Benefit of milk
Milk is an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, including “nutrients of concern,” which are under-consumed by many populations ( 3 ). It provides potassium, B12, calcium and vitamin D, which are lacking in many diets ( 4 ). Milk is also a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, zinc and thiamine (B1)
According to the National Dairy Council, milk is filled with nine essential nutrients that benefit our health:
Calcium: Builds healthy bones and teeth; maintains bone mass.
Protein: Serves as a source of energy; builds/repairs muscle tissue and cell membrane etc.
Potassium: Helps maintain a healthy blood pressure
Phosphorus: Helps strengthen bones and generate energy
Vitamin D: Helps maintain bones
Vitamin B12: Maintains healthy red blood cells and nerve tissue and many other function.
Vitamin A: Maintains the immune system; helps maintain normal vision and skin
Riboflavin (B2): Converts food into energy
Niacin: Metabolizes sugars and fatty acids
In other words, milk packs quite a punch when it comes to nutrition—and you don’t have to drink a gallon to reap the benefits, the National Dairy Council says. In fact, the council says that just one 8-ounce glass of milk provides the same amount of vitamin D you’d get from 3.5 ounces of cooked salmon, as much calcium as 2 1/4 cups of broccoli, as much potassium as a small banana, as much vitamin A as two baby carrots and as much phosphorus as a cup of kidney beans!
All of these nutrients contribute to our overall health and wellness, and they can even play a part in weight loss, says Dr. Brian Roy, an associate professor of applied health sciences at Canada’s Brock University.
Dr. Roy published a study on the impact milk has on the body post-exercise. While he admits there’s some controversy surrounding milk’s influence on weight loss and body fat in general, he also shares that recent studies have shown that when milk was consumed by young adults after weight training, they lost more body fat and gained more muscle mass than those who had consumed different drinks that contained the same energy and macronutrients.
“The important message from this is that it is probably important to include multiple servings of milk as a part of your daily diet,” Dr. Roy says. “However, simply adding more milk to your diet will add to your total energy intake. So, if you add more milk to your diet, it likely will be most effective if it replaces other sources of energy from your diet, to ensure you are not consuming excess calories.”