We all know that dairy is not only a great source of calcium, it also contains vitamins and minerals that strengthen your body, brain, and immune system. The problem with dairy, is that most people don’t know how to consume it in a way that allows them to reap its full benefits.
Dairy is rich in calcium, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, potassium, magnesium, zinc, and selenium; all the nutrients that keep your body functioning in a healthy manner. Dairy products can take many shapes. The most popular form is the well-loved classic: milk. You can also make sure you are getting your daily dairy intake from cheese, cream and yoghurt.
Is dairy only for growing children?
As a child, you were probably told to drink a glass of milk to ensure that you grow up to be big and strong. While this still rings true, many people tend to reduce their dairy consumption as they grow older. However, research has shown that consuming dairy products can be just as beneficial for older people.
A study conducted in Australia in aged-care facilities showed that there was a 33% reduction in the number of fractures in the test group that consumed more dairy. Bones tend to weaken as you get older, but maintaining a steady and consistent intake of dairy throughout your life can ensure that you beat the ageing process and stay stronger for longer!
Are you consuming dairy correctly?
So, you want to reap the benefits of dairy and you’re not sure how to access all of those nutrients appropriately. As we age, we are told that dairy is fattening and that too much of it can be bad for you. While it is true that moderation is important, the misconception that dairy is unhealthy has led to an overall change in perception.
It is important to note that scientifically, dairy does contain fats, but that does not mean that it is fattening. Researchers say that consuming dairy should be a part of your daily schedule and there are ways that you can use it to benefit your life:
– Consuming dairy is the perfect post-workout snack because it helps to break down lactic acid built up in the body. It reduces stiffness and replenishes the lost energy from a strenuous workout.
– Dairy is also a great pick-me-up if you are feeling tired and fatigued. Have a serving of yoghurt or a cappuccino to increase your energy levels and improve focus.
– Dairy is also a great snack alternative for children. Instead of eating chips or unhealthy snacks, they can have a fruit yoghurt or a plain yoghurt with some honey.
The possibilities are endless and so are the options. For example, if you need to obtain your daily recommended intake of dairy but you are lactose intolerant, there is a wide variety of lactose-free or lactose-low dairy products out there. You can also consume fat-free, low-fat, or skimmed milk.
What is enough dairy?
Most South Africans are not consuming enough dairy. This same trend is happening right around the world. So, how much dairy should you be consuming? While this does depend on your weight, age, and height, you should be eating roughly three servings of dairy on a daily basis.
This might seem difficult to manage, but it can be as easy as having some yoghurt for breakfast, a glass of milk at lunch, and some cheese in your salad for dinner.
The benefits of dairy are seemingly never ending! Make sure you and your family are getting the recommended intake and start living a healthy life that will keep you strong for years to come.