June is National Dairy Month

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Milk contains nine essential nutrients. It is the most complete food. It contains vitamins, minerals, proteins and other essential nutrients for human beings. When a nutrient is referred to as being essential, it means that the human body cannot produce it and we need to eat it for good health. Dairy products are the main source of calcium in the diet.

Researchers from the University of Tennessee have found that milk compounds augment the process of fat burning and slow down the process of making new fat. They were surprised to find the weight loss was mostly in the abdomen. Research is still being done. The United States Dietary Guidelines recommend individuals 9 years and older to drink three cups of milk a day to maintain an overall healthy diet.

Long heralded for its bone-strengthening properties, calcium is now being recognized for its stroke- related benefits. According to research presented at the Academy of Neurology, higher levels of blood calcium are associated with less severe stroke and better outcome. Scientists originally thought this was due to high magnesium intake. This is one more reason for drinking your milk.

Some quick and easy ways to add dairy to your meals:

  • Milk: cold or hot, add to oatmeal, soups and puddings.
  • Cheese: add to sandwiches, top any vegetable, or tortilla chips.
  • Yogurt: add fruits, granola, make smoothies.

Source: Aging Resource Review. Summer 2006