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Milk - Yes Or No? Essential Nutrients, Calcium, Protein, Potassium, Phosphorous, Vitamins

We have always been taught by our parents to “drink that glass of milk” because it is supposed to be healthy for us. But why exactly is milk healthy and how can drinking milk still benefit us as adults?
Milk is made up of many essential nutrients, nine of which are listed as the most important according to the National Dairy Council. These include:

  • Calcium. Calcium is probably the best known nutrient that we get from milk. Calcium is the building block of our bones so this mineral is important for bone health. The regular intake of calcium helps build healthy bone density and prevents the risk of developing osteoporosis. Calcium is also essential in many body functions and if we don’t get this calcium from the diet, the body takes it from the bones causing bones to become weaker. Milk is an important source of calcium so our parents were wise to advise us to drink up!
  • Protein. Protein is an important source of energy for the body and it is also the primary source for amino acid production in the body. These amino acids are responsible for producing blood, muscles, tissues and more. Protein also strengthens the immune system and enables us to better fight off infections and illnesses.
  • Potassium. Potassium is an electrolyte that regulates the body’s fluid balance. It also promotes muscle growth, proper brain development and a healthy central nervous system. It also plays a part in regulating our heart beat and blood pressure.
  • Phosphorus. Phosphorus is needed along with calcium in the formation and mineralization of the bones. It also aids in proper digestion and in regulating the production of hormones.
  • Vitamin D. Vitamin D is essential in enabling the body to regulate levels of calcium and phosphorus in the blood. Vitamin D is also needed in order to allow calcium to be absorbed by the bones. Recent studies show that Vitamin D can also play a part in protecting against osteoporosis, hypertension and some autoimmune disorders.
  • Vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is required in order to keep nerve functions and red blood cells healthy. This vitamin is also essential in the formation of DNA and it also helps the body convert blood sugars into energy.
  • Vitamin A. Vitamin A is essential in the regulation of white blood cells in the body. This means that Vitamin A is important for our body’s immune system. It’s also essential in eye health, bone and teeth health as well as skin health.
  • Riboflavin. Riboflavin is needed by the body to produce red blood cells and antibodies. It’s also good for the skin. Riboflavin is also an important nutrient for pregnant women because it is needed by a developing fetus.
  • Niacin. Also known as vitamin B3, niacin lowers bad cholesterol levels in the body and increases levels of good cholesterol. Niacin is also good for the nervous system, as well as in mental health.