Today is National Milk Appreciation Day (what like you didn’t have that in your diary too? 😉 )
In recent years dairy has had some pretty bad PR. It seems many people are cutting out dairy more with more believing that they are intolerant to it. The truth is dairy intolerance is actually very rare and what most people who find trouble with dairy products are actually experiencing is an intolerance to lactose (a sugar found in milk and many man made products). The amazing thing about kefir (as if you needed to be impressed further by kefir benefits) is that there is a naturally occurring enzyme in it which breaks down the lactose so that it is more easily digested, even by those with a recognised lactose intolerance. There is even evidence that if drunk regularly people who have previously been lactose intolerant have regained the ability to digest lactose from other forms- pretty impressive!
Obviously we are a tad biased. We have been milking cows on our dairy farm in the heart of Yorkshire for nearly 30 years now using that milk to create our deliciously creamy, natural real dairy ice cream and now our super healthy kefir. However for us dairy is more than a means to making a living, it is very much part of our staple, healthy diet and here a few reasons why we think it should be part of yours too.
Ok so this is a pretty obvious one. Milk (and hence kefir) is packed full of calcium which is essential to develop and maintain healthy teeth and bones. Growing children typically need between 500-100mg of calcium per day to help developed the strong ones which will take them through their active lives and with just one 250ml glass of milk kefir containing around 300mg a daily Yorlife is an easy start to ensuring kids are getting enough calcium.
Vitamin D, often known as the sunshine vitamin which let’s be honest we often struggle to get in the UK, is important for the regulation of calcium and phosphorus absorption which in turn helps maintain healthy teeth and bones. It is estimated that around one billion people worldwide suffer from vitamin D deficiency and that deficiency is even more prevalent in the UK where during the winter months we do not get strong enough levels of sunlight to ensure we are receiving enough Vitamin D. The NHS recently release new guidelines on Vitamin D levels suggesting that during winter everyone really should be taking a supplement. In addition to this supplement you can help boost you vitamin D levels by drinking plenty of milk, kefir and eating cheese and ice cream in moderation.
Insomnia or difficulty getting off to sleep is awful. We all have sleepless nights occasionally, however if you regularly struggle to nod off you may find that drinking a dairy drink before bed helps improve your ability to relax and improve sleep quality. This is because milk contains tryptophan which raises levels of serotonin and melatonin both of which aid in catching a good night’s sleep. Unlike foods like turkey which is rich in Tryptophan, dairy does not leave you feeling groggy as it is easier on your stomach and is rich in calcium which promotes the transition of tryptophan into calming melatonin. Kefir is also full of essential amino acids which help control and regulate our stress levels which can lead to more restful sleep resulting in increased energy the following morning.
We all know how important looking after you ticker is and Cow’s milk is an excellent source of potassium, an increase of which has been associated with vasodilation and reduced blood pressure. In one study, those who consumed 4069 mg of potassium per day had a 49% lower risk of death from ischemic heart disease compared with those who consumed less potassium (about 1000 mg per day).
As if you weren’t already convinced that dairy is a miracle medicine food it has also been shown to reduce tooth decay if eaten directly after a meal. This is because the calcium and phosphate in the cheese diffuse into bacterial colonies and prevent acid secretions from clinging to your teeth. So do like the French and indulge in a little cheese after your meal!
So there you have it, not only is kefir incredibly good for your gut health but the milk it is made with has super powers too! Happy Milk Appreciation Day everybody!
Yorlife, Your Health x