Milk also contains protein, the minerals phosphorus, potassium, zinc and iodine, and vitamins A, B2 (riboflavin) and B12 (cobalamin).
As a child, I drank a lot of milk. It was delivered in pint bottles to our front steps each morning. I also drank a third of a pint before marching into class as part of the free school milk program. I still love milk, which makes getting enough calcium easy.
Of course, many people don’t drink milk for a number of reasons. The good news is you can get all the calcium and other nutrients you need from other foods.
Some foods are fortified with added calcium, including some breakfast cereals and soy, rice, oat and nut “milks”. Check their food label nutrition information panels to see how much calcium they contain.
Helps with wound healing and the development of the immune system and other essential functions in the body, including taste and smell.
Food sources: fish, prawns, other seafood, iodised salt and commercial breads.
Needed for normal growth, brain development and used by the thyroid gland to make the hormone thyroxine, which is needed for growth and metabolism.
Food sources: eggs, oily fish, nuts, seeds. (The body can also make vitamin A from beta-carotene in orange and yellow vegetables and green leafy vegetables.)
Needed for antibody production, maintenance of healthy lungs and gut, and for good vision.
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin)
Food sources: wholegrain breads and cereals, egg white, leafy green vegetables, mushrooms, yeast spreads, meat.
Needed to release energy from food. Also supports healthy eyesight and skin.
Vitamin B12 (cobalamin)
Food sources: meat, eggs and most foods of animal origin, some fortified plant milks and fortified yeast spreads (check the label).
Needed to make red blood cells, DNA (your genetic code), myelin (which insulate nerves) and some neurotransmitters needed for brain function.
When might you need to avoid milk?
Reasons why people don’t drink milk range from taste, personal preferences, animal welfare or environmental concerns. Or it could be due to health conditions or concerns about intolerance, allergy and acne.
Lactose is the main carbohydrate in milk. It’s broken down in the simple sugars by an enzyme in the small intestine called lactase.