Milk is a nutrient-rich power-house that benefits people of all ages, from infancy to well into their golden years. Studies have shown milk to help build strong teeth and bones, manage blood pressure, aid in weight management, and can be used as a great tasting post workout recovery drink. These are some of the reasons I choose to drink milk and to give it to my family. It is true that humans are the only mammals to drink milk after being weaned, and they are also the only ones to drink milk from other animals.
The consumption of milk after weaning has been in practice for centuries.
Scientists have discovered degraded fat particles that are found in milk on unearthed potshards of European farmers from as early as 4000 B. C. Since then people around the world consume the milk of not only cows, but goats, sheep, yaks, water buffalo, llamas, reindeer, horses, and camels. (PROCON. ORG) From birth, babies (if fortunate enough) are given mother’s milk.
Formulas from cow’s milk with added Iron and essential fatty acids are also given to human babies to simulate mother’s milk. After their first birthday, most toddlers are given cow’s milk.
A study conducted by the University of Copenhagen (2011) showed cow’s milk to positively influence the growth of children; specifically linear growth. Small children are constantly moving, and often testing boundaries while at play. One of the best ways to keep them from breaking and fracturing bones is to ensure they have plenty of calcium in their diet. Pre-teens tend to pay more attention to how they look. The calcium in milk helps give them strong healthy smiles. As teens are starting to make choices on their own it is important to have proper nutrition through the growing years.
High school aged kids are playing sports. With all of the supplements available today to increase energy or muscle mass (some of them unhealthy to growing bodies) the best way to keep them in condition as well as recover from training is to give them a post workout drink that will give them the nutrients needed to grow. Through the twenties most adults go from building strong bones to maintaining them. The human body still and always will need calcium. It is wise for men and women to continue drinking milk, and keep that much-needed calcium to help prevent osteoporosis in the future.
It is also very important for women that may be starting families to drink plenty of milk. A mother is the sole provider of calcium to a baby from conception until the baby can have cow’s milk and other food. According to, “What’s missing America? A 2011 report on the Nation’s Nutrient Gap”, “9 out of 10 Americans fall short of their key nutrients in their diet including Calcium, Vitamin D, and potassium. Milk is a one-stop-shop for 9 essential vitamins and minerals it is a great source of protein and calcium. Milk is the greatest single source of vitamin D, Calcium, and potassium in the American diet.
The following nutrients are found in milk: Calcium builds strong bones and teeth. Vitamin D helps support a healthy heart and blood pressure also helps immune system. Phosphorus works with vitamin D for strong bones. Riboflavin helps converts food to energy and helps nervous system. Protein builds and maintains lean muscle ( the high quality protein in milk contains all the essential amino acids (building blocks for protein)) Works with foliate to make red blood cells and helps maintain central nervous system.
Potassium helps regulate a balance of fluid in you r body (helps blood pressure) Vitamin A supports good vision healthy skin and hair helps immune system Niacin Helps enzymes function normally in your body There are more health benefits that come with drinking milk. Calcium, potassium and magnesium, found in milk may help maintain blood pressure. Milk is also a great weight management tool. It is a good source of protein, and Vitamin B12 which aids in weight loss and metabolism. B12 helps oxygen flow through blood for energy.
Protein breaks down slowly so it keeps hunger at bay, and is a good way to help get the recommended daily amount of fluids. A 12-week study of 34 obese adults on a balanced, modestly reduced-calorie diet found that those who consumed a calcium-rich diet supplied by 3 servings of yogurt a day lost 22% more weight, 66% more body fat and 81% more trunk fat compared to those who simply reduced calories and consumed little or no dairy. The participants who ate 3 servings of yogurt also lost significantly more inches around the waist compared to those on the low-dairy diet. Zemel MB, Richards J, Mathis S, Milstead A, Gehardt L, Silva E.
Dairy augmentation of total and central fat loss in obese subjects. 2005; 391-397. Men and women in Israel with the highest calcium and milk intakes were the most likely to have a BMI in the normal range. Women with the highest calcium intakes had the smallest waist Circumference. Dicker D, et al. On the relationship between dietary calcium intake, body mass index and waist size. 2004; Supplement 1(28): S59. Along with a healthy diet including low fat milk exercise is recommended. Drinking chocolate milk as an after workout snack provides protein, a little fat, and carbohydrates for recovery.
It has been suggested that drinking chocolate milk within the first 2 hours after exercise can refuel and rehydrate your body. On The hit television series “The Doctors” praised low fat chocolate milk for its nutritional benefits and a post workout recovery beverage. Athletes need strong healthy bones and muscles as well as the energy that a glass of chocolate milk can provide. In my opinion chocolate milk tastes also tastes better, and is more rewarding than most “sports drinks”. Kids are given low fat milk in schools. Many children do not drink milk often at home.
Milk is often best when served icy cold which can be difficult for many busy families on the go. All of the nutrients in milk are available from other sources like beans, nuts, green leafy vegetables, and fish, but milk has them all together in one package. Good luck getting a kid to eat 10 cups of raw spinach to get the calcium of one 8oz glass of milk. Keep in mind it is recommended to have 2 to 3 servings a day. Many schools offer chocolate milk, and kids think they are having a special treat. While that may be true the kids are also getting much needed nutrition. Some argue that there is too much added sugar in chocolate milk.
It is projected that for the 2011-2012 school year there is 35% less added sugar in the chocolate milk served for school lunches than there was five years age. Chocolate milk also has considerably less added sugar than sodas and most juice drinks. Not only do these beverages have considerably more sugar but most have little to no nutritional value. Drinking milk is not only healthy for people, but also comforting. From birth the exchange of milk between mother and child is a comforting one. Some of my favorite memories are Saturday morning cartoons and a bowl of cereal and milk to start the day. We celebrate birthdays with Ice cream and cake.
On cold days we cuddle up with a warm mug of cocoa. As a mother, it is very important to me to serve my growing children milk and other dairy products. I also know that I am a role model to them, and that is why I pour one more glass of icy cold milk for myself. Works cited National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES). 2011. What’s missing in America? A 2011 report on the nations nutrient gap. Reports.
Retrieved from http://www. whymilk. com/reports. php Zemel MB, Richards J, Mathis S, Milstead A, Gehardt L, Silva E. Dairy augmentation of total and central fat loss in obese subjects. International Journal of Obesity.
2005; 391-397 Dicker D, et al. On the relationship between dietary calcium intake, body mass index and waist size. Presented at the 13th European Congress on Obesity. International Journal of Obesity and Related Metabolic Disorders. 2004; Supplement 1(28): S59. Molgaard, C. Larnkjaer, A. Arnberg, K. Michaelsen, K. -F. 2011, Milk and growth in children: effects of whey and casein.
Nestle workshop series. 67, 67-78 McGraw, J (executive producer). 2011, May 5. The Doctors [television broadcast]. Hollywood, CA: CBS. Porcon. org. Little known facts in the milk debate. Retrieved from /.