Got milk? If you answered yes, then you’re on the right track! Milk is a delicious, inexpensive drink packed with nutrients that can help you get stronger, lose weight and possibly avoid health issues down the road.
Health Benefits of Milk
Milk contains nine essential nutrients that benefit your health:
- Calcium. Helps build bone and healthy teeth, enables muscle contraction and blood flow.
- Protein. Important for repairing muscles, tissues and skin.
- Vitamin D. Promotes bone growth and calcium absorption, and regulates your immune system.
- Vitamin B12. Keeps your nerves and blood cells healthy, and helps make DNA.
- Vitamin A. Important for your vision, immune system and reproductive health.
- Potassium. Helps regulate fluid balance, nerve signals and muscle contractions.
- Phosphorus. Involved in the body’s energy production, and helps it absorb calcium.
- Riboflavin. Helps break down proteins, fats and carbohydrates.
- Niacin. Aids digestion.
If you’re looking for a theme in all that – it’s all about bone health! Drinking one glass of milk gets you as much calcium as 2 1/4 cups of broccoli, as much potassium as a banana, and as much Vitamin D as a small salmon fillet.
Is Milk Good For Your Teeth?
Absolutely, yes. Drinking milk makes your teeth stronger and protects tooth enamel. It also strengthens your jaw bone, which can help you keep your natural teeth longer, and fights tooth decay.
For children, expectant mothers and women in general, milk is especially important. Children—from infancy through high school—need ample amounts of calcium and phosphorus for bone and teeth development. And for women who are pre- or post-menopausal, drinking milk is an excellent defense against osteoporosis.
How much milk should I drink?
The recommended daily milk serving is 1000-1300 micrograms. But since nobody we know measures their food servings that way, the recommended intake is anywhere from 2-4 glasses each day.
For the real answer to this question, it is best to speak with your family doctor or nutritionist. It is estimated that over 65 percent of the world has a reduced ability to process lactose or is lactose intolerant, and—as you probably already know—lactose is a sugar contained in dairy products such as milk, cheese or yogurt.
Milk and other dairy products have been shown to reduce cholesterol for some people, but other studies have shown an increase in
If you don’t like milk, are lactose intolerant or concerned that milk doesn’t agree with your preferred diet, there are luckily plenty of alternatives available at the supermarket!
Yogurt and cheese are probably the easiest to find. Yogurt is actually higher in calcium per serving than milk, and eating cheese encourages salivation, which can clean harmful bacteria from your mouth. If you’re looking through the yogurt aisle this week, give some low-fat or low-sugar varieties a try!
Fish, like salmon or tuna, can help you meet your daily Vitamin D and calcium needs. And for vegetarians – tofu, kale, turnips and bok choy are also a great choice.
For anyone who just can’t live without that wonderful glass of milk with their cookies, we recommend unsweetened soy milk as an excellent substitute. If you need something a little sweeter, give almond milk a try – it does not have as much protein, but is lower in calories than cow’s milk.