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Benefits of Milk

Health benefits of milk include good bone health, smooth skin, strong immune system

By Zohreh.A / 4 Feb 2013

Health benefits of milk include good bone health, smooth skin, strong immune system, prevention of illnesses such as hypertension, dental decay, dehydration, respiratory problems, obesity, osteoporosis and even some forms of cancer. The beneficial health nutrients obtained from milk are mandatory for human body and help in prevention of chronic ailments.

Milk's Makeup

Milk is filled with nine essential nutrients that benefit our health:

• Calcium: Builds healthy bones and teeth; maintains bone mass

• Protein: Serves as a source of energy; builds/repairs muscle tissue

• Potassium: Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure

• Phosphorus: Helps strengthen bones and generate energy

• Vitamin D: Helps maintain bones

• Vitamin B12: Maintains healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue

• Vitamin A: Maintains the immune system; helps maintain normal vision and skin

• Riboflavin (B2): Converts food into energy

• Niacin: Metabolizes sugars and fatty acids

The nutritional value of milk have always influenced people all over the world to include it in diet. Addition of milk in your daily diet can also help in achieving a well-balanced diet. Milk is an ideal source of nutrients such as vitamin A & B, calcium, carbohydrate, phosphorous, magnesium, protein, zinc and riboflavin. The health benefits of milk can be achieved from milk directly or its products such as cheese, butter, curd, clarified butter or ghee, dairy whitener, ice cream, cottage cheese or paneer, flavored milk, milk sweets etc. Some of the advantages of drinking this life-giving nectar are as follows:

• Calcium: Milk is the best source of calcium supply to our body. Calcium protects the body from major chronic ailments such as cancerous chemicals, bone loss, arthritic condition, migraine headaches, pre-menstrual syndrome, and obesity in children and aids in losing unwanted fats.

• Healthy Bones: As mentioned above, milk is rich in calcium, which is very essential for growth and proper development of strong bone structure. Bone disorders such as osteoporosis can be prevented with daily intake of adequate quantity of milk. Children deprived of cow milk have an increased chance of bone fractures when injured.

• Healthy Teeth: Encouraging children and youngsters to drink milk would give them excellent dental health, as milk protects the enamel surface against acidic substances. Drinking milk for energy and health would dissuade children from consuming soft drinks, thus reducing the risk of decayed teeth and weak gums.

• Rehydration: Fluids are an integral part of human body. The body needs to be replenished with liquids at regular intervals. It is very essential for growing children and they must drink at least six to eight glasses of fluid every day. Milk contains a good quantity of water molecules and is  considered the best fluid for rehydration.

• Skin Care: Milk is known to benefit our skin by helping us maintain a fair and smooth complexion. Hence, milk and milk products are used in a number of cosmetic preparations. Milk is also good for dry skin. If you have a dry skin apply milk on your face (and other body parts), leave it for about 15 minutes and then wash it. The milk solids nourish and smoothen your skin. The lactic acid present in milk is known to aid in removing the dead skin cells, thereby rejuvenating your skin.

• Improving Diet and Vitamin Intake: According to medical research, drinking milk considerably improves our intakes of vital minerals and vitamins. A man who consumes a carton of whole milk doubles his chances of fulfilling calcium requirement per day, whereas, another person consuming a can of fizzy or carbonated drink may in reality lower his calcium levels by one third percent.

• Acidity Reduction: Consumption of milk products can also help in reducing acidity.

• Wholesome Food: It contains a whole lot of vitamins and minerals to keep you fit, healthy and strong. A glassful of milk contains vitamin A & B for good eyesight and increasing RBC count, carbohydrates for vitality and energy, potassium for proper nerve function, magnesium for muscular function, phosphorous for energy release, protein for body repair and growth.

• Osteoporosis - if milk and milk products are removed from the diet, it can lead to an inadequate intake of calcium. This is of particular concern for women and the elderly, who have high calcium needs. Calcium deficiency may lead to disorders like osteoporosis (a disease characterised by bone loss).

• Colon cancer - some studies have found that people who regularly eat dairy products have a reduced risk of developing colon cancer.

• blood pressure: An increasing number of studies suggest that consuming 3 portions of dairy each day, along with 5 portions of fruit and vegetables as part of a low salt diet can reduce high blood pressure in both adults and children. Although the exact mechanisms involved are not clear, it is thought that the calcium, potassium, magnesium and proteins within milk are all likely to be involved.

• Type 2 diabetes: Studies suggest that regular consumption of low fat dairy products can help to reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes, which has been a longstanding problem in adults, and is becoming increasingly common in children and adolescents. A recent study of more than 37,000  middle aged women found that those with the highest intakes of dairy had a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes. The strongest association was found with low fat dairy products. Similarly a study of men found a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes with increased consumption of low fat dairy, interestingly, every extra portion of dairy consumed was associated with increasingly lower risk. It is thought that this effect may be due to the combined effects of many beneficial nutrients found within dairy foods including calcium and magnesium, or the fact that dairy foods have a low glycaemic index, which helps to control blood sugar levels.

Finally, let us think of Allah's saying: ''And verily! In the cattle, there is a lesson for you. We give you to drink of that which is in their bellies,from between excretions and blood, pure milk; palatable to the drinkers'' (An Nahl 16:66).


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