Benefits of Drinking Milk in Our Daily Diet
For thousands of years, milk has been an integral part of all cuisines across the world. Cleopatra, the Queen of the Nile and one of the most beautiful women of all times used to mix honey and milk in the bath for soft and beautiful skin. The uses of milk and its products to prepare cosmetic products are still popular today. In India, cow milk is not only an important part of our diet but also our culture. There are numerous health benefits of drinking milk. Read on to know all the benefits of cow milk!
Mammals produce milk in mammary glands to feed their young ones. The babies are naturally consume this milk until they are strong or old enough to hunt for food themselves or eat what their parents typically eat. Humans also have this ability, which is why we explored the interesting world of milk from other animals, hoping that milk could continue to nourish us throughout our lives.
Many animals provide milk but cow’s milk is the best wholesome food; rich in nutrients essential for human growth and development. Milk from buffalo, sheep, goat, yak and camel are also consumed by humans. India is the largest producer of milk in the world.
Did You Know?
– Milk is the only food that provides every nutrient your body needs to survive
– 26th November is the National Milk Day
– Verghese Kurien is known as “The Milkman of India”, the father of White Revolution
– The White Revolution of India, 1970 was the world’s biggest dairy development program
List of types of milk
There are many types of milk and experts suggest individuals to choose milk depending upon their body’s requirement.
- Raw milk (not recommended for drinking)
- Pasteurized milk (heat treated)
- Full cream milk (4% fat)
- Reduced fat milk (2% fat)
- Skimmed milk (0.15% fat)
- Flavoured milk (with added sugars)
- Calcium-enriched milk
One can easily understand the significance of milk from Hindu mythology. As per the legend of the “Samudra Manthan”, it involved the churning of the “Ocean of Milk” that brought forth the drink of immortality, the amrit. Goddess Kamdhenu (the wish granting divine cow) considered as the mother of all cows also emerged out of it. The stories about Krishna’s love for butter are legendary.
There are many uses of milk and milk products like in religious purposes as it is believed to have purifying qualities. Ghee or clarified butter is used in lamps during various rituals. On special occasions, people use milk to bathe Hindu idols. Cow milk is an integral part of Indian culture. It is a part of Indian rituals starting from an infant’s first food to the last rituals after death.
Health benefits of drinking milk
Milk is an ideal source of nutrients such as proteins, carbohydrates, vitamin A, vitamin B12, riboflavin, vitamin D, calcium, potassium, phosphorous, selenium, zinc, and magnesium. The protein of milk (casein, albumin and globulin) is of the highest biological value and it contains all the amino acids essential for bodybuilding and repair of body cells. The health benefits of cow milk include improved bone strength, healthier skin, and a strong immune system. It helps prevent hypertension, dental decay, dehydration, respiratory problems, obesity, osteoporosis and even some forms of cancer.
Let’s delve deeper into Some of the health benefits of cow milk:
Improves Heart Health
The magnesium and potassium content in milk act as vasodilators, which help reduce blood pressure, increase blood flow to vital organs and reduce stress on the cardiovascular system. The peptides present in it are also believed to inhibit the formation of angiotensin-converting enzymes or ACEs, which increase blood pressure.
Maintains Bone Health
One of the best benefits of drinking milk is you get ample of calcium. Calcium protects us from several diseases such as cancer, arthritic conditions, migraine headaches, pre-menstrual syndrome, bone loss, and obesity in children. It also prevents unwanted fat build up in the body, which helps maintain body weight. Calcium is an essential mineral that maintains bone matter and bone mineral density, the main support structure of our body. It is an inexpensive and readily available source of calcium that is beneficial for both children and adults alike.
Whole milk is made up of about 87% water and is considered the best fluid for rehydration, other than water. Our body is made up of around 60% water and the balance of fluids in our body is essential to maintain its normal functioning. Thus, dehydration is a major problem as it threatens all of our metabolic functions. So, a glass of milk is almost as hydrating as a glass of water!
Vitamin D helps support the production of serotonin in the body, a hormone associated with mood, appetite, and sleep. A deficiency of Vitamin D has been associated with depression, chronic fatigue, and premenstrual syndrome, also known as PMS.
Milk and other dairy products are fortified with vitamin D in some countries. Milk fat naturally contains trace amounts of vitamin D depending on the producing animal’s food intake and sun exposure. Cheese naturally contains vitamin D in small amounts.
Slows down aging
The milk solids nourish and smoothen the skin. The lactic acid present in milk removes dead skin cells and rejuvenates the skin. Vitamin A present in milk improves overall skin health. The antioxidant property of vitamin A reduces the production of free radicals, the dangerous by-products of cellular metabolism. Free radicals are the primary reason behind premature aging, which results in wrinkles and age spots.
Provides complete nutrition
Milk is a complete food because it contains proteins, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins and various minerals essential for maintaining good health. Vitamin A and B vitamins improve eyesight and increase red blood cell count; carbohydrates provide vitality and energy; potassium maintains proper nerve function; magnesium enhances muscular function; phosphorous aids energy release and proteins support body repair and growth.
Best ways to consume milk
Milk is not only versatile but is also highly nutritious. Several food products are made from milk such as cream, cheese, butter, curd, ghee, ice cream, cottage cheese or paneer, flavoured milk and milk sweets.
There are several uses of milk and milk products. Some ways to include milk in your diet –
- You can add milk to your morning bowl of hot cereal, such as oatmeal for a nutritious breakfast. Additionally, you can add it to a pot of cooked brown rice along with raisins, cinnamon and nutmeg to make a rice pudding.
- You can also blend milk with banana or some other fruits to prepare a milkshake of your choice.
- Hot chocolate is also a favourite among many. You can also boil milk with a little turmeric, ginger and cinnamon for a powerful anti-inflammatory golden milk.
- You can also use milk to prepare a creamy soup.
- Flavour your glass of milk with fruits, almonds, or even dates to enhance its flavour.
The uses of milk and milk products are extensive in various Indian cuisines. Some popular Indian dishes prepared using milk or milk products are – rabri, lassi, kheer, phirni, kulfu, chaas, payasam, paneer parantha, palak paneer and much more. Thus, there are health benefits of drinking milk. Do you know any other benefits of cow milk? let us know in the comments below!
Disclaimer: Some people may have lactose intolerance and hence may have trouble digesting milk. The symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating, stomach pain, gas, and diarrhoea. People with lactose intolerance can opt for lactose-free milk or other non-dairy milk varieties such as soy or almond milk.
100g of cow milk provides 42 Calories, Carbs – 5g (Sugar – 5g), Protein – 3.4g, Fat – 1g, Sodium – 44mg, Potassium -150g
And a percentage daily value of Calcium – 12% (based on a 2000 Calorie diet).