7 Healthy Benefits of Dairy Foods

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Dairy products are a type of food produced from the milk of mammals, most typically cows, and include milk, yogurt, and cheese. According to studies, humans have been consuming milk for around 6,000 years. While there is ongoing debate in some quarters over whether consuming dairy products is good or bad for your health, there is no denying the health benefits of dairy.

Of course, not all dairy foods have been created equally. For example, here at Ingredia, we create higher-quality dairy ingredients through cutting-edge technologies and innovative solutions. That way, you will reap more of the benefits of consuming milk and other dairy products in an ethical and sustainable way.

In this blog post, we will highlight seven benefits of consuming dairy foods in your diet.

1. Lower Risk of Type 2 Diabetes
In the United States, it is estimated that more than 34 million people have diabetes, with the vast majority having type 2 diabetes. This equates to around one in every 10 Americans and can develop at any age. Consuming dairy products can help to reduce your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Dairy improves insulin sensitivity which enhances our bodies ability to regular blood sugar levels. Studies highlight how consuming more dairy products can lead to a significantly lower risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Even if you are already diabetic, dairy products are recommended. Dairy products with a low glycemic index are beneficial as they are a positive source of nutrients without affecting blood sugar control.

2. High Nutrient Content
Put simply, dairy products are highly nutritious. A single cup of milk (237 ml) contains a range of nutrients. These include calcium (28% of the recommended daily intake), vitamin D (24% of RDI), riboflavin (26% of RDI), and vitamin B12 (18% of RDI).

Other key vitamins and minerals found in dairy products include magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and vitamin A. It is worth pointing out that dairy from grass-fed cows will be more nutritious than other sources of dairy.

Milk is also regarded as a complete protein, meaning it has all of the nine essential amino acids needed in the body. Dairy products are typically high in protein, a key nutrient that helps in the repairing of cells, regulation of the immune system, and muscle development.

3. Lower Risk of Obesity and Weight Gain
A number of studies have highlighted the link between dairy consumption and a lower risk of obesity. Given that dairy products have high levels of protein, which has the effect of making you feel fuller after eating, you are less inclined to overeat and consume too many calories.

Dairy consumption can help to increase our bodies’ lean body mass and reduce body fat. Another study looking at diary consumption in children and young adults highlighted that there is no association between dairy products and obesity.

4. Improve Gut Health
Fermented dairy products are closely associated with benefiting our gut’s health.  Fermented foods that contain live cultures add beneficial bacteria to our digestive tracts and aid digestion and gut barrier function.

Products such as yogurt are easily available sources of probiotics, which can help to maintain the natural balance of our guts’ microbiota. While an often overlooked benefit of consuming dairy products, improving gut health is a strong positive linked to regular consumption of dairy.

5. Get a Better Night’s Sleep
In this non-stop, 24/7 modern lifestyle, it can be very difficult for humans to get enough quality sleep. Sleep is an essential function, allowing our minds and bodies to recharge and stave off illness.

Thankfully, dairy products contain a number of compounds that are known to support healthy sleep cycles. A number of studies have demonstrated the link between the consumption of dairy products like milk and a restful night’s sleep.

Tryptophan and melatonin, two compounds found in dairy products, are believed to be linked to helping you fall asleep. It is also believed that routinely consuming dairy products before bed is beneficial, as a calming bedtime ritual.

6. Improved Bone Health
We all know that dairy is an excellent source of calcium. A diet that is rich in calcium helps to improve our bones’ overall health and a lower chance of developing osteoporosis.
Osteoporosis is a health condition that can weaken bones and make them more likely to break. This condition generally develops over a number of years and can be offset by a diet rich in milk and other dairy products.

7. Improved Dental Health
As highlighted already, dairy products are high in calcium and phosphorous. These two minerals work together to strengthen our enamel, helping to keep our teeth strong and healthy. 
Regular consumption of dairy is also good for our gum health and can lead to a lower incidence of gum disease. In children, dairy products such as milk, cheese, and yogurt are encouraged to help boost teeth health and growth.

Discover the Health Benefits of Dairy Products Yourself
As this blog post highlights, there is a wide range of important health benefits linked to the regular consumption of dairy products. Dairy products are high in essential nutrients such as calcium and are closely linked to a lower risk of type 2 diabetes and obesity. They are also linked to improved sleep, gut health, bone health, and stronger teeth.

Since 2009, Ingredia has been creating higher-quality dairy ingredients in the US. Our clinically-approved dairy ingredients provide all kinds of health and lifestyle benefits. With our products, you can boost immunity and digestive health, regulate blood sugar levels, and promote muscle and bone health.

Check out our activities here to discover the health benefits of dairy and learn more about why Ingredia is your partner in health.