Cow’s milk has long been associated with good health, making it one of the most consumed beverages throughout the world.
It contains valuable nutrients, and it can offer a range of health benefits. Calcium, for example, can prevent osteoporosis.
We list down the health benefits of milk and explain why it should be a regular part of your diet.
Milk and bone health
Cow’s milk can be a source of calcium, a mineral that is important in the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth.
Milk is good for the bones because it offers a rich source of calcium, a mineral essential for healthy bones and teeth. Cow’s milk is fortified with vitamin D, which also benefits bone health. Calcium and vitamin D help prevent osteoporosis.
Other ways to improve bone health and reduce the risk of osteoporosis include regular physical activity and strength training, avoiding smoking and eating a healthy diet that is low in sodium and high in potassium. Most of the body’s vitamin D is synthesized by the body on exposure to sunlight, so spending time outdoors is also important.
Milk and heart health
Cow’s milk is a source of potassium, which can enhance vasodilation and reduce blood pressure.
Increasing potassium intake and decreasing sodium can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease, according to a recent study which showed that those who consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49 percent lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed around 1000 mg per day. Potassium-rich foods include cow’s milk, oranges, tomatoes, lima beans, spinach, bananas, prunes, and yogurt.
A dramatic increase in potassium intake can have risks however, including heart problems, so any changes in diet or use of supplements must be discussed first with a physician.
Milk and cancer
Vitamin D might play a role in cell growth regulation and cancer protection. Research shows that there is a higher risk of dying from colorectal cancer in geographic locations that receive the least amount of sunlight. Milk, too, contains vitamin D that can offer similar protection.
The National Cancer Institute (NCI) states that “Research results overall support a relationship between higher intakes of calcium and reduced risks of colorectal cancer. The NCI also points to some studies that suggest an increased intake of calcium and lactose from dairy products may help to prevent ovarian cancer.
Milk and depression
Adequate vitamin D levels support the production of serotonin, a hormone associated with mood, appetite, and sleep. Vitamin D deficiency has been associated with depression, chronic fatigue, and PMS. Cow’s milk and other foods are often fortified with vitamin D.
Milk and muscle building
Cow’s milk is designed to help baby cows grow fast, so it makes sense that humans who drink cow’s milk can also bulk up quickly. Cow’s milk is a rich source of high-quality protein, containing all of the essential amino acids. Whole milk is also a rich source of energy in the form of saturated fat, which can prevent muscle mass being used for energy.
Maintaining a healthy amount of muscle is important for supporting metabolism and contributing to weight loss and weight maintenance. Sufficient dietary protein is needed to preserve or increase lean muscle mass. Dairy protein can support muscle growth and repair.
Low-fat milk can provide the benefits of milk while supplying less fat.
Milk and osteoarthritis
Osteoarthritis of the knee currently has no cure, but researchers say drinking milk every day has been linked to reduced progression of the disease. Their research was published in the American College of Rheumatology Journal Arthritis Care & Research.