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What better way to celebrate World Milk Day than with 8 reasons to drink milk!

Today - Thursday 1st June 2017 is World Milk Day, the 17th annual celebration by the United Nations’ Food & Agricultural Organisation.

Dr. Marianne Walsh, Nutrition Manager at the National Dairy Council, advocates milk as a natural, delicious and nutritious drink which is an important component of a healthy, balanced diet.

8 Great Reasons to Drink Milk:

“It’s well known that milk is an excellent source of calcium, which is a key nutrient for bone growth, development and maintenance. In fact, 99% of the body’s calcium is found in our bones and teeth,” says Dr. Walsh. “But there’s more to milk than calcium – with just one glass providing us with 8 essential nutrients, each playing important roles for our health.”

B Vitamins

1. B vitamins: Keep your batteries charged

Milk is a natural source of vitamins B2, B5 and B12. These nutrients play key roles in generating energy in our bodies, reducing feelings of tiredness and fatigue and helping our immune system works as it should.


2. Iodine: A “no brainer”

Iodine is a key nutrient for normal cognitive function. Cognitive tasks include memory, attention, perception, reasoning and the ability to retain information. Irish milk is considered an excellent source of iodine and milk is one of the main food sources of this mineral in the Irish diet.


3. Phosphorus: For all of us

Our skeletons act as the frame for our bodies, providing essential functions such as support, movement and protection. In addition to calcium and protein, phosphorus is a key nutrient essential for bone health, playing an important role in the growth, development and maintenance of bones and teeth.


4. Potassium: Cut the pressure

Potassium is an important mineral for normal blood pressure control. With rapidly increasing rates of Irish adults having high blood pressure, this certainly is a nutrient worth watching.


5. Protein: Flex those muscles

With over 600 muscles in our bodies playing vital roles for our movement and support; strong muscles are not just important for bodybuilders, but are essential for completing everyday tasks such as walking, taking the stairs or carrying our shopping! Protein is a crucial nutrient involved in muscle growth and maintenance and we need to consume protein regularly throughout the day to supply our muscles. Milk is rich in protein and is a ‘complete’ protein, meaning it contains all of the essential amino acids (building blocks of protein), our bodies require.

Milk Matrix

6. Milk Matrix: nutrients working better together

The emerging concept of the ‘milk matrix’ looks at how the various nutrients and components present in milk work together in synergy. This research explores how the health effects of these nutrients, combined in whole dairy foods may be more effective than the individual nutrients working in isolation.

More than milk

7. More than milk…

Don’t forget that dairy products such as yogurt and cheese are made from milk and, therefore, contain many of the same essential nutrients. The Department of Health’s Food Pyramid recommends 3 servings from the ‘milk, yogurt and cheese’ food group each day as part of a healthy, balanced diet. Between the ages of 9-18 years, 5 servings per day are recommended due to the increased calcium requirements at this life stage. Examples of one serving include a 200ml glass of milk, 125g yogurt and a 25g (matchbox size piece) cheddar cheese.

8. Variety and Versatility

Milk is nutritious, convenient, versatile, and most importantly tastes great. Here are some top tips to enjoy milk across the day:

  • Start your day with a bowl of warm porridge made with milk
  • Include milk in a fresh fruit smoothie
  • Treat yourself to a frothy café latte
  • Add milk to soups and sauces
  • Include milk in scrambled egg or omelettes
  • Have a glass of warm milk before bed or an occasional hot chocolate treat

You can download the NDC sports nutrition resources here. Find the NDC on Facebook/NDCIreland | Follow on Twitter @NDC_ie for news and events updates.