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How Milk is Good for You?

Milk is a nutrient-rich food that is probably the first food of most people. Milk and dairy products, such as paneer, curd, ghee and butter have been an integral part of Indian diets for centuries. Most households consume milk in at least one form and most people will be able to list at least one milk benefit. However, in recent years, there have been conflicting reports about the benefits of milk. This article looks at the milk nutrition facts and the risks to help you make an informed choice. For additional peace of mind, consider a health insurance policy which will take care of all your medical needs even in situations of an emergency.

Milk Types

Nutritional Benefits of Milk

One cup of milk contains 6.4 grams of protein, 8.8 grams of carbohydrates and 8.2 grams of fat. Milk is good for health and packs an impressive list of vitamins and minerals. It has calcium, Potassium, Riboflavin and Vitamin B (B12). It is an important source of Vitamin A, Magnesium, Zinc and thiamine (B1). Milk also contains Choline, which is an important nutrient for sleep, muscle movement, learning, and memory. Milk provides a little bit of almost all the nutritional requirements of the body.

Health Benefits of Milk

There are a number of benefits of milk:

  • Rich Source of Vitamins:

Milk is one of the richest sources of Calcium, which is essential in maintaining strong bones and teeth. Milk is vital for children and adolescents to grow strong and healthy. For adults, it may prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis and fractures and slow down the progression of osteoarthritis. Consuming milk with Vitamin D ensures that the body absorbs calcium and Magnesium helps to incorporate calcium into the bones.

  • Rich Source of Protein:

Milk is a rich source of protein, which contributes to the growth, function, and regulation of the body's tissues. The benefits of drinking milk include good bone health, lower age-related muscle loss and as a post workout recovery drink, aids in muscle repair and increased strength.

  • Weight Loss:

Studies have shown that milk is good for weight loss. Because of its high-protein content, even one cup of milk will make you feel full longer, thereby preventing overeating. A diet that is rich in calcium promotes fat breakdown and the Choline in milk reduces fat absorption into the body which makes milk for weight loss.

  • Warm Milk:

Drinking warm milk before bed may help you sleep better. Tryptophan, a nutrient in milk, helps to raise serotonin, promotes relaxation. In addition, the warm temperature of the milk increases body temperature, inducing sleep.

  • Benefits to Skin:

Vitamin D and retinol, both of which are found in milk, have anti-aging and skin restoring effects. When applied topically, it is known to have purifying and moisturizing properties, resulting in supple glowing skin.

Health Risks of Milk

Remember the adage, too much of a good thing? Well, because milk is so densely packed with nutrients, there can be adverse health effects.

  • Lactose Intolerance: The most common milk side effect is lactose intolerance. This is when the body cannot digest the lactose present in the milk. Lactose intolerance can result in diarrhoea, gas and bloating.65% of the world’s population is lactose intolerant but there are many non-dairy milk alternatives available now.

  • Excessive Intake: An excessive intake of calcium can produce side effects such as constipation, kidney stones or even kidney failure. While this condition is rare, it is a risk when milk-rich diets are combined with calcium supplements.

  • Renal Problems: For people with kidney problems, an over consumption of potassium or phosphorus can be extremely harmful.

Adding Milk to Your Diet

Drinking milk is not the only way you can add it into your diet. Milk is a very versatile food and can be easily incorporated into your diet. Here are a few refreshing and healthy ideas.

  • Milkshakes: Milkshakes are healthy, refreshing and easy to make. Load up on the health factor by blending milk and with fruit. Substitute sugar with dates or honey if you want your milkshake to be sweeter. Try an apple oatmeal shake or a honey banana shake.

  • Kheer: Milk is one of the main ingredients in kheer. Be sure to use dates instead of sugar for that extra health boost.

Even if you do not like milk, there are many milk products that you can choose from. Curd is a very healthy choice and contains the same amount of protein, calcium and phosphorus. Plus, it aids digestion so it’s a win-win. There are also other alternatives such as cheese, butter and ghee. However, note that these dairy products have different nutrients from milk.

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FAQs related to Health Benefits of Milk

✔️How much milk should I take?

Here is the nutrient composition of one cup of cow’s milk and the Recommended Daily Allowance for each component:

Calories

134

Protein

6.4 grams

Fat

8.2 grams

Calcium

40% of RDA

Vitamin D

24% of RDA

Riboflavin

26% of RDA

Vitamin B12

18% of RDA

Potassium

10% of RDA

Phosphorus

22% of RDA

Selenium

13% of RDA



✔️Are dairy products a good substitute for milk?

Curd still contains the same amount of protein, calcium and phosphorus as milk. And it aids in digestion. Cheese, butter and ghee are other dairy products but they have a much higher composition of fatty acids. These dairy products each have their own nutritional benefits of milk.

✔️What is the best type of milk?

Buffalo milk has a higher composition of protein, carbohydrates, fat and calcium. It also offers a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals.

Low-fat milk has a lower composition of fat but it may have additives that have been added to improve flavour. Low-fat milk is suitable for adults with heart problems and those on low fat diets.

Whole cow’s milk provides all the nutrients but contains a high amount of saturated fat and cholesterol so should not be over consumed, especially for people with heart problems.

Types of Milk

While cow milk is the primary source of milk, there are now many non-dairy milks available in the market, such as almond milk, Coconut milk, Cashew milk, Soy milk, Hemp milk, Oat milk and rice milk. For those with allergies, rice milk is a good alternative as it is the least allergenic of all the non-dairy milks.

✔️What is toned milk?

Toned milk is a method, developed in India, of treating buffalo milk by adding skim milk, powdered skim milk and water to buffalo milk. This process decreases the fat content, increases the quantity of available milk, and 'tones up' the non-fat solids level to the original amount.

✔️What are cold milk benefits and should I drink milk at night?

Yes, cold milk has nutritional properties that can lead to a better sleep especially during warm nights. .