Don't Ditch Dairy
Do You Ditch Dairy Unnecessarily?
If you are lactose intolerant, have milk allergies, or just do not like the taste of milk, stop reading here. You can go into the Cybex Fitness Blog Archives and read up on the pros and cons of various non-dairy alternative beverages I highlighted last month.
If, like me, you love yogurt, milk, cheese, ice cream, sour cream and butter, read on and relish knowing you are nourishing your body and spirit—provided the dairy product you are consuming is organic.
My ancestral background is agricultural and many of my relatives relied heavily on dairy cows for their sustenance. Longevity also runs in my family—I have multiple relatives who lived beyond age 105; therefore, I see no reason to stop my frequent consumption of milk, yogurt, and unprocessed cheeses.
I feel many of the concerns raised about dairy today are due to how milk is currently produced—especially non-organic dairy. Factory farms feed cows corn, rather than their naturally preferred grasses. Cows are confined in cramped stalls in unsanitary conditions, and are pumped up with hormones and antibiotics to combat illness and mature quickly. This kind of treatment does not produce the life-supporting nectar I (and my ancestors) grew up drinking. When cows are allowed to roam freely in pastures, eat grass, and not ingest growth hormones and antibiotics, the milk and dairy products produced are nutrient rich.
The many benefits of organic milk include the following:
- Calcium: Milk is the best source of calcium supply to our body. Calcium protects the body from major chronic ailments such as cancerous chemicals, bone loss, arthritic condition and migraine headaches, and aids in losing unwanted fats.
- Healthy Bones: As mentioned above, milk is rich in calcium, which is essential for growth and proper development of strong bone structure. Bone disorders such as osteoporosis can be prevented with daily intake of an adequate quantity of milk. Children deprived of cow milk have an increased chance of bone fractures when injured.
- Healthy Teeth: Milk protects the enamel surface of teeth against acidic substances. Drinking milk for energy and health might dissuade children from consuming soft drinks, thus reducing the risk of decayed teeth and weak gums.
- Skin Care: Cleopatra used to have a milk bath daily! She would mix honey and milk and take a bath daily, enabling her to maintain soft and beautiful skin. Milk and milk products are used in a number of cosmetic preparations for dry skin. If you have dry skin, apply milk on your face (and other body parts), leave it for about 15 minutes and then wash it. The milk solids nourish and smooth your skin. The lactic acid present in milk is known to aid in removing the dead skin cells, thereby gently exfoliating your skin.
- Improving Diet and Vitamin Intake: Milk contains vitamins and minerals to keep you fit, healthy and strong. A glassful of milk contains vitamins A and B for good eyesight and increasing red blood cell count, carbohydrates for vitality and energy, potassium for proper nerve function, magnesium for muscular function, phosphorous for energy release, and bio-available protein for body repair and growth.
Finally, a glass of warm milk (or hot chocolate!) or some yogurt before bedtime really does promote a sense of serenity and wellbeing, allowing one to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep.
Guest Blogger and Fitness Enthusiast