Importance of Milk in our Diet

According to history, raw milk was widely used in medieval cooking. The first evidence of milking cattle for human consumption is believed to be found among the Neolithic farmers in Britain and Northern Europe.Although milk from the cow is processed, it is not an engineered or fabricated food. It is about 87 percent water, 13 percent solids and fat soluble vitamins. The solids other than fat include proteins, carbohydrates, water soluble vitamins, and minerals. These nutrients in milk help make it nature’s perfect food.

As the decades old public helath message says – “Piyo doodh for healthy reason, rahoge phir fit aur fine, jiyoge past ninety-nine!” Milk and its products contain high quality proteins. The Whey protein itself contains about 28% of the protein content of milk. Casein is the protein that is only found in milk and contains all essential amino acids. Protein helps in building and repairing body tissues and also helps in formation of antibodies to help fight infection.

Milk also contains calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. Calcium and phosphorous is found approximately in the same ratio as found in the bones. Milk is also a significant source of riboflavin (vitamin B2) which helps promote healthy skin and eyes.

In adults, a calcium deficiency, along with other factors, may result in bone deterioration called osteoporosis. Therefore, it is important to consume calcium in right amounts in order to ensure stronger bones. The recommendations for calcium are 1,000 mg for adults, 1,300 mg per day for adolescents, 500-800 mg per day for young children and 1,200 mg per day for adults over 51 years of age.

Here are some benefits of consuming milk in our diet:

Healthier Teeth
Dairy products contain calcium and other nutrients, which help teeth, grow and keep them healthy.

Bone Health
Dairy products provide calcium, which is essential for bone growth and development. Bone growth is at its highest during childhood and the teenage years and therefore it is important that teenagers consume dairy products.

Controls Obesity
Research has shown that people who consume milk and dairy foods are likely to be slimmer than those who do not. Milk is also not a high fat product. Whole milk contains 4% fat, and semi-skimmed milk contains 1.7% fat. Studies have also found that consuming milk and dairy as part of a calorie controlled diet can help us to lose weight.