M for Milk – ‘the Complete food’ a short History and its Medicinal benefits. Or Breast Milk Is the Best Milk

Pic. credit. mynutritiondegree.com
When I was thinking of the next word challenge “M” the word Milk appeared before me first.
Since it is a vital substance for the survival of a child since its birth.

In my school days I used to say or learn a phrase like this, indeed a lesson in the lower primary classes.

Amma yenikku kaachiya paal tharum athu kudikkaanjaal amma കരയും ("അമ്മ എനിക്കു കാച്ചിയ പാല്‍ തരും അതു കുടിക്കാഞ്ഞാല്‍ അമ്മ കരയും")

That is in English “Mother gives me milk, if I do not drink mother will cry”

Its shows the importance of milk drinking for the survival a baby.

Yes, as it is said and known that “Milk is a complete (whole) food.

It is very essential for a child’s (or for that matter any species) growth for a certain period of time.  Human babies drink their mother’s milk and it contains all the nutrients—vitamins and minerals—that is needed for a babe’s growth.

Another example, kittens live off strictly on their mothers milk for 5 or 6 weeks and then the mother weans them and they start eating solid foods. During the first 5-6 weeks of their life the milk provides all the nutrients their bodies need to stay healthy.

The history of milk drinking started thousands of years back.  People have been drinking raw milk of animals.  Though it is known as raw milk, the milk is now consumed only after cooking or boiling.  But in the beginning the milk from animals like cows, goats, sheep, camels, yak, buffalos, or horses, donkeys  has been consumed raw.

The Health Benefits of Raw Milk

Credit, myindiapictures.com Source: John Britto
Clean cow milk produced from grass fed cows was used as a medicine in the early part of the last century.
From the time of Hippocrates to till just after World War II Milk the ‘white blood” nourished and healed millions of people.  It is no doubt a fully balanced food since it contains essential Proteins, amino acids, Carbohydrates, Fats and other Enzymes.   Recent studies reveal that it has powerful antiviral properties as well.

The immunoglobulin also known as antibodies available in milk helps to reduce the severity of asthma symptoms.   Studies have shown significant loss of these important disease fighters when milk is heated to normal processing temperatures
In short, as the time passed by, humans have learned a lot on how to make the most of milk.  Milk supplies many key nutrients a human wants to live.  These days’ milk packs come in with complete high quality protein, a variety of Vitamin B including B12 and the minerals calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, iodine and selenium.  In fact, from your heart to your bones, milk can play an important role.

Gulping a glass of milk after exercise can help you build your body muscles.  It lowers the boom on high blood pressure.  A study says that men who consumed more diary products tend to have lower blood pressure.  Researchers say that more consumption of diary products helps people with high blood pressure.  A Harvard study too confirms that consuming more diary foods, especially milk may helps to lower your blood pressure.  It contains B12, a nutrient that may help prevent cardiovascular diseases.  Notice that only low-fat diary products not high fat, diary does the trick.

Developing a habit of taking diary products specially milk could slash your risk of certain cancers.  Studies conducted on women proved that getting more calcium from food especially from milk products cut the risk of breast cancer.  In another study milk and yogurt were linked to lower rates of liver cancer.

Yet another report says: “The vitamin B12 found in milk helps wage an anti-cancer campaign, too, this nutrient plays an important role in preventing cancer.  Particularly breast cancer.  Your body needs B12 to free another vitamin folate, from food.  Your cells then use folate to build healthy DNA, your body’s genetic “blueprint,” Getting too little B 12 leaves the folate trapped in food, unusable by your body.  This folate shortage, in turn causes your body to build weak DNA that is more susceptible to cancer causing changes.  So think of milk as a triple threat against cancer with its rich stores so calcium, vitamin D, and B12.”

Since milk supplies lots of calcium its intake helps to build stronger bones.  Fortified milk gives you vitamin D; recent study suggests that meeting your needs for vitamin D is more important than calcium for bone density.  New evidence shows that milk proteins play a big role in building bones, that is to say that milk may be better for bone strength than other diary foods. This is especially important for women who are above 50. 

Yet another recent study found it reduced older women’s risk of falling by 46 percent and less active women benefited even more with 65 percent less risk of falling.  Experts explain that vitamin D deficiencies contribute to muscle weakness a major risk factor in falls.  All this shows that you need more of it as you get older to keep your muscles working well.

Milk is an ideal source of nutrients such as vitamin A & B, calcium, carbohydrate, phosphorous, magnesium, protein, zinc and riboflavin.  Milk deficiency can cause severe anemia, osteoporosis and other related illnesses. Milk consumption is very essential to maintain good health and doing normal activities. It is the best source of calcium for all age groups.

Its calcium contents help the bones, and teeth healthy.  Since milk contains a good quantity of water molecules and is considered the best fluid for rehydration.  It is good for dry skin, it can nourish and smoothen your dry skin.  The lactic acid present in milk helps to remove the dead skin cells and rejuvenate your skin.  It also helps in reducing acidity. In fact a glass of milk contains vitamin A & B for good eyesight and increasing RBC count, carbohydrates for vitality and energy, potassium for proper nerve function, magnesium for muscular function, phosphorous for energy release, protein for body repair and growth.

In short milk is no doubt a wonder food and its moderate consumption can do wonders in our life.

FC&A Medical Publishing
Philip Verghese Ariel Founder and CEO at Philipscom

A freelance writer, editor and a blogger from Kerala. Now based at Secunderabad, Telangana, India. Can reach at: pvariel(@)Gmail [.] Com
Tel: 09700882768