New Delhi: Cow milk has been a part of Indian homes for years and is considered to be a part of an essential diet. However, not many know the health benefits of cow milk in the recent times.
Renowned nutritionist, Dr. Niti Desai, took it up and shared why cow milk constitutes a part of a healthy diet and why dairy should be an integral part of our everyday meals.
You don't need to fill a tub with milk and relax like Cleopatra but drinking a glass a day will provide you with wonderful benefits.
Protein: Milk is a complete food in itself as it contains a lot of important nutrients - including a few that most people don't get enough of - most importantly protein.
For vegetarians, milk is the only source of first class protein (except soy, as the protein that we get from pulses and dal is second class protein).
Calcium: Milk and dairy products are the richest sources of calcium. Calcium is a very important nutrient for kids and teens that are still growing and adding bone mass. It is beneficial for adults as well, especially during pregnancy. It also provides teeth with a natural shield against cavities and tooth decay.
Low in fat:Additionally, cow milk is low in fat, calories and cholesterol as compared to buffalo milk making it great for weight control.
Vitamins: Cow milk is also a very good source of fat- soluble vitamins, such as vitamins A and D. Be it a fruity milkshake or healthy sweets, milk packs the perfect punch of nutrition for all ages.
Heart health: Although most of the focus of calcium is on bones, it has also been shown to reduce cardiovascular diseases and the chances of strokes. Two long-term studies in Japan have positively shown a correlation between daily calcium intake and a reduction in stroke, atherosclerosis, and cardiovascular diseases.
Dental care: Milk protects the enamel surface against acidic substances. Drinking it for energy and health also lessens frequency of children consuming soft drinks, thus reducing the risk of decaying teeth and weak gums.
Rehydration: Milk contains a good quantity of water molecules and is considered the best fluid for rehydration, outside of drinking actual water.
Ghee made of cow milk is one of the tastiest condiments in traditional Indian cuisine. The creamy aroma and taste from hot parathas, pulav or jalebis, is due to ghee.
Small quantities of ghee - 1 teaspoon a day can be part of a healthy diet, as there is emerging evidence for health benefits of ghee.
Paneer, or cottage cheese, is great for diet-conscious individuals, specially the one made from cow milk. Paneer is a versatile ingredient that can be made into a variety of mouth-watering dishes like cutlets and tikkas. High in protein and calcium, paneer not only is delicious but also keeps you full for longer and is great for weight loss.
Mothers need not be worried if their children averse are averse to milk. In such cases, cheese can come into play. The cheese made from cow milk is extra soft and tasty while being a rich source of protein and calcium.
These ingredients are very important for growing children, for perfect bones and teeth development.