Dairy milk has been sold to the public for it’s calcium-rich properties and healthy fats for decades – while advertisers in the past have said it can boost energy, others boast its strength-linked benefits.
While drinking dairy milk has been normalised in our society for years, it’s not as normal as it may seem.
Let’s go back to the basics and take a look at what animal milk actually is. Essentially, it’s what Mother Nature had planned so that many animals (including humans) can feed their young. It allows different species to provide their offspring with the specific nourishment they need to grow and develop. It also allows a baby to share with its mother her immune system.
But we do something that no other animal on Earth does. After feeding our babies with our own milk, we then move onto consuming that of another species.
Although cow’s milk contains similar components as human breast milk, they will be in extremely different amounts. So, for example, human breast milk contains higher levels of polyunsaturated fatty acids which aids brain functions, while cow’s milk will have far higher levels of saturated fats which aids body growth.
There are also a range of health risks linked with consuming dairy milk, including acne, increased risk of certain types of cancer, and osteoporosis. More information on this is outlined in this article by Dr Gina Shaw: ‘Heath issues linked with Dairy’.
The good news is that there are many alternatives to try. Here’s some popular choices:
- Oat Milk – packed with fibre, calcium, vitamin D, and riboflavin
- Soya Milk – my favourite. perfect for tea and coffee! Provides all essential amino acids and has been linked to lowering blood pressure and LDL levels (bad cholesterol)
- Coconut Milk – sweet and creamy which makes it amazing in porridge or smoothies
- Almond and cashew Milk – both are naturally high in the antioxidant vitamin E, which is involved in keeping our skin healthy and strengthening our immune response.
- Others include Rice Milk, Hemp Milk, Pea Milk and Hazelnut Milk.
From personal experience, I have found that swapping out cow’s milk for one of the below has helped to reduce my bloating and clear my skin. It also means I am no longer contributing to the dairy industry, also has resulted in a lot tastier breakfast smoothies and porridges!
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