Health Benefits Of Milk: By definition, milk is a nutrient-rich fluid that female mammals produce to feed their young.
Milk has been enjoyed throughout the world for thousands of years.
The most commonly consumed types come from cows, sheep and goats.
Western countries drink cow’s milk most frequently.
Milk consumption is a hotly debated topic in the nutrition world, so you might wonder if it’s healthy or harmful.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Below are 4 science-backed health benefits of milk so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.
1. Milk Is Packed With Nutrients
Health Benefits Of Milk, The nutritional profile of milk is impressive.
After all, it’s designed to fully nourish newborn animals.
Just one cup (244 grams) of whole cow’s milk contains:
Protein: 8 grams
Fat: 8 grams
Calcium: 28% of
Vitamin D: 24% of
Riboflavin (B2): 26% of the RDA
Vitamin B12: 18% of
Potassium: 10% of
Phosphorus: 22% of
Selenium: 13% of the RDA
Health Benefits Of Milk, Milk is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including “nutrients of concern,” which are under-consumed by many populations.
It provides potassium, B12, calcium and vitamin D, which are lacking in many diets.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Milk is also a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, zinc and thiamine (B1).
Additionally, it’s an excellent source of protein and contains hundreds of different fatty acids, including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3s.
Conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids are linked to many health benefits, including a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease.
Health Benefits Of Milk, The nutritional content of milk varies, depending on factors like its fat content and the diet and treatment of the cow it came from.
For example, milk from cows that eat mostly grass contains significantly higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Also, organic and grass-fed cow’s milk contains higher amounts of beneficial antioxidants, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, which help reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress.
2. It’s A Good Source Of Quality Protein
Health Benefits Of Milk, Milk is a rich source of protein, with just one cup containing 8 grams.
Protein is necessary for many vital functions in your body, including growth and development, cellular repair and immune system regulation.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Milk is considered a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for your body to function at an optimal level.
There are two main types of protein found in milk — casein and whey protein. Both are considered high-quality proteins.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Casein makes up the majority of the protein found in cow’s milk, comprising 70–80% of the total protein content. Whey accounts for around 20%.
Whey protein contains the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine, all of which are linked to health benefits.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Branched-chain amino acids may be particularly helpful in building muscle, preventing muscle loss and providing fuel during exercise.
Drinking milk is associated with a lower risk of age-related muscle loss in several studies.
In fact, higher consumption of milk and milk products has been linked to greater whole-body muscle mass and better physical performance in older adults.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Milk has also been shown to boost muscle repair in athletes.
In fact, several studies have demonstrated that drinking milk after a workout can decrease muscle damage, promote muscle repair, increase strength and even decrease muscle soreness.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Plus, it’s a natural alternative to highly processed protein drinks marketed toward post-workout recovery.
3. Milk Benefits Bone Health
Health Benefits Of Milk, Drinking milk has long been associated with healthy bones.
This is due to its powerful combination of nutrients, including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, protein and (in grass-fed, full-fat dairy) vitamin K2.
Health Benefits Of Milk, All of these nutrients are essential for maintaining strong, healthy bones.
Approximately 99% of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones and teeth. Milk is an excellent source of the nutrients your body relies on to properly absorb calcium, including vitamin D, vitamin K, phosphorus and magnesium.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Adding milk and dairy products to your diet may prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis.
Studies have linked milk and dairy to a lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures, especially in older adults.
Health Benefits Of Milk, What’s more, milk is a good source of protein, a key nutrient for bone health.
In fact, protein makes up about 50% of bone volume and around one-third of bone mass.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Evidence suggests that eating more protein may protect against bone loss, especially in women who do not consume enough dietary calcium.
4. Helps Prevent Weight Gain
Health Benefits Of Milk, Several studies have linked milk intake to a lower risk of obesity.
Interestingly, this benefit has only been associated with whole milk.
Health Benefits Of Milk, A study in 145 three-year-old Latino children found that higher milk-fat consumption was associated with a lower risk of childhood obesity.
Another study including over 18,000 middle-aged and elderly women showed that eating more high-fat dairy products was associated with less weight gain and a lower risk of obesity.
Health Benefits Of Milk Milk contains a variety of components that may contribute to weight loss and prevent weight gain.
Health Benefits Of Milk, For example, its high-protein content helps you feel full for a longer period of time, which may prevent overeating.
Furthermore, the conjugated linoleic acid in milk has been studied for its ability to boost weight loss by promoting fat breakdown and inhibiting fat production.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Additionally, many studies have associated diets rich in calcium with a lower risk of obesity.
Evidence suggests that people with a higher intake of dietary calcium have a lower risk of being overweight or obese.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Studies have shown that high levels of dietary calcium promote fat breakdown and inhibit fat absorption in the body.
Smoothies: It makes an excellent, high-protein base for
Healthy smoothies. Try combining it with greens and a small amount of fruit for a nutritious snack.
Oatmeal: It provides a tasty, more nutritious alternative to water when making your morning oatmeal or hot cereal.
Coffee: Adding it to your morning coffee or tea will give your beverage a boost of beneficial nutrients.
Soups: Try adding it to your favorite soup recipe for added flavor and nutrition.
Health Benefits Of Milk, If you’re not a fan of milk, there are other dairy products that have similar nutrient profiles.
For example, unsweetened yogurt made from milk contains the same amount of protein, calcium and phosphorus.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Yogurt is a healthy and versatile alternative to processed dips and toppings.
Milk Is Not for Everyone
Health Benefits Of Milk, Although milk may be a good choice for some, others can’t digest it or choose not to consume it.
Many people can’t tolerate milk because they’re unable to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and dairy products.
Interestingly, lactose intolerance affects around 65% of the world’s population .
Health Benefits Of Milk, Others choose not to consume milk or dairy products due to dietary restrictions, health concerns or ethical reasons.
This has led to a wide variety of nondairy milk alternatives, including:
Milk: Made from almonds, this plant-based alternative is lower in calories and fat than cow’s milk.
Milk: This tropical drink made from coconut flesh and water has a creamy texture and mild flavor.
Cashew milk: Cashews and water combine to make this subtly sweet and rich substitute.
Soy milk: Contains a similar amount of protein as cow’s milk and has a mild flavor.
Hemp milk: This alternative is made from hemp seeds and provides a good amount of high quality, plant-based protein.
Oat milk: This substitute is very mild in flavor with a thicker consistency, making it a great addition to coffee.
Rice milk: A great option for those with sensitivities or allergies, as it’s the least allergenic of all nondairy milks.
Health Benefits Of Milk, When choosing a nondairy milk substitute, keep in mind that many of these products contain added ingredients like sweeteners, artificial flavors, preservatives and thickeners.
Choosing a product with limited ingredients is a good choice when comparing brands. Read the labels to determine which best suits your needs.
Health Benefits Of Milk, If possible, stick to unsweetened varieties to limit the amount of added sugar in your diet.
The Bottom Line
Health Benefits Of Milk, Milk is a nutrient-rich beverage that may benefit your health in several ways.
It’s packed with important nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, B vitamins, potassium and vitamin D. plus, it’s an excellent source of protein.
Health Benefits Of Milk, Drinking milk and dairy products may prevent osteoporosis and bone fractures and even help you maintain a healthy weight.
Many people are unable to digest milk or choose to avoid it for personal reasons.
Health Benefits Of Milk, For those able to tolerate it, consuming high-quality milk and dairy products has been proven to provide a number of health benefits.