January 11th has to be one of our favourite days of the year – it’s National Milk Day! We’ll admit that every day is pretty much National Milk Day for us, but it’s a great excuse to celebrate our favourite product. So why does this dairy drink need celebrating?
Milk is an incredible source of nutrients for both children and adults, and its benefits may be more abundant than you think! Milk, and any dairy products containing it, contains more vitamins and minerals that are indisputably essential for healthy bone growth. Children consume calcium, protein and vitamin D (which helps the body absorb calcium) with every glass, which help their bones to strengthen as they grow. But it’s not just children who benefit from the salubrity of milk, continuing to maintain a healthy level of calcium throughout adulthood can help prevent osteoporosis, a disease of brittle bones.
The consumption of milk also helps to keep our teeth healthy – a high priority for those who dread a visit to the dentist’s chair! Children who drink the good stuff benefit from the casein protein acting as a protective layer for the enamel against acidic substances. But the advantage of dairy for children’s teeth is not only in the physical protection it gives – if a child drinks milk to quench their thirst or satiate their hunger, this will reduce the chances of them reaching for the can of sugary pop or the junk food full of saturated fats and salt.
Our favourite drink is also a fantastic source of potassium, which helps to keep our hearts healthy. Scientists have found that an increase in potassium and reduction of sodium is the most important change a person can make to their diet if they want to reduce the risks of heart disease and high blood pressure.
Did you know that milk also helps your complexion? The B12 vitamin helps give skin a healthy and youthful glow, and the vitamin A helps to promote cell renewal. The plentiful protein in milk helps to form collagen in the skin, which will increase its elasticity. What’s more, the high levels of zinc in milk are necessary shiny and healthy hair and strong nails – the small white spots that can be seen on nails are an indication of zinc deficiency.
So there’s just a handful of the main health benefits of a cold glass of milk, but how about its versatility in cooking – we think that’s certainly something to celebrate too! Milk can be turned into so many deliciously different products. It can be turned into heavenly rich cream to pour over your dessert; or to soft cheese which can be slathered onto a bagel or spiked with flavours to make a cheesecake. Just think of all the times we use dairy products from adding a dash of crème fraiche to a give your mushroom sauce its creamy texture, to the cheese board at the end of the meal filled with an incredible variety of textures and flavours – and it all starts with milk.
Who’s going to join us in raising a glass or two of the good stuff?