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All You Need To Know About Milk

All You Need To Know About Milk

Brief History of Milk

The introduction of milk can be traced to as far back as 10,000 years ago where Neolithic farmers discovered that milking cattle can help to provide sustenance to the human population. The pasteurized milk that so many people have grown to love was developed in 1864 and only mandated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1987. Three years later, the FDA approved the use of genetically modified milk. The next monumental event came in 2008 when cloned milk was legally accepted for public distribution.

The global production of milk can be categorized into five distinct sources: Cattle, Buffaloes, Goats, Sheep, and Camels. Milk produced from cattle commands staggering 85% of the global milk industry while buffaloes are responsible for a tenth of the global milk production. The remaining slice of the pie is split among goats, sheep, and camels.

Modern Societys Perception of Milk

Ever since bottled milk first appeared in 1884, many countries have dived into the market and starting producing their own brands of milk. India currently tops the list of milk producers, with roughly one-fifth of the global milk volume originating from the country. The United States ranks 2nd, holding a 12% share of the market. The rest of the milk production is divided among the other countries with notable mentions to the following:

  • China

  • Brazil

  • France

  • Germany

  • New Zealand

  • Russia

The general demand for milk has also increased tremendously over the past 3 decades. This is evident from the statistics that clearly exhibit a rise in global milk production. From 1983 to 2003, the worlds milk industry has increased supply by 50%. Impressively, the Asian region recorded a dramatic increase in milk production from 80 million tons to 270 million tons within the same period.

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Facts About Milk Consumption

Distribution of Milk

The importance of milk can be witnessed in its influence on dairy products. Surprisingly, only 40% of the total milk production is set aside for fresh milk and its variations. Half of the total market proportion is reserved for cheese, butter and ghee products. The leftover portion is then split among skimmed and whole milk powder.

Raw Milk or Pasteurized Milk?

The debate between advocates of raw milk and traditionalists who strongly believe in pasteurized milk have been raging on for decades. Their arguments are intensively focused on the health benefits or consequences that are attached to the quality of milk. For instance, people who prefer raw milk believe that it contains natural elements that help to reinforce the immune system and ward off pathogens.

Studies have also backed their claim that raw milk helps to prevent asthma and allergies. Additionally, they hold the opinion that pasteurized milk loses vital nutritional value throughout its production process. Nevertheless, these claims are strongly objected by their counter-parties.

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    Helps to Strengthen Bones

    The most common health benefit associated with milk consumption is its ability to strengthen the bones. This scientific fact cannot be disputed as the high calcium content have been proved to aid in building stronger bones. A lesser known health benefit is that milk helps to promote better skin condition and can fight against the effects of sun exposure. For those who prefer to drink almond milk, this advantage is more evident as it contains higher levels of vitamin E and antioxidant properties that help to build a healthier skin foundation.

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    The Effects of Lactose Intolerance

    The process of packaging milk from the moment it is milked from a cow takes only 2 days before it reaches supermarket aisles. The nutrients derived from an 8-ounce glass of milk is comparable to 12 servings of whole grains, 6 servings of legumes or 10 servings of raw spinach. Unfortunately, roughly 29 million Americans are lactose intolerant and unable to consume any dairy products, thus losing out on this health benefit. Interestingly, 85% of these people can withstand consuming raw milk. Alternatively, lactose-free milk products are also available for them.

    Flavoured Milk

    Some people might express their reluctance to drink natural-flavoured milk. They require some excitement for their taste buds to thoroughly enjoy the beverage. This need for flavour is more pronounced rife amongst the younger generations. This is why chocolate milk is one of the best-selling milk products. In fact, a study has shown that when chocolate milk is removed from cafeterias, total milk consumption dropped by 35%.

    Health-Milk-Facts

      Genetically Modified Milk

      As mentioned above, genetically modified milk was only approved by the FDA in the early 1990s. Roughly 1 in every 5 cows has been injected with rBGH to increase their production of milk. Unfortunately, milk produced by genetically modified cows does not need to be labelled and neither are they separated from the other milk products.

      However, this procedure is unique to the United States as all European countries, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Japan have banned the use of rBGH to increase milk production. This is due to the elevated levels of a hormone known as Insulin Growth Factor-1, which consequently increases the risk of cancers.

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      Increases Risk of Cancer

      It is given that milk from genetically modified cows present an increased risk of cancer. However, it should be noted that milk produced through the natural process also contains risk factors that can lead to the onset of cancer diseases. Studies have shown guys who consume at least 2 servings of milk daily exhibit an increased 34% risk of developing prostate cancer. On the other hand, the lactose content of milk also escalated the risk of ovarian cancer in women.

      Conclusion

      As part of the individual body maintenance process, it is essential to be aware of what is fed into the body and the characteristics that these food items possess. Generally, the public holds a positive perception towards consuming milk due to the host of health benefits that it provides. Nonetheless, consumers should also be warned of the threat of genetically modified milk and the health consequences of excessive milk consumption.

      References

      https://www.consumerhealthdigest.com/health-news/milk-increases-risk-of-cancer-and-death-in-women.html

      http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/tc/lactose-intolerance-topic-overview

      http://www.lifehack.org/articles/lifestyle/benefits-almond-milk.html

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      Featured photo credit: Shutterstock via shutterstock.com

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      Katleen Brown

      Katleen is a health and beauty advisor.

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      Last Updated on December 9, 2019

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      5 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress Effectively

      Everyone experiences mental stress at one time or another. Maybe you’re starting a new career, job, or business, or you feel incredibly overwhelmed between work, parenting, and your love life (or a lack of it). It could even be that you simply feel that you have way too much to do and not enough time to do it,  plus, on top of everything, nothing seems to be going the way it should!

      Yup, we all experience mental stress from time-to-time, and that’s okay as long as you have the tools, techniques and knowledge that allow you to fully relieve it once it comes.

      Here are 5 tips for relieving mental stress when it comes so you can function at your best while feeling good (and doing well) in work, love, or life:

      1. Get Rationally Optimistic

      Mental stress starts with your perception of your experiences. For instance, most people get stressed out when they perceive their reality as “being wrong” in some way. Essentially, they have a set idea of how things “should be” at any given moment, and when reality ends up being different (not even necessarily bad), they get stressed.

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      This process is simply a result of perception and can be easily “fixed” by recognizing that although life might not always be going as YOU think it should, it’s still going as it should—for your own benefit.

      In fact, once you fully recognize that everything in your life ultimately happens for your own growth, progress, and development—so you can achieve your goals and dreams—your perception works in your favor. You soon process and respond to your experience of life differently, for your advantage. That’s the essence of becoming “rationally optimistic.”

      The result: no more mental stress.

      2. Unplug

      Just like you might need to unplug your computer when it starts acting all crazy, you should also “unplug” your mind.

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      How on earth do you unplug your mind? Simple: just meditate.

      It isn’t nearly difficult or complicated as some people think, so, if you don’t already meditate, give it a try. Whether you meditate for 5 minutes, 30 minutes, or 2 hours, this is a surefire way to reduce mental stress.

      Meditation has been scientifically proven to relax your body (resulting in less mental stress), while also reducing anxiety and high blood pressure.

      3. Easy on the Caffeine

      Yes, we know, we know—everyone loves a nice java buzz, and that’s okay, but there’s a fine line between a small caffeine pick-me-up and a racing heart and mind that throws you into a frenzy of mental stress.

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      Try giving up caffeine for a while and see how you feel. And, if that’s completely out of the question for you, at least try to minimize it. You might find that lots of your mental stress mysteriously “disappears” as your caffeine intake goes down.

      4. Attack Mental Stress Via the Back Door

      That’s right: your body and mind are part of the whole being, and are constantly influencing and affecting each other. If you’re experiencing a lot of mental stress, try to reduce it by calming your body down—a calm body equals a calmer mind.

      How do you calm your body down and reduce physical stress? A  great way to reduce physical stress (thereby reducing mental stress) is to take natural supplements that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety while lifting your mood. Three good ones to look into are kava-kava, St John’s wort, and rhodiola rosea:

      • Kava-kava is a natural plant known to have mild sedative properties, and you should be able to find it at your natural health food store or vitamin store. It’s available in capsules or liquid extract form.
      • St John’s wort is a natural flower used to treat depression. Again, it’s found at your local health store in capsules or liquid. Because it uplifts mood (enabling you to see the brighter side of all experiences) it helps relieve mental stress as well.
      • Rhodiola rosea is a natural plant shown to reduce stress and uplift mood, and Russian athletes have been using it forever. Like the other two supplements mentioned, rhodiola rosea can be found at your natural health store in capsule or liquid form.

      While these supplements are all natural and can be very helpful for most people, always check with your health care provider first as they can cause side-effects depending on your current health situation etc.

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      5. Good Old-Fashioned Exercise

      This tip has been around forever because it works. Nothing relieves mental stress like running, kickboxing—you name it. Anything super-physical will wipe out most of your mental stresses once the exercise endorphins (happy chemicals) are released into your brain.

      The result: mental stress will be gone!

      So, if you’re feeling overwhelmed or just plain stressed, try using some of the above tips. You can even print this out or save it to refer to regularly.

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      Featured photo credit: Radu Florin via unsplash.com

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