The milk we grew up on is getting a lot of bad press these days. But here’s the thing: it’s still healthy, still a fulfilling appetiser and still a perfect breakfast drink. In fact, it has more health benefits than even your mother knew. Here’s why you should have a glass of milk (or three) every day of your life.
1. You’re always a growing child
Adults need three glasses of milk a day (or the equivalent in other dairy products). Why? Milk is a great source of protein, which is the body’s building material. A glass of milk delivers eight grams of good quality protein that builds muscle, renews skin and hair, produces enzymes and immunity-boosting components, and even builds DNA.
2. It’s better than a tonne of pills
Relative to the calories it provides, milk is one of the most nutrient-dense food sources available. Besides protein, it delivers calcium, magnesium, potassium, iodine, vitamins D (when fortified) and B12, and some vitamin B6, phosphorus, zinc, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, vitamin A and choline. Eliminating dairy compromises both the macronutrient and micronutrient profile of the diet, and even if calcium is delivered via other sources, you still lack many nutrients that milk provides so easily.
Tip: Make milk your breakfast drink to get a jump-start on your nutrient requirements for the day.
3. You’ll make no bones without it
Milk is the best source of calcium you can eat or drink or swallow. Calcium is essential for the healthy growth, functioning, repair, and durability of your bones and skeletal system. Milk helps prevent osteoporosis and bone loss, and is important if you do high-impact exercises such as jogging or lifting weights.
4. It keeps you from becoming a spineless wonder
Milk delivers a combination of four nutrients − calcium, phosphate, vitamin D and protein − that lengthens and strengthens your bones. Bones lengthen till the age of 20, and after that, they need to strengthen. It’s never too late to improve your bone health and protect your bone tissue, so keep drinking milk.
5. It keeps the weight off
It is a misconception that consumption of milk or yogurt increases your weight. Research shows that the calcium you get from milk supports weight loss. Also, if you have adequate calcium, you do not lose bone mass while losing weight, which is essential to stay healthy as you age.
6. It keeps you in good condition
Health conditions like cardiovascular disease, stroke, kidney disease, and type 2 diabetes are all kept in trim by milk. Milk’s magnesium and potassium act as vasodilators, which reduce blood pressure and therefore, the stress on the heart and cardiovascular system. The peptides found in milk are also believed to inhibit the creation of ACEs (angiotensin-converting enzymes), which increase blood pressure. And whey, calcium and medium-chain fatty acids in milk help improve insulin sensitivity, thus, keeping diabetes at bay.
7. You’ll count fewer sheep
A glass of warm milk relaxes tense muscles and soothes frayed nerves. It has tryptophan, an amino acid that helps in the creation of sleep-inducing chemicals serotonin and melatonin.
8. It has water too
Milk contains a good quantity of water molecules and is thus, a great fluid for rehydration.
9. It’s good for heartburn (Though not heartbreak)
A glass of milk helps coat the stomach lining to prevent acidity, heartburn, and gastric dismay.
10. It’s your best protein supplement
A good protein source is necessary after exercise. Milk rehydrates and replenishes fluids lost during your workouts, and provides the essential protein your body needs to help muscles recover. Milk provides better body composition, improved training times and better physical shape than most sports drinks.
From HT Brunch, January 22, 2016
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