Why Is Milk Good for You?

Most people believe that milk is good for your health, and perhaps that is the reason why it is among the most popular beverages in the United States. Those in favor of drinking milk say it is loaded with vitamins, calcium, and other minerals, which offer benefits like improved cardiovascular system, stronger bones, better weight management, relief from PMS, and cancer prevention. We will look individually at some of the possible health benefits of milk consumption.

Why Is Milk Good for You?

It is a fact that every glass of milk contains 9 essential nutrients including potassium, calcium, and vitamin D. You can find these nutrients in other foods as well, but not in the same quantity as in a cup of milk.

1. For Bone Health

Milk is good for your bones because it is a rich source of calcium. Cow's milk also contains vitamin D, which is equally important for healthy bones. However, you can have stronger bones only if you also provide your body with other nutrients, such as strontium, vitamin K, vitamin C, and magnesium. Vitamin D and calcium alone cannot prevent osteoporosis. For stronger bones, you need a combination of diet, regular physical activity, and strength training with no smoking.

2. For Heart Health

You get loads of potassium from cow's milk, and potassium helps lower blood pressure. However, it is also important to reduce your sodium intake along with increase your potassium intake to prevent cardiovascular disease. You can get potassium from other sources as well, including tomatoes, oranges, bananas, spinach, lima beans, yogurt, and prunes.

3. For Cancer

People living in areas where they receive the least amount of sunlight are more susceptible to colorectal cancer. It is usually because they do not get enough of vitamin D. However, milk helps in this regard also by providing you with calcium, which lowers risk of colorectal cancer. Some studies also show that lactose and calcium from dairy products may play a role in lowering risk of ovarian cancer.

4. For Depression

Since cow's milk is often fortified with vitamin D, you usually find it work effectively against depression. Vitamin D improves production of serotonin, which improves your mood, sleep, and appetite. Any deficiency of vitamin D may lead to chronic fatigue, depression, and PMS.

5. For Muscle Building

Why is milk good for you when it comes to muscle building? The reason is that it is a great source of protein and offers energy in the form of saturated fat, which keeps your body from using muscle mass for energy. Having a healthy amount of muscle is important for supporting metabolism and maintaining a healthy body weight. You also need protein to maintain lean muscle mass, and milk provides you with all that.

Nutrition Breakdown of Milk

Now you have answer to your question, "Why is milk good for you?" Here is a bit more about nutrition breakdown of milk to learn more about the benefits of milk.

One serving is one cup of milk, but it is important to understand that the fat content of milk will determine its nutritional breakdown. Whole milk has about 3.25% of fat with 146 calories, 13g of carbohydrates, and 8g of fat. There will be 8g of protein in one serving of whole milk. A single serving of skim milk or nonfat milk has about 86 calories with 12g of carbs and 8g of protein.

A 244g of milk contains the following nutrients:

Nutrients

% of the RDA

Calcium

28%

Riboflavin (B2)

26%

Vitamin D

24%

Vitamin B12

18%

Phosphorus

22%

Potassium

10%

You will also get a good amount of vitamins B1, vitamin A, zinc, selenium, and magnesium from a serving of milk.

Concerns and Precautions with Drinking Milk

Why is milk good for you? You already know it, and this may make you drink more. Before doing that, it is important to enlighten yourself about certain concerns associated with drinking milk.

The most important thing to understand is that you may be lactose intolerant. About ¾ of the world's population is, and you may be one of them. Lactose is basically "milk sugar" and is composed of galactose and glucose. Your body produces lactase, an enzyme that breaks down lactose. As many as 75% of people do not have this enzyme required to breakdown lactose in milk. Here is an image to give you a clearer picture of how common lactose intolerance is:

You may experience symptoms such as diarrhea and bloating if you are lactose intolerant and drink milk. There are other issues associated with drinking milk. For instance:

  • IgE-Mediated Milk Allergy: If you have this allergy, you will notice a reaction within a few minutes of drinking cows' milk. The symptoms are usually mild and may include swollen lips, rashes, stomach cramps, vomiting, diarrhea, and difficulty breathing.
  • Non-IgE-Mediated Milk Allergy: It is more common in babies but can also affect adults. If you have this allergy, you may experience symptoms such as vomiting, eczema, stomach cramps, and diarrhea after drinking milk. You usually do not experience breathing problems and rashes.

If you have these issues, you may consider getting calcium from other sources. The list includes yoghurt, cheese, calcium-fortified soy products, dried fruits (apricots, figs), sesame seeds, and dark green leafy veggies. You may also consider eating fish with edible bones such as sardines and salmon to get calcium.

 
 
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