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Milk is more than just an ingredient in your favorite soups and smoothies, it is a needed ingredient in your day-to-day life. Read on to discover the health benefits of milk and more. While this post is sponsored by Florida Dairy Farmers, all opinions and my love of dairy are my own.
Milk Is More Than Just An Ingredient
Did you know that people have been drinking milk for over 9,000 years. Yes, you read that right…9,000 years. If you jump ahead a couple thousand years to the 1700s, many families had their own cows so that they could have fresh milk daily. However, not every family did, and that’s when people began to buy milk from local dairy farmers.
Back then, fresh milk was delivered to your door from the local milkman, but soon we were able to buy milk at the local grocer and keep in cold thanks to the invention of the refrigerator.
People soon started to forget about the milkman and the delivery of fresh milk. They also started to forget that there were still local dairy farmers making sure we all had nutritious milk to enjoy at home. As consumers we like to know where our food (and milk) comes from. We like to support local businesses and buy local food. So know when you are buying milk, even though it’s not delivered to your door by a milkman, you are supporting your local dairy farmer, who is a valued community member just like you.
Milk leaves your local dairy farm twice a day to go to your local grocer to make sure you are getting the freshest milk possible.
So how do you use milk? Many of us use it as a beverage at meals or a needed component to cereal or as an ingredient to a recipe. But have you ever stopped to think about the importance of milk in your daily diet? Milk is more than an ingredient in your recipe. Milk is more than an ingredient to your cereal or oatmeal. Milk is more than a beverage. Milk does the body good.
All dairy milk (white, flavored, lactose free and organic) has the same unique nutrient package and contains nine essential nutrients and 8 grams of high-quality protein in every 8-ounce glass. Here are the 9 nutrients for your reference: Protein, Calcium, Riboflavin, Niacin, Phosphorus, B12, pantothenic acid, vitamin A, vitamin D.
Here are some of the health benefits of milk:
- It can be hard to meet nutrient recommendations especially calcium, vitamin D and potassium (three nutrients of public concern) without eating three daily servings of dairy foods. Milk is rich in calcium and vitamin D, which is why drinking milk has long been associated with supporting healthy bones and teeth.
- Healthy eating patterns that include low fat or fat free dairy foods are linked to reduced risk of cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, and lower blood pressure among adults. Dairy foods are also linked to better bone health especially in children and adolescents.
- Milk is an excellent source of high-quality protein. That protein serves as an energy source and helps build and repair muscle tissue. The high-quality protein found in milk contains all nine essential amino acids. This makes milk a great post workout beverage. Low fat chocolate milk has the perfect protein-to-carbohydrate ration scientifically shown to help recovery after a tough workout.
- Milk can help boost energy. Due to the fact that milk is filled with vitamins and nutrients a nice glass of milk can also be a natural pick-me-up.
- The vitamins and nutrients in milk can also help to keep your skin soft. I have heard that milk baths are amazing for your skin, but if you don’t get the chance to do that, be sure you are drinking milk in order to help give you similar results.
Aside from drinking milk or making yourself a milk bath, milk is used in many recipes.
Here are a few recipes ideas to try so that you can incorporate more milk into your daily routine:
- Smoothies – You all know that I love a good smoothie! It is one of the easiest ways to get in a healthy dose of fruits, vegetables and protein in one glass.
- Coffee – Definitely a necessary part of my morning. The caffeine helps me wake up a little and by adding a splash of milk to my morning coffee it gives me a boost of beneficial nutrients to help me face the day.
- Soups – A good bowl of soup will definitely warm you up from the inside out, but by adding milk to your favorite soup recipe you are also adding nutrition.
- Casseroles – Many dishes require milk to not only enhance the flavors of your recipe, but to also make it extra creamy and delicious. Good news is, by adding milk to your favorite casseroles you are also adding all the nutrients.
Milk is simple and wholesome. Where else can you find 8 grams of protein along with 8 other essential nutrients for only 80 calories and less than a $1/day for three servings?
As you can see, milk is versatile and nutritious. Milk is an important ingredient to your life.
To get the full health benefits of milk, the USDA says adults should consume three servings of milk (or yogurt or cheese) everyday. A serving size is 1 cup of milk or yogurt, 1.5 ounces of natural cheese or 2 ounces of processed cheese.