How Milk Benefits Your Health

How Milk Benefits Your Health | Dr. Ali Ghahary

Milk and milk products (which are also known as dairy products) are an important part of a healthy, well balanced diet and are one of the food groups that Canada’s Food Guide recommends incorporating into your diet as it is a great source of nutrients that are vital to your health, including calcium, potassium, protein, iodine, and vitamins B2 and B12. As for how these aforementioned nutrients benefit your health, there are many ways.

CALCIUM:
• Normal growth, development and maintenance of bones and teeth
• Muscle function
• Neurotransmission
• Cell division
• Blood clotting
POTASSIUM:
• Normal functioning of the nervous system
• Muscle function
• Maintenance of blood pressure
PROTEIN:
• Bone and muscle maintenance
• Muscle growth and development in children
IODINE:
• Energy-yielding metabolism
• Maintenance of skin
• Nervous system functioning
• Production and function of thyroid hormones
VITAMINS B2 & B2:
• Skin maintenance
• Maintenance of vision
• Iron metabolism
• Formation and maintenance of red blood cells
• Reduction of fatigue
• Immune function
• Psychological function

As for how much milk or milk products you should be consuming per day, it depends on your age. Adults, for example, are suggested to get between 1,000 and 1,200 mg of calcium per day, while children between the ages of 1 and 8 need anywhere from 700 mg to 1,000 milligrams, and those between ages 9 and 18 need approximately 1,300 mg.

Aside from drinking milk, there are other products you can consume to get calcium and these other essential nutrients, including yogurt and cheese (which are actually higher sources of calcium.) If you’re someone who is lactose intolerant, then milk is something you’ll want to avoid. You can find lactose-free milk products at most grocery stores, or foods like beans and lentils, almonds, canned salmon and sardines, certain leafy greens and whey protein are all other great sources of calcium, too.