Milk is a complete food as a source of calcium, phosphorus, magnesium and protein, which are essential for development and growth. An adequate intake of milk during childhood and throughout life will help to maintain strong bones and prevent osteoporosis in adulthood. Relatively small amounts of milk can cover a significant part of the daily nutrient requirements for all ages, as it is a nutrient-rich food in relation to their energy content.
In addition to its contribution of nutrients, increased milk consumption has also been linked to reduced risk of numerous health problems such as osteoporosis, cancer, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Learn the benefits of Milk by Age
Pregnancy and Lactation
Dairy consumption is very important during pregnancy and lactation. Many of the nutrients of the milk at this stage are required such as: protein, phosphorus, magnesium, iron, vitamin B12, and calcium. Intake to 3 servings of dairy products during pregnancy and up to 5 portions during lactation can get to meet these requirements. Calcium is an important nutrient because the fixed calcium in the bones of the developing baby. Iron is important for baby’s growth and development, and production of red blood cells. Milk is a source of folic acid which helps prevent the risk of having a baby with neural tube defects such as spina bifida.
Children and Adolescents
Childhood and adolescence are two important stages for physical and mental development. During this stage, calcium and iron are essential, and milk is a source of both. Calcium will help you children to have healthy bones and teeth. Calcium requirements increase dramatically after the age of 11 in what is known as the period of pre-pubertal growth.
Children under 11 should consume 3 servings of dairy a day and children over 11 years, 3-4 servings. Opt for low-fat milk or skim milk, as it contains less saturated fat. Only children under 5 should drink whole milk. The iron in this step is important for growth, the development of the brain and the immune system.
Milk plays an important role in the maintenance of health and prevention of chronic diseases. Because peak bone mass is not achieved until the third decade of life, it is particularly important for adults to meet the requirement of calcium, protein and vitamin D, in order to prevent osteoporosis later in life.
Milk and dairy products are among the highest suppliers readily absorbable calcium. Again consuming 3 servings of dairy a day can provide most of the daily requirement of calcium.