Milk is well known for being a great food source for helping build and maintain strong healthy bones and teeth. But what is it about milk that provides this health benefit? Milk contains various minerals that play a role in achieving this health outcome, based on how much you consume.
Minerals are essential nutrients that we need in small amounts to help keep us healthy and strong. The body does not make minerals and therefore we must source them from our food and diet. There are 2 types of minerals known as macrominerals (major minerals) and microminerals (trace minerals).
The major minerals we need in larger amounts and these include calcium, potassium and sodium. The trace minerals we only need in much smaller amounts and these include iodine, chromium or selenium. Minerals play a role in controlling body fluids inside and outside of cells, helping turn the food we eat into energy and building healthy bones and teeth.
The Australian dietary guidelines recommend we should consume 2.5 to 4 serves of milk, yoghurt or cheese products a day for adults and 1.5 to 3.5 serves of dairy for children. 250ml glass of milk is considered 1 serve and will provide around 305mg of calcium, which therefore provides 30% of the recommended daily intake for adults.
When you have a glass of milk it will be providing various minerals which include calcium, potassium, magnesium and zinc.
Calcium: calcium is required for the development and maintenance of the skeleton and the functioning of neuromuscular and cardiac function. We store calcium in our bones and teeth which provides structure and strength. Low intakes of calcium have been connected to certain bone health issues. Calcium intake is highly important in all stages of life from prenatal, childhood into adulthood, it is also important during all stages of pregnancy. Milk provides the most absorbable form of calcium in a food source that doesn’t get lost or destroyed when consumed.
Potassium: Potassium helps prevent loss of muscle mass, preservation of bone mineral density and may help reduce heart relate issues. Potassium’s role in bone density is by helping the body not lose calcium in urine and be excreted.
Magnesium: Over half the body’s magnesium is found in the bone and helps regulate the metabolism of calcium. Magnesium is also responsible for over 300 enzymatic systems, energy production and immune system function correctly. Magnesium is essential to helping build firm and stronger bones and teeth.
Zinc: Zinc is responsible for multiple enzymatic processes and helps maintain structural integrity in proteins and regulates gene expression. 85% of the total body content of zinc is found in the skeletal muscle and bones. Zinc is predominately found where the bone is healing or repairing.
Bones serve us for a structural role and to do this they must maintain their strength and stability. Milk offers the needed nutrients to be able to maintain and keep the health status of our bones to continue their duty of support.Minerals are highly important for several processes within the body but to keep it simply when it comes to bone health, milk is a great option for ticking all the boxes.