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The Two-Sided Coin of Drinking Milk

By Tom Herrin

If we ask anyone what they think is the most important source of nutrition for young children, the fairly unanimous answer would be milk.  We all know that it is the most basic parts of a diet for children.  As we age, however, we often shift our diets.  Some of this is simply due to choosing other foods or beverages, and some of it is that we may feel we have outgrown milk.  It certainly has a role in building bodies.  Its protein content is almost unmatched in a calorie-for-calorie comparison.  In order to take in similar amounts of protein, we may well consume many more calories by eating meat.

Milk and Strong Bones

It is pretty much a given that milk may help to build strong bones.  Much of this is due to the fact that it contains a fair amount of calcium.  Without calcium, we risk having weak, or soft bones.  A few other nutrients in cows' milk may be pretty significant as well.  Potassium and magnesium are present in large enough amounts in this milk to have an impact on our teeth.  Most of this kind of milk is fortified with Vitamin D which has been found to play a critical role in our overall health.

Milk May Do More Harm Than Good for Some

While milk may seem almost like a miracle food for some, others may find it to be more of a harm than a help.  Some people are sensitive to some of the contents of cows' milk, so it can become an unpleasant experience.  The sugar in milk, or lactose, may be intolerable.  It has been discovered more recently that some people have problems with one of the proteins in this milk.  As a result, some producers have been able to deliver milk without this protein.  It is usually marked as A2 milk.

There Are Good Options

For those who may need calcium but can't tolerate traditional milk, there are some pretty good substitutes.  One of the most common is almond milk.  It has a higher amount of calcium and can be used in much the same way as other milk.  It comes in a variety of flavors, so you may want to sample a few.  I prefer the vanilla and try to drink a glass each night to help boost my calcium levels.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Fort Myers, Fla.

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