National Milk Month or National Dairy Month has been with us since 1937. It’s a month to observe the contributions of the hard-working dairy community and a time to promote the consumption of dairy products.
Milk is one of the most nutrient-dense drinks with 9 essential nutrients* – – calcium, potassium, phosphorus, protein, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin, and niacin.
THREE, 8-ounce servings of low- or fat-free milk or other dairy foods is the recommended daily allowance for adult Americans. Here’s why your body would thank you if you consumed the recommended amount of milk per day:
- Calcium (3 glasses=90% DV**) – Calcium helps build and maintain strong bones and teeth. It also plays an important role in nerve function, muscle contraction and blood clotting.
- Potassium (3 glasses=33% DV) – Potassium regulates the body’s fluid balance, helps maintain normal blood pressure and is needed for muscle activity and contraction.
- Phosphorus (3 glasses=60% DV) – Phosphorus strengthens bones and generates energy in every cell in our bodies.
- Protein (3 glasses=48% DV) – Protein builds and repairs muscle tissue and serves as a source of energy during high-powered endurance exercise.
- Vitamin A (3 glasses=30% DV) – Vitamin A helps maintain normal vision and skin, helps regulate cell growth and maintains the integrity of the immune system.
- Vitamin D (3 glasses=75% DV) – Vitamin D helps promote the absorption of calcium and enhances bone mineralization.
- Vitamin B12 (3 glasses=39% DV) – Vitamin B12 helps build red blood cells that carry oxygen from the lungs to working muscles.
- Riboflavin (3 glasses=72% DV) – Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, helps convert food into energy – a process critical for exercising muscles.
- Niacin (3 glasses=30% DV) – Niacin (or niacin equivalent) is important for the normal function of many enzymes in the body and is involved in the metabolism of sugars and fatty acids.
Americans are far from drinking “enough” milk. It is estimated that the average American drinks less than 1 glass or 8 ounces of milk a day far below the recommended amount.***
So raise a glass of milk to National Dairy Month and start making it 3-a-day to see all the benefits for yourself.
*The USDA defines an “essential nutrient” as a dietary substance necessary for healthy body functioning. People have to rely on their diet to get these essential nutrients because the human body isn’t capable of producing enough of them to meet its daily needs. Milk contains nine of these essential nutrients.
**Percent of Daily Value based on rounded values for 3, 8-ounce cups of milk as found on Nutrition Facts Label according to FDA. Information provided by the National Dairy Council.
***The good news is that cheese consumption is at a record high per capita with pizza as the main player (and provider of high fat and sodium).
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