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Health & Nutrition

Importance of Milk
Milk is nature’s ideal food for infants and growing children. The importance of milk in our diet has been recognized since Vedic times, and all modern research has only supported and reinforced this view. In fact, milk is now considered not only desirable but essential from the time the child is born. The baby is recommended to be breast-fed until it is weaned and thereafter given cow/buffalo/goat milk till he or she reaches 12 years of age.

The National Institute of Nutrition has recommended a minimum of 300 gms daily intake of milk for children between 1-3 years of age and 250 gms for those between 10-12 years.

Health Benefits of Milk
The health benefits of milk include increased bone strength, smoother skin, stronger immune system, prevention of illnesses such as hypertension, dental decay, dehydration, respiratory problems, obesity, osteoporosis and even some forms of cancer. The beneficial health nutrients obtained from milk are essential for the human body and help prevent a number of chronic ailments.

The health benefits of milk can be achieved from drinking milk directly or by consuming dairy products such as cheese, butter, curd, clarified butter or ghee, dairy whitener, ice cream, cottage cheese or paneer, flavored milk, or milk sweets. Put it this way, around the world, there are more than 6 billion people who regularly consume some type of food that is based on milk from an animal; it is one of the most essential elements of the human diet, since these animals that create milk are on almost every continent and country.

The nutritional value of milk is so well known that people all around the world include it as a staple part of their diet. Adding milk to your daily diet can also help you to achieve a well-balanced diet. Milk is an ideal source of nutrients such as vitamin A, B12, D calcium, carbohydrates, phosphorous, selenium, magnesium, protein, zinc and riboflavin.

Here are the details of vitamins and minerals in milk.

S.NO Vitamins Role of Vitamins
1 Vitamin A Required for good vision, immune health and for normal growth and development of body tissues.
2 Vitamins B12 Required for maintenance of healthy nerves and red blood cells, energy production and normal cell division.
3 Vitamin B1 Required for carbohydrate metabolism, neurological and cardiac function
4 Vitamin B2 Required for the release of energy from foods and healthy membranes and skin
5 Vitamin B6 Required for the formation of red blood cells and for maintaining a healthy immune and nervous system
6 Vitamin C Required for the correct structure and maintenance of blood vessels, cartilage, muscle and bone.
7 Vitamin D Required for absorption of calcium and phosphorus and is essential for healthy bones and teeth.
8 Vitamin E Required for preventing damage to structures such as cell membranes

Minerals in Milk

S.NO Minerals Role of Minerals
1 Calcium Required for the healthy growth and maintenance of teeth and bones and is a vital function in blood clotting and muscle contraction
2 Phosphorus Required for healthy bones and teeth as well as cell membrane structure, tissue growth and regulation of pH levels in the body
3 Magnesium Required for skeletal development, protein synthesis, muscle contraction and nerve function.
4 Zinc Required for fighting infections, growth development, for sexual development, wound healing and for our sense of taste.
5 Potassium Required for fluid balance, muscle contraction, nerve conduction as well as for the correct functioning of the heart.

Milk Deficiency
Milk deficiency can cause severe anemia, osteoporosis and other related illnesses. The consumption of milk is essential for maintaining good health and having the energy and strength to do normal activities.
It is the best source of calcium for all age groups, and since calcium is considered the most important mineral in the healthy growth, functioning, repair, and durability of the bones and skeletal system, milk will always have a significant role in people’s diets, as a way of preventing calcium deficiency or osteoporosis.

Some people may have lactose intolerance and may have trouble digesting milk. Lactose is a natural sugar found in milk. The symptoms of lactose intolerance include bloating, stomach pain, gas and diarrhea. For kids it is advisable to consult your health care provider since this is not so common among children. For adults, lactose free milk and milk products are readily available on the market. You can also drink varieties of soy milk or almond milk to avoid lactose, yet still receive many of the same benefits as mammal-derived milk.

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