Cow milk seems to be everywhere, and is often taken for granted, but it has many important health benefits for humans, including its ability to aid in weight loss, build strong bones and teeth, boost the immune system, reduce fat, protect the heart, prevent diabetes, eliminate inflammation, and help stimulate growth.
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No matter where you are on the planet, you’ve almost certainly come across cow’s milk. In most parts of the world, it is the primary animal milk consumed by humans, although goat, sheep, and even camel milk are popular based on the availability of animals. Cow milk (derived from bovines) is intended for sucking by young cows, just as human infants are often nursed with human breast milk. However, the nutritional value and availability of cow’s milk have made it one of the most in-demand liquids on the planet. More than 6 billion people on the planet drink milk on a semi-regular basis, which means that these animals are an incredibly important part of our global nutritional needs. In fact, most governments have set recommendations for the amount of milk that children should consume on a daily basis. The role of milk in normal growth and development is extremely important, and parents around the world know it.
Cow milk is particularly high in protein, vitamin B, vitamin D, various minerals, organic compounds, and antioxidants that can affect and stimulate the body in many ways. There are ongoing debates as to the full range of medical or beneficial impacts of milk, and even some studies that argue about some of the milk’s inherent dangers. However, the global community has largely gotten on board with the value and essential nature of cow milk, so don’t expect it to leave the shelves anytime soon.
Health Benefits of Cow Milk
With the milk being packed with a range of nutrients, it is very difficult to not let it be a part of your life. Let’s take a detailed look at the health benefits cow milk.
Strengthens Bones and Teeth
Perhaps the most renowned benefit of drinking milk is to maintain your bone health. Entire advertising campaigns have been dedicated to the concept that milk builds strong bones, and it is quite true. The high content of calcium and other essential minerals for bone density, in addition to complete proteins, are all available in cow milk, which makes it an important dietary consideration for not only your bones but also your teeth. As you age, bone mineral density increases and milk can be a simple solution to keep up your strength.
Grass-fed cows tend to have a high content of omega-3 fats in their milk, and while this varies depending on where the animal grazes, and on what, the benefits are still present in most varieties of milk. Omega-3 fatty acids are the “good” form of cholesterol in the body, which can actually help improve heart health and prevent the onset of cardiovascular conditions, such as heart attacks or strokes.
Studies have linked regular milk intake with the regulation of blood sugar levels in the body. With high levels of vitamin B and essential minerals, cow milk helps the metabolism of the body run smoothly, and process food normally, which can regulate glucose and insulin levels. Maintaining normal blood sugar levels help to prevent or manage diabetes to a large extent.
Promotes Weight Loss
Research has shown that milk can aid in weight loss for a number of reasons. It can help to cause fullness, and feelings of satiety, due to its high protein content, even though it is contributing a rather low level of calories. Also, due to its metabolic-boosting abilities and protein, it can help provide more energy and prevent one from developing a sedentary lifestyle. Higher metabolism and more activity lead to weight loss.
Milk has often been recommended as a remedy for everything from gout and arthritis to respiratory distress and burns on the skin. The combination of complete animal proteins, omega-3 fatty acids, and antioxidant minerals and compounds in milk make it an incredible anti-inflammatory substance. There’s a reason why people drink milk following a spicy meal. The unique blend of nutrients can soothe the stomach’s inflammation as well, improving the efficiency of digestion and absorption of nutrients.
Growth and Development
As you surely know, protein is an important part of our bodily functions, but there are different types of protein. Cow milk contains “complete” proteins, which means that they are directly useful to our body, both in the production of energy and in the growth and natural development too. As children, it is very important to drink milk on a regular basis, as research has largely concluded that growth and development, both physically and mentally, can be boosted by this nutritious and natural drink.
Milk is about more than calcium and protein; antioxidant compounds like vitamin E, selenium and zinc can also be found in milk and can seek out dangerous free radicals throughout the body that may be causing mutations or chronic illnesses. Research has already linked the consumption of natural grass-fed cow milk to reduced levels of cancer and a lower incidence of coronary heart disease. It can also improve the appearance and youthfulness of your skin.
Word of Warning
There is some debate about the potential side effects of excessive milk consumption. From research on prostate cancer to Parkinson’s disease and CMA (Cow’s Milk Allergy), there are valid claims and research that show cow milk to be dangerous under very specific conditions and consumption levels. Before making a major boost to your milk intake, speak to your doctor, who may understand more about possible effects of milk on your system. However, for most people, milk is a very wise choice for a daily diet.