Raw milk has been enjoyed since the beginning of mankind. Here are four science-backed health benefits of raw milk so you can decide if it’s the right choice for you!
1. Raw milk is packed with nutrients.
The nutritional profile of raw milk is impressive! After all, it is designed to fully nourish a newborn. Just one cup (244 grams) of whole cow’s raw milk contains:
· Calories: 150
· Protein: 8 grams
· Fat: 8 grams
· Calcium: 30% of the RDA
· Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA
· Iron: 6% of the RDA
· Cholesterol: 10% of the RDA
· Sugars: 12 grams
Raw milk is an excellent source of easy-to-digest vitamins and minerals, including “nutrients of concern,” which are under-consumed by many. Raw milk is also a good source of vitamin A, magnesium, zinc, and thiamine. It’s an excellent source of protein and contains hundreds of different healthy fatty acids including conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3s. These acids are linked to many health benefits.
The nutritional content of raw milk varies, depending on factors like its fat content and the diet and treatment of the cow it came from. Raw milk from cows that eat mostly grass contains significantly higher amounts of conjugated linoleic acid and omega-3 fatty acids. Organic and grass-fed cow’s raw milk also contains higher amounts of beneficial antioxidants, such as vitamin E and beta carotene, which help reduce inflammation and fight oxidative stress.
2. Raw milk is a good source of quality, raw protein.
Raw milk is a rich source of raw protein, with just one cup containing 8 grams. Protein is necessary for many vital functions in your body, including growth and development, cellular repair, and immune system regulation.
Raw milk is considered a “complete protein,” meaning it contains all nine of the essential amino acids necessary for your body to function at an optimal level.
There are two main types of protein found in raw milk- casein and whey, both of which are considered high-quality proteins.
Casein comprises 70-80% of the total protein content in raw milk, with r
aw whey accounting for 20%.
Raw whey protein contains the branched-chain amino acids leucine, isoleucine, and valine, all of which are linked to health benefits. Branched-chain amino acids may be particularly helpful in building muscle, preventing muscle loss, and providing fuel during exercise.
Drinking raw milk is associated with a lower risk of age-related muscle loss. In fact, higher consumption of raw milk has been linked to greater whole-body muscle mass and better physical performance in older adults. It has also been shown to boost muscle repair in athletes. In fact, several studies have demonstrated that drinking raw milk after a workout can decrease muscle damage, promote muscle repair, increase strength, and even decrease muscle soreness.
3. Raw milk benefits bone health.
Drinking milk has long been associated with healthy bones. This is due to its powerful combination of nutrients including calcium, phosphorus, potassium, protein, and (in grass-fed, full-fat dairy) vitamin K2. All of these nutrients are essential for maintaining strong, healthy bones.
Approximately 99% of your body’s calcium is stored in your bones and teeth and require vitamin D and magnesium to aid in their calcium absorption- both of which are also found in raw milk.
Adding milk and other raw dairy products to your diet may prevent bone diseases like osteoporosis and lower the chances of bone fractures, especially for older adults.
The proteins in raw milk are key for optimal bone health, as protein makes up about 50% of bone volume and around 30% of bone mass. Evidence suggests that consuming more protein may protect against bone loss, especially in women who do not consume enough dietary calcium.
4. Raw milk helps prevent excess weight gain.
Several studies have linked raw milk intake to a lower risk of obesity. Interestingly, this benefit has only been associated with whole raw milk. A study which included 145 three-year-old Latino children found that higher milk fat consumption was associated with a lower risk of childhood obesity.
Another study in 18,000 middle-aged and elderly women showed that eating more high-fat dairy products was associated with less weight gain and a lower risk of obesity.
There are a variety of reasons why raw milk possesses this health benefit. For example, its high-protein content helps you feel full for a longer period which may prevent ov
Furthermore, the dietary calcium and conjugated linoleic acid contained in raw milk promote fat breakdown and inhibit fat production and absorption.
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