The Skinny on Milk
Any parents out there? How many times have you heard how important it is to give your kids milk? How many times have you heard about calcium and strong bones and all that?
There’s certainly some truth to it, but let’s go in with eyes wide open and acknowledge a few things.
- Cow’s milk is not really for you to drink. It’s made for baby cows to drink. Think about this. A cow doubles it’s weight in 45 days after being born. It goes from a couple dozen pounds to a thousand pounds or more in about a year. But it’s brain is three times smaller (in weight) than a human brain. Human milk is loaded with polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which helps little brains develop. Cow’s milk is pretty low on PUFAs and really high in protein–hence the massive growth of a cow. One of the proteins in cow’s milk is called casein–and that’s really hard for people to digest. It takes cows four stomachs to do it.
- The milk you buy at the grocery store has pretty much everything good about milk taken out. Pasteurization destroys Vitamin A and Vitamin C and about 38 percent of B vitamins. It also destroys most of the amino acids, which makes it even more difficult to digest cow’s milk. But perhaps most shocking, pasteurization destroys the enzyme in milk called phosphatase, which makes it more difficult–if not impossible–for your body to absorb calcium.
- Much of the mentality that we must drink milk is PR and advertising funded by the dairy industry. The USDA went along with it, because the dairy industry had political connections.
BUT, there’s another side to the story. Milk and dairy products can be very good for you because they are loaded with good fats and, when not industrially processed, have a lot of important nutrients and probiotics.
Raw milk and cheese promotes:
- Muscle growth
- Weight loss
- Stronger bones, teeth, hair and nails
- Allergy relief
- Brain health
- Immune system health
In terms of raw nutrients, raw dairy products have a lot to offer. Check it out.
- Vitamins A, D and K12. These are really important for brain health, particularly for growing kids. It’s been shown that most kids are deficient in these vitamins in particular.
- Omega-3 fatty acids. These are great for brain function and health.
- Butyrate. This fatty acid is helpful in regulating metabolism, managing stress reactions in the body and prevent inflammation.
- Calcium, magnesium and potassium. These nutrients are vital in the function and growth of cells at a fundamental level.
Cheese, yogurt, kefir:
- These products contain many of the same nutritional firepower as regular milk, but also have a probiotic component. As such, they are extremely helpful in cultivating a healthy gut, which leads to better digestion, immunity, less inflammation, better brain function and really, just overall health.
- This dairy product is one of the best sources of protein, just in general, but particularly if you are looking to build muscle.
Now, this is important. Raw milk is not dangerous. Of the 48 million foodborne illnesses the CDC reported in 2012, 42 of them came from dairy products. That’s a surprisingly low amount actually, even to me. Anyway, the only reason we started pasteurizing milk was because when industrial farms started popping up in the mid-19th Century, we weren’t quite as savvy on the sanitation front as we are now. It helped at the time, but now that we’ve got more educated farmers and more strict health regulations, it’s not so much of an issue anymore.
Also, it’s really important that when you get raw milk or cheese or anything, it comes from grass-fed cows. Not only is it healthier and you avoid the grain-fed, sick, antibiotic-soaked product of these sick cows, this is how you get the probiotic benefits. Some of the best bacteria for us can be found in dirt and, as strange as it is to say, some people actually advocate eating dirt for that reason. So when a cow eats grass (that’s obviously growing in dirt), it gets those good bacteria, which you get when you consume the RAW product that came from that cow.
Don’t listen to the hype. Go Raw.
Dr. Sarah Ernst, D.C. is the founder of Prosperity Health. She is a cellular detoxification coach and chiropractor. She has obtained countless hours of training in cellular detoxification, functional endocrinology, and female hormone issues.