June is National Dairy Month. In this blog, I wanted to review the benefits of including dairy in one’s diet and illustrate how milk packs a nutritional punch. Consuming adequate dairy each day helps one to maintain bone health, manage his/her weight and decrease the risk of cardiovascular disease.
According to a recent U.S. Surgeon General’s Report on bone, calcium is critically important to bone health. Protein and Vitamin D are also needed in addition to calcium to assist in bone growth. Cow’s milk is rich in these three nutrients.
Recent studies have indicated that consuming high amount of dairy foods is associated with a decreased risk of metabolic syndrome, hypertension and colon and other cancers. The amino acids found in dairy protein are essential and necessary for protein replacement in the body. When someone is trying to lose weight, these amino acids found in dairy help one to preserve lean muscle tissue and force the weight lost to be mostly from fat tissue.
In the Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension (DASH) trial, dairy’s role in regulating blood pressure was emphasized. The DASH diet included a plan for participants to consume foods high in potassium, calcium, magnesium and protein. Dairy played a strong role in the DASH plan, where participants needed to consume three servings of lowfat dairy products daily. This consumption resulted in a reduction of systolic and diastolic blood pressures.
Milk Packs a Nutritional Punch
Milk has a diverse nutrient panel, which includes calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, Vitamins A, D and B12, riboflavin and magnesium. Check out how much you would need to consume of various foods to equal the amount of each nutrient found in three cups of fat-free milk.
• Calcium (90% DV) ►30 cups of raw spinach
• Potassium (33% DV)► 3 small bananas
• Phosphorus (74% DV)►3 ¼ cups canned kidney beans
• Protein (50% DV)► ½ chicken breast
• Vitamin A (30% DV)►6 large boiled eggs
• Vitamin D (86% DV) ► 1.5 ounces canned salmon (with bone)
• Vitamin B12 (61% DV)►4.5 ounces canned tuna
• Riboflavin (79% DV) ►1 cup whole almonds
• Magnesium (20%DV) ► ¼ cup cooked soybeans
Wow! Milk does pack a nutritional wallop. Celebrate Dairy Month with a tall cold glass of milk. Cheers!