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Your Mother Was Right: Drink Your Milk

By Paul Rothbart

Children have always been encouraged to drink their milk. After all, milk is produced to feed mammal babies. It has the required nutrition for growing little people. But it is good for adults too. Many people are shying away from dairy because of fat content, but options like 1 percent, 2 percent, and skim milk, take care of that issue. Milk has a multitude of nutrients that help keep the body healthy. Here are some of its benefits.

Bone Health

This is probably what milk is best known for and it is absolutely true. The nutrition in milk is very good for bone health. Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from osteoporosis, a lessening of bone density. Forty-three million more are at risk of developing the disease. Women are more at risk, but older men are also higher risk than average. Research shows that the protein and calcium content of milk may play an important role in building and maintaining bone density. This makes milk an excellent ally in the fight against osteoporosis.  The National Dairy Council recommends three servings of low-fat or fat-free daily each day to the necessary nutrition to maintain strong bones. 

Heart Health and Blood Pressure

Dairy foods contain calcium, potassium, and magnesium. These nutrients are very helpful in keeping blood pressure down. Potassium is an electrolyte that aids in maintaining fluid levels in cells. The FDA has the claim that potassium lowers blood pressure and reduces the risk of stroke. The same three servings of dairy will provide the necessary amounts of these nutrients to promote heart health. Research has also discovered that dairy may lessen the risk of type 2 diabetes. 

Chocolate Milk for Athletes

I wish I knew about this in my younger, sports playing days! Low-fat chocolate milk is an excellent drink with many benefits for athletes. The protein in milk is great for building muscle in the athlete in training. As discussed previously, the calcium keeps the bones strong, all this without the added sugars so often found in sports drinks. Milk contains potassium and other electrolytes that are lost in sweat. The carb to protein ratio in milk is ideal for replenishing tired muscles and it replaces fluids. The B vitamins in milk provide energy, and the added Vitamin D, also helps strengthen bones to prevent stress fractures. Not to mention, it tastes really good.

Mothers really do know best. Milk is one of the healthiest foods there is, especially with lower fat content. Get those three servings of dairy each day and reap the benefits of milk. 

To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Atlanta, Ga.

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