When we were growing up, we drank milk every day because it was well known that it was an important source of calcium which improved the health of our bones, teeth and nails. But did you know that there are many other lesser-known health benefits of drinking milk and eating dairy products, which is why we should consider increasing our consumption as adults?
Rich in vitamins and nutrients, milk can also improve our physical and mental well-being because it contains anti-fatigue and mood-stimulating vitamins such as B2, B5 and B12. The calcium in milk is also known to regulate your heart rate and make your blood clot normally, according to the NHS website.
“A 200 ml glass of milk provides 36% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin B2 (riboflavin), which plays an important role in the health of our skin, vision and nervous system, while helping to reduce fatigue, ”says Dr. Oliver Witard (pictured above), a senior lecturer in exercise nutrition and metabolism at King’s College London.
“Vitamin B5 is important for mental performance and also for reducing fatigue, while vitamin B12 helps support mood, nerve function and our immune system.”
Graham’s The Family Dairy has been producing milk for 80 years
Milk is one of six food groups classified as dairy products and includes: yogurt, cheese, butter, curd cheese and cream. In addition to the above dairy products that provide our bones, teeth and muscles with essential qualities, they also contain vital proteins that could help us stay healthy and active later in life.
Research has shown that dairy products can help reverse the age-related loss of muscle mass (known as sarcopenia) that affects balance, strength, mobility and posture – increasing our Consumption of dairy products can build and stimulate muscles as we age, as well as reduce our risk of osteoporosis.
Dr. Witard, formerly of the University of Stirling, added: “Dairy proteins have effective muscle building properties and the potential means to maintain muscle mass and function later.
Proteins derived from dairy products can stimulate muscle protein synthesis, thereby preserving muscle mass as we age.
“Several studies have shown that dairy proteins have greater muscle anabolic potential than vegetable proteins and other alternatives.”
Some people may move away from milk because it contains fat; however, it is part of a healthy and balanced diet. And if you switch to 1% fat or skim milk (high red), your body will still consume the significant nutritional benefits of milk, with virtually no fat.
We cannot ignore the growing trend of switching from dairy to non-dairy alternatives, but this lifestyle decision reduces the amount of good we feed our bodies.
Dr. Witard often asks questions about the nutritional difference between milk and, say, almond milk.
He says that the difference in the amount of protein in a standard glass of each is significant – with 8 g in a glass of milk, against only 1 g in almond milk. The daily amount recommended for the elderly is 0.8 g of protein per kg of body weight (so for a man of 80 kg, it is 64 g and for a woman of 65 kg, it is 52 g).
It should also be noted that there are fewer ingredients in milk and no added sugar unlike its dairy substitutes. Another important factor about milk is its moisturizing qualities – it is a great thirst quencher, so if you are exercising, consider milk as it “really outperforms other commercially available drinks in terms of its potential ‘hydration’, explains the nutrition expert.
The advantages of dairy products:
The health benefits of milk and nutrient-rich dairy products are many and varied. They are good sources of calcium, vitamin D (much needed in winter) and high in protein. They also provide potassium, magnesium, vitamins A, B12 and riboflavin and are all natural. And far from being a simple breakfast option, dairy products can be enjoyed throughout the day as part of a meal, a snack or even to rehydrate after a workout. Here we present some options:
GOLD TOP MILK
The benefits of Jersey products are little known, but nevertheless impressive. Jersey cow milk is 18% higher in protein and 20% higher in calcium. The increase in protein and calcium levels is not the end of the benefits either. Milk contains zinc, iodine and vitamins A, B, D and E – and levels of vitamins A and D are higher in the milk of Jersey and Guernsey cattle than in standard milk.
For the sweeter of us who enjoy a little treat after dinner, low-calorie ice cream is a great choice. There are 20 g of protein in each tank in the Graham’s Goodness range, but only a quarter of the calories of typical ice creams – and it’s also lower in sugar, which means you can indulge without indulging in too much.
VERSATILE QUARK WITHOUT FAT
For those looking for a high-protein, low-fat breakfast, quark is naturally fat-free and low in salt. Its versatility means that it can be enjoyed with waffles, pancakes and toast for breakfast, with a salad at lunch, and even as a low-fat accompaniment to dessert.
Rich in protein and free of fat, protein 22 contains 22 g of protein per jar, making it the perfect breakfast or post-workout snack.
Made with pure Scottish milk, live cultures and carefully selected fruit, this deliciously thick, protein-rich yogurt makes its way to your taste buds. It is full of calcium, fat free, rich in protein and low in sugar.
Kefir, from Graham’s The Family Dairy, contains live cultures and a lot of “goodness”
Goodness Kefirm (pictured above) is loaded with probiotics that can provide all kinds of health benefits for your gut. It is lactose free, contains billions of live cultures, 13 strains of live bacteria and is also rich in protein, calcium and vitamins!
Health expert Dr Witard shatters dairy myths:
Eczema: There is no evidence that milk or dairy products cause eczema which is an inflammatory response.
Asthma: And there is also no science to support the suggestion that milk or milk products cause asthma. Family history is more likely.
Fattening: There is a misconception that dairy products get fat. Not only is there no scientific evidence for this, but a number of studies have shown that there could be a potentially beneficial role in the consumption of dairy products as part of a healthy and balanced diet for weight management.
Acne: There is no evidence that milk or dairy products cause acne which is more likely to be linked to hormones.
Cardiac disease: Saturated fats have been linked to cardiovascular disease. Although dairy products contribute to the intake of saturated fat, they also provide calcium which would explain the apparent cardio-protective effect of milk intake on the risk of developing heart disease.
* For more information on Graham’s The Family Dairy milk and dairy products and great recipe ideas, visit the website by clicking here.