Thanks to the innumerable incoming research studies and findings that have been putting more focus onto dairy inclusion, it is no longer just confined to one particular age group only.
However, as there are and will be qualms and claims of people who swear by not having dairy in their diet- there are several valid reasons (and science backed, too!) as too why it should very much be a part of your diet.
Why go for Dairy?
First and foremost, for the protein! Especially, if you are bodybuilding or looking to simply increase your muscle mass and reduce the fat%, there are fewer choices of good protein sources to choose from. Lean meats, eggs, dairy and some plant proteins-that is about it. Moreover, milk being an animal source of protein is full of helpful bacteria, vitamins, minerals and most importantly a complete amino acid profile which is required for body’s optimal functioning.
Here are some of the important reasons you can consider:
• Dairy as a muscle booster: As per a 2006 study, drinking about 250 ml of milk (1 cup) post workout boosts muscle protein synthesis.
• It also contains a compound known as IGF-1 an anabolic compound known to boost muscle growth. For best results, you blend in whey and you have a power-packed post workout protein drink.
• Another important reason why you should stick to dairy is it a storehouse for calcium. Calcium as we know is definitely what fuels our bones but that is not the only place the calcium is needed for; Calcium helps in maintaining contractions and health of muscles and it has also been linked to weight loss with higher calcium consumption.
Here’s how you can include dairy products other than milk in your diets:
• Cottage cheese or paneer- this amino powered cheese is low in fat, high in protein (about 28 gm. per cup!) and rich in casein. Casein is one of the 2 milk proteins and is a slow digesting protein, making it just the right kind of choice for a bed-time snack or a scrumptious evening indulgence. With high content of glutamine, it helps boost growth hormone levels and glycogen storage, increases immunity and of course helps in weight loss.
• Yogurt- is one of the oldest health foods. A probiotic that is not only gut healthy but also a good source of protein, it can be had as a post workout snack or as a mid-day snack with your choice of fruits/ nuts. Though there is still an ongoing research going on as to what is the right amount of intestinal bacteria needed for max health benefits, yogurt is already known to reduce cholesterol, increase immunity, aid digestive health and maximize nutrient absorption.
The one valid reason to keep away:
Lactose intolerance is one fair reason to avoid dairy. However, you need not necessarily miss out on the goodness of milk since there are ways that you can work around this problem. Lactose intolerance is nothing but the body’s inability to produce lactase enzyme which digests the lactose sugar present in milk (and other dairy products) and the symptoms most commonly faced are bloating, cramping, and diarrhea. You can get over the intolerance in 2 ways: Either you avoid lactose completely or help your body digest it better.
• If you avoid lactose, you can get your milk protein from supplements (isolate would be the best choice!) or you can opt for low-lactose or lactose free products that are now available easily.
• If you want to improve the digestion of lactose, you will need to introduce lactase in the body. For this, there are lactase enzymes available as supplement forms and can be taken prior to consumption of dairy. Another option is to supplement the body with gut flora that aids in food digestion and does away with any intolerance you might have towards lactose.
For those with ‘conditional lactose intolerance’- that is people who were able to digest milk or milk products better sometime earlier but of late find themselves unable to do so- you DO NOT have lactose intolerance. It is merely the that gut flora that is needed to digest it is not present in your systems any more. However, this can be overcome by gradually including dairy products back into the diet and you will see the intolerance go away in no time!
Now that you know, that having dairy is an important a part of your diet, one thing you must also keep in mind is to not go overboard with. Anything in excess can do more harm than good therefore stick to moderation and practice portion control while making the most of it.
Add OZIVA Protein & Herbs Shake to Your Diet if your diet is lacking in proteins.
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