Well, we’re all acquainted with notion of milk. A glass of milk being coaxed onto us as kids stands a popular memory in most adult minds. Milk is good for us. But beyond this vague notion and the familiar milk-mustache media campaign, why exactly is this? Does it really improve our health? What is it about milk that makes it such an important part of our dietary staple? Let us take a look at its makeup before we move on to it’s health advantages. Milk contains –
Calcium: Keeps bones and teeth healthy; helps your body maintain bone mass.
Potassium: Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure
Protein: A good source of energy: builds and repairs your muscle tissue (good after work-outs.)
Phosphorus: Helps strengthen your bones and gives you energy.
Vitamin B12: Maintains healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue
Vitamin D: Helps your body maintain your bones.
Vitamin A: Maintains the immune system; helps maintain normal vision and good skin
Riboflavin (B2): Converts food into energy
Niacin: Metabolizes sugars and fatty acids
Note: Lactose intolerance is caused by an inability to digest milk sugars, however most people can tolerate small amounts of milk.
10. De- stresses your body.
As children, we often drink milk before bed. Basically milk helps repair the body when we sleep as the protein in milk helps muscle growth and improve the condition of exhaustion. Women have the potential for high stress with solid activity and risk of osteoporosis due to lack of exercise and the body’s biological processes. Milk has also been proven to reduce symptoms of PMS in women and boost energy. It’s a great way to de-stress at the end of the day. So next time after a long day at work, try a glass of warm milk to relax tense muscles and soothe frayed nerves as you cozy up on the couch with a good book.
9. Milk an Antacid.
Milk works as an excellent antacid by neutralizing the digestive acids in the stomach, relieving heartburn and can calm your food pipe from inflammation. Drinking milk regularly also prevents other gastric problems. Milk can be a good appetizer, along with acting as a stimulant, early morning or even during noon. However raw unpasteurized milk can carry dangerous bacteria such as Salmonella, E. coli, and Listeria, which are known to cause illnesses. Therefore pasteurized milk is advisable.
8. As an electrolyte, boosts hydration.
After winning six gold medals at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, American swimmer Michael Phelps revealed that instead of having sports drinks he regularly drinks milk! Milk can indeed cool your body as well as maintain the water/fluid level in the body. It will help to keep soreness at bay while replenishing fluids that you lost during your workout. According to research conducted by the European Journal of Applied Philosophy in 2008, milk if consumed after physical exercise helps re-hydrate the body and provides the electrolytes which have been lost during exercise more significantly than other sports drinks.
7. Radiant skin
The lactic acid found in milk aids in removing dead skin cells, and therefore keeps your skin clear and rejuvenated. Ancient Egyptian royalty were known for taking milk baths. Cleopatra did in fact, to help her skin stay soft, supple and glowing. You can do the same, or just drink a few glasses of whole milk each day to get its benefits. Milk has several nutrients which help skin look its best. Its amino acids help keep skin moisturized. Milk can help prevent damage from environmental toxins because it has antioxidants. However, if you have sensitivity to milk or dairy products, consult your dermatologist in advance.
6. Builds and regenerates muscle mass.
Milk contains protein which is 20 percent whey and 80 percent casein. Whey being a “fast protein” it is quickly broken down into amino acids and absorbed into the bloodstream. Therefore it’s best to be consumed after workouts. Casein is digested more slowly. Hence ideal for providing your body with a steady supply of smaller amounts of protein between meals or while you sleep. Milk provides both which makes it one of the best muscle foods on the planet. American Football players drinking low-fat chocolate milk on a regular basis said it facilitated their muscle regeneration more significantly than those who were drinking sports drinks rich in carbohydrates with the same energy value. The level of creatine kinase, an indicator of muscle damage, turned out to be significantly lower in those players who were consuming chocolate milk.
5. For expecting mothers.
Pregnant women especially need to drink milk, because the baby needs the calcium that is found in milk. Milk and milk products also contain ‘high quality proteins’ that are well suited to human needs. Milk proteins increase the value of poorer quality cereal and vegetable proteins in the diet by providing the amino acids these proteins lack. Pregnant women who drink milk regularly could help their children avoid osteoporosis later in life. New research shows teenagers are more likely to have strong bones if their mothers drank milk every day. The findings are significant because bone mass starts to decline in your 20s.
4. Weight Loss
Recent studies have shown that when milk was consumed by young adults after weight training, they lost more body fat and gained more muscle mass than those who had consumed different drinks that contained the same energy and macronutrients.
Milk is an excellent source of vitamin D. “Since low vitamin D is associated with weight gain, we are looking to raise vitamin D through milk as higher the blood levels of vitamin D, the greater the weight loss.” says Vincent Pera, MD, director of the Miriam Hospital Weight Management Program in Providence, R.I.
A 6-month study, University of Tennessee researchers found that overweight people who downed three servings a day of calcium-rich dairy lost more belly fat than those who followed a similar diet minus two or more of the dairy servings. They believe that active compounds in dairy products (such as milk proteins) provide an additional fat-burning effect. Reduced fat also skim milk seems ideal for those considering weight loss, as reduced fat milk contains half as much fat as full cream milk. While skim milk contains less than 1 per cent fat. Both these have vitamin A and D added to replace the naturally occurring vitamins that are reduced when the fat is removed.
3. Protects your pearly whites for that dazzling smile.
Milk and milk products are thought to protect against tooth decay by stimulating saliva flow, decreasing plaque formation and the incidence of dental caries (tooth decay).The amounts of calcium and phosphorous in milk and dairy products are also beneficial for the development and maintenance of healthy teeth. Studies show that milk, cheese and other dairy products also reduce the effects of cariogenic foods (which cause decay) on teeth when consumed together with them in the diet. As the most abundant protein in milk is casein. It’s protective as it forms a thin film on the enamel surface of your teeth which prevents loss of calcium and phosphate from the enamel when the teeth are exposed to acids in the mouth. Therefore, dentists recommend milk as the only safe drink to have between meals (except for water) as it has been shown not to cause tooth decay even in conditions perfect for damaging teeth!
2. Good for bone health.
The human body gets the calcium it needs in two ways. One is by eating foods or supplements that contain calcium. The other is by pulling it from bones. Therefore for strong bones milk is recommended as it’s loaded with calcium that helps your body grow strong and flexible. Calcium enriched milk would be ideal they are also fat reduced. A 250 ml glass of milk contains 408–500 mg of calcium, excellent for bone health.
1. Lowers health risks, diseases.
According to research led by professor Peter Elwood of Cardiff University, drinking milk can lessen the chances of coronary heart disease and strokes by up to 15 to 20 percent. As milk-drinking is associated with a lower blood pressure which is the primary cause of heart disease.
Cancer – There is considerable evidence to suggest that milk has a protective effect on risk of both colorectal and breast cancer with increased intakes. A recent study of 45,000 Swedish men reported that men who drank 1.5 glasses of milk per day or more, had 35% lower risk of the disease than those who had a low milk intake of less than 2 glasses per week. Additionally a study of over 40,000 Norwegian women found that those who drank milk as children and continued to do so as adults, had a lower risk of developing breast cancer. Calcium and a naturally occurring fat in dairy products known as Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) have been suggested as protective components in colon cancer. Organic milk is very high in conjugated linoleic acids (CLA).
Type 2 diabetes – a 10-year study of 3,000 overweight adults found that consuming milk and other milk products instead of refined sugars and carbohydrates may protect overweight young adults from developing type 2 diabetes.