We’ve all seen the ads and know that milk is good for our bones – it’s an excellent source of calcium (in fact, it happens to be one of the best-available and best-absorbed sources of calcium there is), phosphorus, and, thanks to fortification, Vitamin D – three nutrients that are essential to bone health. The health benefits of milk don’t stop there, however. Milk is also high in protein, which helps build, maintain, and repair your muscles and all other tissues in your body. In addition, the protein in milk, and foods made from it, will keep you feeling full for hours, making it a good choice to include in meals and snacks. Milk can also help regulate blood pressure levels, thanks to its potassium content. The potassium found in milk and other dairy products helps your body flush out excess sodium, which can lead to increased blood pressure control.
Milk and dairy products sometimes get a bad reputation for multiple reasons, one of which is that they tend to be high in saturated fat. When choosing milk or milk products, make sure you stick with low-fat or fat-free varieties (a.k.a. 1 percent and skim) to keep saturated fat content to a minimum. There is no reason to avoid milk because of its fat content if you choose wisely.
Very Berry Pops
1 cup 1% milk
2 cups whole blueberries, strawberries, or raspberries
1. In a blender, combine berries and milk for about 60 seconds, or until mixture is smooth.
2. Fill 6 popsicle molds, or 6 5-ounce paper cups with mixture and freeze until partially frozen.
3. Remove from freezer, insert popsicle sticks, and return to freezer until completely frozen.
Green Burst Smoothie
2 cups 1% milk
1 ¾ cups green grapes
½ ripe Bartlett pear, seeded and halved
½ avocado, pitted and peeled
¼ cup coarsely chopped broccoli
½ cup spinach
¼ cup ice cubes
1 tablespoon honey
1. Place all ingredients into a blender and slowly increase speed to high, blending for 30-45 seconds or until mixture is smooth.
2. Pour into glasses and serve immediately. Serves 4.
Recipes from Got Milk