Milk, Your Lifelong Companion
Based on advertisements alone, the only people who need to drink milk on a regular basis are the following: babies and toddlers, pregnant women, elderly women and adults who are often on the go. Even if you don’t fall under any of these categories, the benefits of milk apply to you (and everyone else on the spectrum of life) too.
Every cell in our bodies requires calcium, which is stored in our bones. When our bodies don’t get enough calcium from the food that we eat, such as collard greens and broccoli, the needed calcium will be taken from our bones. Hence, this weakens our bones. In order to prevent that from happening, everyone should drink milk to get the necessary amounts of calcium.
Besides calcium, milk also contains proteins which are vital for nerve function, muscle contraction and blood clotting. As children, we were always told to drink milk so that we can grow stronger and taller. This is because calcium is especially important for those between the ages of 10 to 18, as they are at the bone forming stage of their lives. When our bodies create new bone tissue, a framework of collagen is first established. After which, tiny bits of calcium from our blood move to fill in the gaps between the collagen framework. Working hand in hand, calcium and collagen help to make bones strong and flexible.
What Every Child Needs
When your child turns one year old, you can start to switch your child from drinking formula milk to drinking fresh cow’s milk. This should be supplemented with a balanced diet of solid foods that include cereals, vegetables, fruits and meats. From between one and two years old, it is better if the child consumes full cream fresh cow’s milk. Aim to let your one to two years old child consume 750ml of milk each day. From two years old and above, you may consider switching to low fat milk.
From ages 10 to 18, children often need at least 1000mg of calcium daily. This is 200mg more than what is required for adults because children are often more active than adults are. They walk, run and play football, which make bones work against the pull of gravity. These weight-bearing physical activities help to stimulate new bone tissue to form, thus making them stronger. Weight-bearing physical activities also make muscles stronger and in turn, muscles help to make bones stronger when they push and tug against bones.
The Importance Of Milk For Adults
For adults, 800mg of calcium is what doctors recommend for their daily intake. This slow down the natural loss of bone mass as we grow older, and reduces the incidences of fractures and osteoporosis.
Milk is especially important for pregnant women. Studies have shown that babies of mothers who drank milk during pregnancy weighed more than those who didn’t. Moreover, women’s nutritional needs are increased during pregnancy and lactation so drinking milk helps to ensure that both the mother and child fulfil their nutritional needs.
As we move into our golden years, we become more susceptible to osteoporosis. This is an ailment that afflicts both men and women. A good diet encompassing the recommended dosage of calcium will ensure that the illness is held at bay. The many minerals found in milk will also help to protect the elderly against illness, and speed up recovery. Thus, we can feel healthier and stay active for longer