The love of milk

Milk has been enjoyed throughout the world for thousands of years.

By definition, it’s a nutrient-rich fluid that female mammals produce to feed their young.

The most commonly consumed types come from cows, sheep and goats. Western countries drink cow’s milk most frequently.

Milk consumption is a hotly debated topic in the nutrition world, so you might wonder if it’s healthy or harmful. Below are 5 science-backed health benefits of milk so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you.

1. Milk Is Packed With Nutrients

The nutritional profile of milk is impressive. After all, it’s designed to fully nourish newborn animals. Just one cup (244 grams) of whole cow’s milk contains

  • Calories: 146
  • Protein: 8 grams
  • Fat: 8 grams
  • Calcium: 28% of the RDA
  • Vitamin D: 24% of the RDA
  • Riboflavin (B2): 26% of the RDA
  • Vitamin B12: 18% of the RDA
  • Potassium: 10% of the RDA
  • Phosphorus: 22% of the RDA
  • Selenium: 13% of the RDA

Milk is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including “nutrients of concern,” which are under-consumed by many populations. It provides potassium, B12, calcium and vitamin D, which are lacking in many diets.

Milk is also a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, zinc and thiamine (B1). Additionally, it’s an excellent source of protein and contains hundreds of different fatty acids, including conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) and omega-3s .

Conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids are linked to many health benefits, including a reduced risk of diabetes and heart disease.The nutritional content of milk varies, depending on factors like its fat content and the diet and treatment of the cow it came from. For example, milk from cows that eat mostly grass contains significantly higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids.

Also, organic and grass-fed cow’s milk contains higher amounts of beneficial antioxidants, such as vitamin E and beta-carotene, which help reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress.

SUMMARY

Milk contains a wide array of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, protein, healthy fats and antioxidants. Keep in mind that its nutritional content can vary depending on many factors.

2. It’s A Good Source of Quality Protein

Milk is a rich source of protein, with just one cup containing 8 grams. Protein is necessary for many vital functions in your body, including growth and development, cellular repair and immune system regulation (13).

Milk is considered a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for your body to function at an optimal level (14). There are two main types of protein found in milk — casein and whey protein. Both are considered high-quality proteins. Casein makes up the majority of the protein found in cow’s milk, comprising 70–80% of the total protein content. Whey accounts for around 20% (15).

Whey protein contains the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine, all of which are linked to health benefits. Branched-chain amino acids may be particularly helpful in building muscle, preventing muscle loss and providing fuel during exercise (16, 17). Drinking milk is associated with a lower risk of age-related muscle loss in several studies. In fact, higher consumption of milk and milk products has been linked to greater whole-body muscle mass and better physical performance in older adults (18).

Milk has also been shown to boost muscle repair in athletes. In fact, several studies have demonstrated that drinking milk after a workout can decrease muscle damage, promote muscle repair, increase strength and even decrease muscle soreness (19, 20, 21). Plus, it’s a natural alternative to highly processed protein drinks marketed toward post-workout recovery.

SUMMARY

Milk is a rich source of quality protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. It may help reduce age-related muscle loss and promote muscle repair after exercise.

2. It’s A Good Source of Quality Protein

Milk is a rich source of protein, with just one cup containing 8 grams. Protein is necessary for many vital functions in your body, including growth and development, cellular repair and immune system regulation (13).

Milk is considered a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for your body to function at an optimal level (14). There are two main types of protein found in milk — casein and whey protein. Both are considered high-quality proteins. Casein makes up the majority of the protein found in cow’s milk, comprising 70–80% of the total protein content. Whey accounts for around 20% (15).

Whey protein contains the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine, all of which are linked to health benefits. Branched-chain amino acids may be particularly helpful in building muscle, preventing muscle loss and providing fuel during exercise (16, 17). Drinking milk is associated with a lower risk of age-related muscle loss in several studies. In fact, higher consumption of milk and milk products has been linked to greater whole-body muscle mass and better physical performance in older adults (18).

Milk has also been shown to boost muscle repair in athletes. In fact, several studies have demonstrated that drinking milk after a workout can decrease muscle damage, promote muscle repair, increase strength and even decrease muscle soreness (19, 20, 21). Plus, it’s a natural alternative to highly processed protein drinks marketed toward post-workout recovery.

SUMMARY

Milk is a rich source of quality protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. It may help reduce age-related muscle loss and promote muscle repair after exercise.

2. It’s A Good Source of Quality Protein

Milk is a rich source of protein, with just one cup containing 8 grams. Protein is necessary for many vital functions in your body, including growth and development, cellular repair and immune system regulation (13).

Milk is considered a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for your body to function at an optimal level (14). There are two main types of protein found in milk — casein and whey protein. Both are considered high-quality proteins. Casein makes up the majority of the protein found in cow’s milk, comprising 70–80% of the total protein content. Whey accounts for around 20% (15).

Whey protein contains the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine and valine, all of which are linked to health benefits. Branched-chain amino acids may be particularly helpful in building muscle, preventing muscle loss and providing fuel during exercise (16, 17). Drinking milk is associated with a lower risk of age-related muscle loss in several studies. In fact, higher consumption of milk and milk products has been linked to greater whole-body muscle mass and better physical performance in older adults (18).

Milk has also been shown to boost muscle repair in athletes. In fact, several studies have demonstrated that drinking milk after a workout can decrease muscle damage, promote muscle repair, increase strength and even decrease muscle soreness (19, 20, 21). Plus, it’s a natural alternative to highly processed protein drinks marketed toward post-workout recovery.

SUMMARY

Milk is a rich source of quality protein that contains all nine essential amino acids. It may help reduce age-related muscle loss and promote muscle repair after exercise.

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