Today, we will discuss about Milk nutrition. We do also look at some major benefits of this super food.
Each one of us has heard only good things about milk when growing up and there are some real reasons behind it.
If you are wondering why our parents used to force us to finish our glass of milk every morning, this write-up has the answer.
In this write-up, we have discussed about various nutritional and health benefits of milk.
Here, it must be noted that the entire discussion would be on cow’s milk, the milk type we typically use in our homes.
Cow’s milk acts as the raw material of a range of food products. These include yogurt, butter, cream, cheese, etc.
Milk and various food products made from milk constitute a large part of our daily diet.
Read on to find out what makes milk the original superfood.
- 1 Milk Nutrition Facts
- 2 Health Benefits of Milk
- 3 About Lactose Intolerance
Milk Nutrition Facts
Thanks to the presence of almost all nutrients a human body needs to function properly milk’s nutritional composition is slightly complex.
A cup or 240 ml of whole cow milk containing 3.25% fat is source to:
- 149 calories
- 88% water
- 7 grams of carbohydrate
- 3 grams of sugar
- 0 gram of fiber
- 7 grams of protein
- 8 grams of fat
- Essential vitamin and minerals
Let’s have a deeper look to milk nutrition by discussing some prominent nutrients in detail –
Carbohydrates resourced from milk are primarily lactose. Lactose, which constitutes almost 5% of cow’s milk, is a simple sugar.
As we consume milk, our digestive system breaks the lactose present in it into galactose and glucose. These carbs first get absorbed into our bloodstream, after which our liver converts the galactose into glucose.
At times, our digestive system does not produce the enzyme required for breaking down lactose.
The medical term used for this anomaly is “lactose intolerance”. We have discussed the subject in detail later in this article.
This probably make the discussion more significant whenever we discuss about milk nutrition.
The protein content of milk is significantly high.
Every fluid ounce (or 30 ml) of milk contains around 1 gram of protein, which converts to 7.7 grams in a cup (or 240 ml) of milk.
Depending on their water solubility, there can be two types of protein in milk. Proteins that are insoluble in water are known as caseins, while the ones soluble in water are called whey proteins.
Both caseins and whey proteins can be digested easily and are rich sources of essential amino acids.
Here is some more information on the two protein types:
This protein type constitutes almost 80% of milk protein.
The term “casein” is used for a family of related phosphoproteins, out of which alpha-casein is the most abundantly occurring variant.
The most crucial feature of this phosphoprotein is its ability to boost the absorption of phosphorus, calcium, and several other essential minerals.
In addition, casein is also known to decrease blood pressure in patients with hypertension.
The remaining 20% of milk’s protein content comprises of whey protein.
Whey is a rich source of BCAAs or branched-chain amino acids like valine, isoleucine, leucine, etc.
Nutritionists and physicians around the globe recommend regular consumption of this protein thanks to the array of health benefits it offers.
Whey is instrumental in improving mood in women suffering from PMS (pre-menstrual syndrome). Other than that, whey also helps in managing blood pressure.
Due to its ability to boost muscle growth, whey is an essential part of the daily diet of bodybuilders and athletes.
Milk coming straight from cows (before undergoing any treatment) contains approximately 4% fat.
In the United States (as well as many other countries), milk is marketed depending on their fat content.
For instance, American dairy farms market milk primarily in these three forms:
- Low-fat milk or milk containing 1% fat
- Reduced-fat milk or milk containing 2% fat
- Whole milk or milk containing 3.25% fat
Milk fat is more complex compared to the majority of the other natural fats discovered to date. It contains around 400 different fatty acids.
The saturated fat content of whole milk is remarkably high. Approximately 70% of whole milk’s fatty acid consists of saturated fat.
On the contrary, polyunsaturated fat content of whole milk is pretty low and makes up just 2.3% of its entire fat content.
The remaining part of whole milk’s fat content, which is around 28%, consists of monounsaturated fats.
Milk contain trans fats in small quantities. Examples include conjugated linoleic acid (or CLA) and vaccenic acid.
However, present of trans fat is pretty prominent in dairy products. For those who don’t know, trans fats found in milk or dairy products are called ruminant trans fats.
The good news is that unlike trans fats present in fast food or processed food, ruminant trans fats offer several health benefits.
Milk is a rich source of every vitamin and mineral a calf needs for experiencing sustained development and growth during the initial phase of its life.
What makes milk even more special is that it also contains all micronutrients humans need for normal functioning of their organs. In fact, that’s the reason why milk is often described as a “balanced diet” by nutritionists.
Here are the minerals and vitamins you will find in milk in large quantities –
Calcium: Milk is the most potent dietary source of calcium. What’s more, calcium present in milk happens to be the most easily absorbed version of the mineral.
Vitamin B12: If you consume a cup of milk every day, it will provide you with as much as 46% of your daily requirement of vitamin B12.
Vitamin B2: The vitamin B2 content of milk helps humans in staying fit and promotes normal growth in children and young adults.
Phosphorus: Consuming milk would provide you with enough phosphorus to ensure that you store and use energy derived from carbs in the right manner.
Milk hormones: Cow milk contains over 50 hormones. These hormones play major role in the development of newborn calves.
Out of these 50 hormones, only IGF-1 is found to affect the humans.
IGF-1 or insulin-like growth fact-1 is also found in the breast milk of humans. The hormone plays a crucial role in our cellular regeneration and overall growth.
Health Benefits of Milk
Essential for Healthy Bones
Milk being a potent source of essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, and potassium helps in keeping our bones strong.
You can prevent onset of osteoporosis by consuming a glassful of milk every day.
Makes you Less Susceptible to Gaining Weight
The protein content of milk is extremely high.
As a result, drinking a glassful of milk is a great way of curbing your cravings.
If you consume milk with your breakfast, you will surely remain full until lunchtime. This, in turn, would stop you from eating harmful munchies and make losing weight easier for you.
Drinking a glass of cold milk would help you fight a range of digestive disorders including acidity effectively.
When you drink cold milk it would have a cooling effect on your esophagus and stomach lining. As a result, you will not suffer from heartburn and other symptoms of acidity.
Reduces your Chances of Having a Stroke
The lactose present in milk reduces cholesterol production in our liver. This effect of milk would protect you against cardiovascular disorders and hypertension.
As a result, your chances of having a stroke would diminish significantly.
Milk is a Great Stress Buster
The vitamin and minerals present in milk allow it to work as a great stress buster.
Having a glass of milk after a hectic workday would ease you significantly by calming your nerves and muscles.
Milk will Make your Teeth Stronger
The calcium present in milk helps us in having stronger teeth.
About Lactose Intolerance
Before adding milk to your daily diet, you must know about the adverse effects you may experience as a result of having milk.
The most common health issue induced by milk is lactose intolerance or lactose malabsorption.
Individuals with lactose intolerance fail to digest lactose or the sugar content of milk completely.
This failure in digestion leads to adverse effects like gas, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, etc. whenever these people consume milk or any other dairy product.
It’s unlikely that any of the above-mentioned symptoms of lactose intolerance would turn fatal. However, they can surely make life extremely uncomfortable for you.
Thus, if you experience these symptoms whenever you consume milk or any milk product, you must get yourself checked by a qualified doctor.
Managing the problem is usually easy. You will experience considerable improvement by doing one or more of the following:
- Reduce consumption of milk and dairy products
- Add small servings of milk/milk products
- Look for lactose-reduced milk and ice-cream
- Drink milk by adding a powder or liquid lactase enzyme to it
In brief, this is all about Milk nutrition, health benefits and how it helps you to stay fit and strong. Thus, it’s important for you to consume a glass of milk every day.
This will not only protect you against a number of diseases but will also help you have good muscle mass.