Milk has long been considered as part of a healthy diet, but is it really important to drink milk? Is milk good for you?
The nutrients in milk and its health benefits prompted the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) to encourage Americans to consume more fat-free or low-fat milk daily. However, some experts disagree that milk has to be part of our daily intake and even say that milk poses health risks when consumed in large amounts.
Let’s take a look at the health benefits of milk and the issues against it to see if milk is good for you.
Health benefits of milk
Promotes bone health
Milk offers the essential nutrients needed to build stronger and denser bones. One cup of whole milk contains 276 milligrams of calcium, 124 IU of Vitamin D, 322 milligrams of potassium, and 205 milligrams of phosphorus. These nutrients help in the prevention of osteoporosis during adulthood, along with regular exercise and proper diet.
Helps build muscles and lose weight
Milk is rich in protein and not just any protein. It is composed of 20 percent whey, which is rich in amino acids, particularly leucine, that is helpful in muscle building.
The other 80 percent of protein in milk is made up of casein. It is a type of protein that is slowly digested by your body, which keeps you feeling full for a longer period. Casein is known to help maintain lean muscles, while helping you lose fat faster.
Prevents heart disease, stroke, and other diseases
Milk is high in potassium that reduces the risk for heart diseases, stroke, high blood pressure, and kidney stones. A study shows that if you practice a potassium-rich diet, you will have 20 percent lower risk of dying from these diseases.
Relieves acid reflux
Drinking milk, especially cold milk, is known to reduce acidity in your body. The milk proteins help prevent acid reflux that strengthens and heals your digestive tract.
Helps prevent depression, chronic fatigue, and PMS
The vitamin D in milk will help decrease your chances of suffering from depression, chronic fatigue, and premenstrual syndrome. Vitamin D promotes the production and release of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that influences mood, appetite, sleep, and other biological functions.
Other health benefits of milk
Aside from calcium, Vitamin D, potassium, phosphorus, and protein, milk also contains other vitamins and minerals necessary to maintain good health. These include choline, magnesium, Vitamin A, riboflavin, Vitamin B-6, and Vitamin B-12.
Issues against milk
While the nutrients in milk are undeniably good for your health, some health experts think that you can actually get these nutrients from other food sources, especially whole plant foods, which contain lower calories.
Harvard researchers also say that you need to consume large quantities of milk in order to take advantage of its benefits. The increased requirement for milk consumption worries these experts, since too much milk is seen to be linked with prostate cancer and ovarian cancer.
So is whole milk bad for you now? Even with the issues against milk, you should not think so. Remember that the risk only comes when you drink too much milk. If you drink in moderation, you still get the rich nutrients of milk.
Just don’t forget to include other healthy food in your diet and do regular exercise to stay healthy and happy.