Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Organic Milk – A bullet-proof diet?

Milk, especially from the cows, is one of the most significant foods around the world.  Be it for direct consumption or for cheese and butter, yoghurt and cream, most of our dishes have one of these. Human have been using cows as walking larders to fulfil our nutritional needs since pre-historic times. Some of the most ancient pots found in excavations in the Sahara Desert point to a direct evidence that people in Africa were using cattle for milk more than 7000 years ago, as the chemical residues found in these containers confirm it. 
So what makes milk so special? Milk contains many nutrients that are vital for good health. 

These include –

Calcium: Essential for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth, it is also important for blood clotting and wound healing, maintaining normal blood pressure, and muscle contractions including heartbeat.

Choline: Helps with sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory.

Vitamin D (fortified): Reduces the risk of stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and kidney stones, while protecting against loss of muscle mass.
In addition to these, milk also provides magnesium, phosphorus, vitamins A, riboflavin, vitamin B-6 and vitamin B-12 – each of which has an important task in enhancing and maintaining healthy mind and body.

Health benefits
  1. ·        Improves bone health
  2. ·        Reduces the risk of Blood pressure
  3. ·        Enhances heart health
  4. ·        Protects against colorectal cancer
  5. ·        Guards against depression
  6. ·        Helps in muscle building

Concerns

 Pasteurization: This process kills many bacteria and that is its rationale.  Unfortunately, it also destroys some vitamin C, vitamin E, and other vitamins, denatures or ruins some delicate proteins in the milk, and severely damages the bioavailability of the calcium in the milk.
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      Homogenization: It is done to prevent the fat in the milk from rising to the top of the container and stop it from getting separated. The method involves the milk being forced through tiny diameter tubes at extremely high pressure to break the fat globules in the milk into much smaller particles.  The process can involve extreme heat, so it is something like a second pasteurization process, which damages the milk quite severely.

Solution


Organic Milk: Being an attempt to improve the quality of milk, organic milk provides a promising solution to the issues of pasteurization and homogenization.      Moreover, with no drugs or hormones injected to the milking cattle and with no pesticides used in the production of cattle-feed, organic milk is perhaps a better product. The strict standards ensure that the herd of cow is free of various diseases like tuberculosis and brucellosis, with regular tests.  Equipment is inspected and the milk is tested frequently. Hence, the quality and quantity of the essential nutrients is also better in organic milk and milk products, making them what we can call as the ‘bullet-proof’ diet. 

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