You start drinking milk the day you are born, and it is your sole source of nutrition for many months. But as you start growing, your milk intake naturally decreases. Irrespective of your age, it’s important for your overall health to drink milk daily.
Milk provides a unique balance of nutrients and is considered “nature’s wellness drink”. According to the National Dairy Council, it contains nine essential nutrients: calcium, protein, potassium, phosphorus, riboflavin, niacin and vitamins A, D and B12.
Any amount of milk you drink is beneficial, but the recommended dose for adults is three one-cup servings of dairy each day. Depending upon your diet and nutritional needs, you can choose whole, 2%, 1% or skim milk.
It’s well known that the calcium and vitamin D in milk help keep your bones healthy. But milk has many additional health benefits that will encourage you to make sure you get the recommended daily servings.
Here are the top 10 health benefits of milk.
Note: Make sure you are taking organic milk and GMO-free milk.
1. Builds Muscles
For a strong, muscular body, milk should be a part of your diet. The body needs protein to build muscle and milk is the one of the best natural sources of good quality protein.
The protein in milk is 20 percent whey and 80 percent casein. While whey protein is quickly broken down into amino acids and absorbed into the bloodstream, casein is digested more slowly. So, when you drink milk, your body gets the benefits of both types of protein.
Also, the calcium present in milk contributes to muscle and blood health.
Drink a glass of milk after a workout to hydrate your body, build muscles and help you recover quickly before your next workout session.
2. Strengthens Teeth
One of the best food choices for the health of your teeth is milk. Milk provides high amount of calcium, phosphorus and iodine needed to remineralize teeth and to make them sharp and strong.
The casein protein in milk forms a thin film on the enamel surface, which helps prevent loss of calcium and phosphate when the teeth are exposed to acids in the mouth or in foods and drinks. Thus, it helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. It also makes the jaw bones strong.
To enjoy strong teeth, drink milk without adding sugar. Also, try to drink milk between meals for overall oral health.
3. Promotes Proper Sleep
Stress is one of the main causes of sleep deprivation. Many people toss around in their bed and find it really difficult to sleep properly when under stress. Other health conditions, such as menopause, can also keep people from sleeping well.
A glass of warm milk before going to bed can help you sleep better. Milk contains the amino acid tryptophan that helps induce drowsiness.
The body converts this amino acid into the neurotransmitter called serotinin that makes you sleepy. Plus, milk is a good source of calcium which also works as an effective natural sleep aid. It helps the brain produce the sleep-inducing substance melatonin.
The next time you are feeling frazzled, try drinking a glass of milk and reading a book or listening to soothing music to help you fall asleep.
4. Ensures Vibrant Skin
One of the best skin care ingredients for any type of skin is milk. In fact, milk has been used as a beauty aid for centuries. Cleopatra, the queen of ancient Egypt, used to take milk baths to enjoy smooth and flawless skin.
Milk has amino acids that help protect the skin from sun damage and help keep it moisturized.
Plus, the lactic acid in milk acts as a natural exfoliating agent, helping remove dead skin cells and other residue that contributes to dull-looking skin and problems like acne.
To enjoy vibrant skin, wash your face with warm water and then apply some whole milk using a cotton ball. Allow it to dry on its own and then rinse it off with warm water. You can use this cleansing and moisturizing treatment daily to maintain soft, clean, supple skin as well as reduce fine lines and wrinkles.
5. Boosts Hydration
Along with water, milk is a top choice to refuel your body and keep it hydrated throughout the day. Drinking milk after exercising helps rehydrate the body quickly and replenish electrolytes that have been depleted during exercise.
Opt for chocolate milk or skim milk to speed up recovery from a hard workout or sports activities. Chocolate milk has a unique combination of protein, carbohydrates, sodium and antioxidants.
Also, a study published in the British Journal of Nutrition found that skimmed milk produces significant improvement in re-hydration compared to other drinks.
6. Backents Cognitive Decline
Low-fat milk has been shown to increase brainpower and help prevent Alzheimer’s disease. It is an excellent source of vitamin B12, which is an important protein for maintaining cognitive skills.
A Tufts University study in 2012 found that older adults who were mildly B12-deficient were at higher risk for cognitive decline.
So, whether you are a school going child or a 60 year old person, drink low-fat milk daily to boost brainpower and prevent cognitive decline due to aging.
7. Promotes Weight Loss
According to a study conducted by researchers from the University of Negev in Israel, milk plays an important role in weight loss. It is an excellent source of calcium and vitamin D that have a fat-burning effect on the body.
Plus, the protein and high water content in milk help keep you feeling full longer. Also, it has conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), which has been shown to reduce body fat in obese individuals by increasing lean muscle mass.
To promote weight loss, drink skim milk along with plenty of exercise and a strict diet plan.
8. Improves Hair Health
Milk contains all the proteins, calcium and the minerals needed for faster hair growth. It also works as an excellent moisturizer and conditioner to maintain hair health and help repair dry and damaged hair.
Simply rub some whole milk on your scalp and hair, leave it on for a few minutes and then shampoo as usual. This will make your hair naturally soft and silky.
You can also fill a spray bottle with cold milk and spray your hair thoroughly. Comb your hair gently to distribute the milk and leave it on for 30 minutes before washing your hair with a mild shampoo.
At the same time, drinking milk daily will help promote beautiful silky hair and prevent hair loss.
9. Natural Antacid
Drinking milk daily can help keep your digestive system on track. . The vitamin A in milk supports the function of the digestive system functioning. It produces retinoids and certain types of retinoids like retinoic acid help control digestive tract inflammation.
Plus, the vitamin D in milk promotes the growth of new cells. Plus, it helps control the levels of calcium in your system; calcium is required by the nerve cells to transmit signals and regulate digestion.
Also, milk works as an excellent antacid by neutralizing the digestive acids in the stomach, in turn reducing heartburn and preventing inflammation in the digestive tract.
For overall digestive health, it is recommended to drink pasteurized milk, preferably cold. While milk is good for many, it may cause problems like flatulence, diarrhea and abdominal pain in people with lactose intolerance. In such cases, consuming over-the-counter lactase supplements is one of the best options to enjoy the benefits of milk.
10. Reduces Cancer Risk
Several studies reveal that milk reduces the risk of cancer in both men and women. The high amount of calcium, vitamin D and conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) in milk is known to have anti-cancer benefits.
A study conducted by the scientists at the University of Otago found that regular consumption of school milk reduced the risk of bowel cancer by 30 percent among people who drank it daily while at school.
Milk also reduces the risk of colorectal, breast and colon cancer. Some studies have suggested that low-fat milk may reduce the risk of ovarian cancer, but this risk reduction has not been found in all studies.
To enjoy the various health benefits of milk, you can drink milk as well as include milk products like cheese, yogurt, butter, cottage cheese and flavored milk in your diet. If you are lactose intolerant though, you can try lactose supplements to reap similar benefits.