Benefits of Milk for Health: Maintain Beauty Skin to Healthy Bones

There are many things you can do to live a healthy life, including maintaining daily nutritional intake and exercising regularly. One way to help meet daily nutrition is by drinking milk regularly.

Milk is a beverage that is commonly consumed by people of all ages. Milk contains a variety of important nutrients that are able to keep the body's organs functioning properly and protect the body from disease attacks.

To support growth and development, regular consumption of milk is recommended from childhood. Meanwhile, for adults, milk can help reduce the risk of diseases, such as osteoporosis and cardiovascular disease.

Milk is available in liquid and powder form. Powdered milk itself has several advantages, namely:
  • Easy to store and more durable or long lasting
  • Can be consumed by adults and children, except infants (aged under 1 year)
  • The price is relatively affordable
  • Available in various flavors that kids like

Why is Drinking Milk Important for Health?

As explained earlier, the body needs a variety of nutrients so that the body's organs can function properly and are protected from disease-causing substances or germs. In general, nutrients are divided into two types, namely macronutrients and micronutrients.

Macronutrients are a group of nutrients that the body needs in large quantities, such as carbohydrates, protein and fat. Conversely, micronutrients are a group of nutrients that the body needs only in small amounts, namely vitamins and minerals, such as vitamin D, vitamin B, calcium, and iron.

Both macronutrients and micronutrients can be obtained from various types of food, such as rice, meat, eggs, fish, and vegetables and fruit. In addition, macro and micro nutrients can also be obtained from milk, as well as various dairy products, such as cheese or yogurt.

Because milk is a good source of nutrition, milk should be consumed regularly as an effort to lead a healthy lifestyle.

Nutrients Contained In Milk

Milk is a white liquid produced from the mammary glands of mammals. The milk that we usually consume everyday is cow's milk, whether it's in the form of whole milk or processed like powdered milk.

Apart from cow's milk, there are various types of milk that can also be consumed, such as goat's, horse's milk, to non-mammal milk, such as soy milk and almond milk.

According to research, milk contains various good nutrients that are beneficial for your body. The following are the nutrients contained in one cup of whole cow's milk with a fat content of 3.5-3.8 percent:
  • 149 calories
  • 7.9 grams of fat
  • 7.7 grams of protein
  • 12.3 grams of sugar
  • 276 mg calcium
  • 205 mg of phosphorus
  • 322 mg of potassium
  • 3.2 mcg of vitamin D.

Unlike whole milk, one cup of nonfat or low-fat milk contains the following nutrients:
  • 83 calories
  • 0.2 grams of fat
  • 8.2 grams of protein
  • 12.4 grams of sugar
  • 298 grams of calcium
  • 246 mg of phosphorus
  • 381 mg of potassium
  • 2.9 mcg vitamin D.

The two types of milk above also contain choline, magnesium, vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, vitamin B12, and various other nutrients that are good for consumption.

Benefits of Milk for Health

The abundant nutritional content makes milk one of the healthiest drinks. Here are some of the benefits of milk:

1. Supporting children's growth and development

Children aged 6-10 years need to get 35-40 grams of protein per day, while teenagers need 50-70 grams of protein per day. The reason is, protein is a macronutrient needed by children to support their growth and development.

Protein also functions to increase strength and muscle mass, accelerate body metabolism, maintain bone health, repair damaged body tissue, and strengthen endurance.

2. Maintain bone health

Calcium is the main mineral found in bones. The body needs calcium to increase and maintain bone strength, and to make muscles and blood vessels function properly.

In order to maintain bone health, children over 1 year of age need calcium intake of 1,000 mg per day, while adults 1,000-1,200 mg per day. These calcium needs can be met by consuming certain foods or drinks, such as milk, cheese, yogurt, fish, and soybeans.

3. Maintain eye health

Milk is known for its abundant vitamin A content. Every day, children are encouraged to get vitamin A intake of 400-500 RE and adults 600-700 RE.

Vitamin A itself is a very important nutrient for the sense of sight. Adequate daily intake of vitamin A can improve the quality of vision and reduce the risk of a number of eye diseases, such as macular degeneration.

4. Improve the immune system

The benefits of vitamin A and vitamin B12 in milk are not only for maintaining eye health. This vitamin also plays a role in the function of the immune system and brain.

Various studies have shown that vitamin B12 functions to support child development and the health of brain and nerve tissue. With adequate intake of vitamin B12, children's learning ability and concentration power will increase.

Vitamin A and vitamin B12 are responsible for preventing harmful substances or disease-causing germs from entering the body. This vitamin also helps the production of white blood cells, which play a role in capturing and destroying harmful substances and germs in the body.

Vitamin B12 also plays an important role in red blood cell products, so it can prevent anemia.

5. Improve muscle strength and brain function

The iron content in milk plays a major role in brain health and function. The reason is, iron is needed for the formation of hemoglobin which functions to carry oxygen throughout the body, including the brain. With the fulfillment of these oxygen needs, children's brain functions such as learning ability and focus power will be supported.

Not only that, iron also plays an important role in preventing anemia due to iron deficiency which can result in decreased cognitive function of the brain, including the ability to focus or concentrate while studying, as well as the ability to remember.

Therefore, both children and adults are strongly recommended to have adequate iron intake. Every day, children need to get iron intake of at least 7-10 mg and adults 8-11 mg.

6. Maintain skin beauty

Cleopatra, the queen of ancient Egypt took a milk bath to help her skin stay soft, supple and radiant. Milk also has the same benefits, or you can just drink a few glasses of milk every day to reap the benefits.

Milk has several nutrients that help skin look its best. Milk contains lactic acid which acts as an exfoliant, an enzyme that helps smooth skin. Milk also contains amino acids which will help moisturize the skin.

Milk also contains antioxidants that can help prevent skin damage from environmental toxins. However, if you have an allergy to milk or dairy products, milk can actually worsen your skin.

7. Maintain healthy teeth

Milk is also great for strong teeth, and helps prevent tooth decay and cavities. In order for calcium to be absorbed by the body, vitamin D must also be obtained. If you are deficient in vitamin D, then get extra fortified milk with vitamin D, to ensure that your body can absorb calcium.

8. Maintain weight

Studies show that women who drink low-fat or skimmed milk lose more weight than those who don't. Milk is an opening drink before eating healthy foods. Add a glass of milk for dinner, or drink a glass of milk while eating a piece of fruit.

9. Reduce stress

Drinking milk is a great way to help relieve stress after a tired day. The benefits of drinking warm milk will help relax tense muscles and can calm nerves. The benefits of milk have also been shown to reduce PMS symptoms (premenstrual syndrome) and can increase energy. If you feel tired, try drinking a glass of milk while you are relaxing in a bubble bath

10. Maintain heart health

Cow's milk is a source of potassium which can help lower blood pressure so that it keeps you from heart disease. Increasing potassium intake and reducing sodium can also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

However, make sure you consume milk that is free of saturated fat because milk that is high in saturated fat and cholesterol will actually increase the risk of heart disease.

11. Prevent type-2 diabetes

Type-2 diabetes is a disease characterized by high blood sugar levels. This condition can increase your risk of heart disease, stroke, and kidney disease. Several studies have found that drinking milk can help prevent type-2 diabetes in adults because milk protein improves blood sugar balance.

12. Potential to prevent cancer

Vitamin D is believed to control and protect the body from cancer cell growth. The content of vitamin D in milk is also believed to provide similar protection. In addition, the National Cancer Institute states that based on research results, there is a link between higher calcium intake and a reduced risk of colorectal cancer. Some studies have even shown that increasing calcium and lactose intake from milk can help prevent ovarian cancer.

Remember that not everyone can drink milk safely. Because in some people, milk can cause lactose intolerance or allergies.

Therefore, if you experience unusual symptoms when you drink milk, such as rash, itching, swelling, coughing, or vomiting, stop consuming milk immediately and consult a doctor.

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