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Drinking Milk…Not Just For Kiddos

As a child your mama probably told you to drink milk so you can grow up to be big and strong, but did she tell you that drinking milk is important for adults too? Here are five reasons it’s important to drink milk as an adult.

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1. Provides Calcium and Vitamin D for Bone Health

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Your mother wasn’t lying when she told you if you wanted strong bones and teeth that it is important to drink milk. Calcium is the main mineral that keeps teeth and bones strong. Calcium is important not only for growing bones in children, but also for prevent osteoporosis in older adults (Fitday Editor). The element can be found in milk as well as other dairy products such as cheese and yogurt (“Top 10 Calcium-Rich Foods.”)!

2. Lower Blood Pressure

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According to “Milk Peptides and Blood Pressure” there is an inverse relationship between dietary intake of dairy products, specifically the proteins found in these foods/beverages and the risk of hypertension. So, what that really means is that there have been studies that show eating and drinking dairy products is linked to a lower risk of high blood pressure. In fact, there have even been some studies which have shown milk products can lower blood pressure (Jauhiainen et al., 2007).

3. Lower Risk for Some Types of Cancer

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This is a fact to celebrate! Although dated studies suggest milk can increase one's risk for cancer, newer studies actually show the opposite. Drinking milk can lower one’s risk for some types of cancer including colon and rectum cancer. The American Institute of Cancer Research and the World Cancer Research Fund independently found the calcium in milk helps reduce the risk of colon and rectal cancer (Fernandes et al., 2015).

4. Lower Risk of Depression

Depression affects more than 15 million US adults. (“Facts & Statistics”). Dairy products are filled with calcium, carbohydrates, and proteins which help your body to feel content and relaxed. Additionally, milk has Vitamin D. Vitamin D is used in part to make serotonin, the “happy” hormone. A lack of vitamin D in the diet may lead to lower serotonin levels which can cause depression (Ware, Megan).

5. Refuels Your Body with Nutrients that Support Muscle Development

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We’ve all been there (or at least thought about) terrible workouts. Did you know that milk is the “perfect protein” for building muscle? This means that the amino acid composition of milk is nearly identical to the amino acids needed to build muscle. The carbohydrates and calcium also helps your muscles rebuild and repair themselves after a workout. However, not all milk is created equal. When comparing the benefits of drinking cow’s milk and soy milk after a workout, the cow’s milk has a superior effect on muscle development when compared to other types of milk (Kanda et al., 2016.)

Sources

"Facts & Statistics." Anxiety and Depression Association of America. ADAA, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

Fitday Editor. "6 Health Benefits of Milk." Nutrition / Healthy Eating. Fitday, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

Fernandez, E.F., Hernandez, J.A.M., Suarez, V.M. Villares, J.M.M., Yurrita, L.R.C., Cabria, M.H., Rey, F.J.M. 2015. Consensus Document: Nutritional And Metabolic Importance Of Cow's Milk. Nutricion Hospitalaria. 31:91-101 DOI: 10.3305/nh.2015.31.1.8253

Jauhiainen, T., Korpela, R. 2007. Milk Peptides and Blood Pressure. American Society for Nutrition. 137: 825-829.

Kanda, A., Nakayama, K., Sanbongi, C., Nagata M.,, Ikegami, S., Itoh, H. 2016. Effects of Whey, Caseinate, or Milk Protein Ingestion on Muscle Protein Synthesis after Exercise. Nutrients. 8:399. DOI: 10.3390/nu8060339

"Top 10 Calcium-Rich Foods." WebMD. WebMD, n.d. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

Ware, Megan, RDN LD. "Nutrition / Diet Milk: Health Benefits and Nutritional Information." Medical News Today. MediLexicon International, 18 Mar. 2016. Web. 24 Oct. 2016.

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