5 amazing health benefits of cow’s milk for kids

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Cow’s milk has long been linked to a number of health benefits, including weight loss. This article explains the importance of including cow's milk in children's diet.

New Delhi: For years, cow’s milk has been associated with good health, making it one of the most healthy drinks. It is packed with nutrients, providing a range of health benefits. It is said that cow’s milk is essential for building strong bones and teeth. It can help boost the immune system, protect the heart, prevent diabetes, eliminate inflammation, help stimulate growth, and even aid in weight loss.

Being packed with many nutrients, cow’s milk is also considered healthy for kids. In this article, Dr Vandana Verma, a physical therapist and a clinical nutritionist and an expert at Momspresso, tells us why cow’s milk is so good for kids. Take a look at the health benefits of cow’s milk for children. Read - Bone and metabolic health: Why postmenopausal women should add soy milk and tofu to their diet

Cows milk is a complete food for children above 2 years: It contains high-quality protein with all nine essential amino acids present in it. It is made up of 80% casein protein, which slowly releases protein at regular interval of time while remaining 20% is whey, which is easily digestible and highly absorbed protein helps to build muscle mass, repair body tissues and fight against infections.

In addition to this, cow’s milk also has a fair balance of carbohydrates and fats which complete it as a wholesome meal, hence, can be called “The Complete Food” for every age group.

Overall growth and development: Physical development is an important indicator of a child's overall health. It is a surprising scientific fact that children who consume cow’s milk grow taller. A recent study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that 2 to 6-year-olds who consumed cow’s milk were taller than those who consumed plant-based or other types of animal-milk beverages. A 3-year-old child who drank 3 cups of cow’s milk a day was 1.5 cm taller than a child of the same age who drank other types of milk.

Rich in B vitamins: Cow milk is a good source of B vitamins which ensure healthy functioning of the brain, nervous system and sleep-wake cycles. Cow's milk has a very low content of linoleic acid (LA), but a more favourable LA/alpha-linolenic ratio, which is likely to be the reason why DHA levels seem to be more favourable in kids drinking cow's milk compared to kids drinking milk from other sources.

High in calcium and potassium: Besides proteins, cow’s milk is high in potassium and calcium, which plays a crucial role in improving bone and teeth health, preventing fractures and other bone diseases. As you age, the bone-mineral density increases, and consuming milk can help you keep up your strength, so cow’s milk is not only good for kids but also beneficial for adults.

Good source of choline: Cow's milk is also a major contributor of retinol (preformed vitamin A), potent antioxidant in the diets of young children, although inappropriate practices can lead to losses of vitamins from milk and milk products as they are susceptible to losses due to heat, exposure to air, light, change in pH or combination of these factors. Since cow milk is also a rich source of choline, an important nutrient for the synthesis of neurotransmitter acetylcholine that plays important role in regulating mood, memory, and intelligence, it can prove to be a miracle drink for every age group.

Vitamin D is not naturally present in cow's milk, but it may be added alongside other nutrients to fortify cow's milk. Vitamin D is important for bone health. It aids in the formation, growth, and repair of bones and also plays an important role in calcium absorption and overall immune function. A cup of fortified cow’s milk in your child’s daily diet will ensure a reduced risk of osteoporosis, depression, chronic fatigue, muscle pain, hypertension, and cancer.

Importance of Homogenisation

Homogenization is the process of breaking down fat globules present in milk to evenly blend. This process prevents the creamy layer from forming on top without affecting its nutrition. Since kids usually dislike the smell, appearance and taste of this cream, homogenized cow’s milk works out as the most favourable option for them while keeping the nutrition intact.

How to keep nutrients intact

Milk should not be boiled for over 3 minutes as it loses its nutrition through over boiling. One should avoid storing or microwaving milk in plastic containers as they are carcinogenic. Instead, always store milk in a clean vessel to avoid contamination.

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