinivasan, PDGBA, earned her Master’s degree in Business. As a result of her passion in native medicine, she got her Diploma in Traditional Siddha Medicine from Bharat Sevak Samaj registered under the Indian Planning Commission. She is certified by Stanford University School of Medicine in Introduction to Food and Health.