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Mar 20

Health Foods A-Z: Milk

Milk has been known as a complete source of nutrition, especially for children. I remember being given a glass of milk twice a day when I was growing up, and how much of a struggle it was for my mom to get me to have it!

In the last few years, Milk has been the center of a lot of controversy, and there are people who argue for and against its consumption. The people against milk consumption claim the following reasons as to why milk should not be consumed.

1. It causes allergies. A large number of us, a number that is growing, are lactose intolerant, or allergic to milk and other dairy products. There are claims that milk can cause nausea, bloating, gas and diarrhea, owing to their inability to digest certain components in the milk.

2. If the milk is not organic, you are at risk of consuming pesticides, antibiotics and chemicals. Since the cow consumes food that has pesticides and it passes along in the milk, this is especially a reason for concern.

However, consumption of milk has its advantages. It is rich in nutrients such as calcium, Vitamins A, B12 and D, iron, potassium, protein, and phosphorus. These are a lot of nutrients to get from one source, and thus the large number of advocates for milk. The main nutrient in milk, however, is calcium, that is essential for strong bones and teeth. For most of us, milk may be the most significant source of calcium in our diet, and thus, the strong votes in favor of milk. Not only this, milk is very affordable and readily available.

However, if you do choose to consume milk, opt for organic milk to eliminate the pesticides that you may get otherwise, and a low fat option to keep the calories down.

Personally, I am not a fan of milk, so I try and consume more yoghurt to be able to incorporate the benefits from milk and dairy products in my diet.

There are unlimited ways to have milk. Milk by itself is a great option. Then there are milk shakes, hot chocolate, smoothies, among a plethora of options. Some of the recipes on my blog that use milk are the baked vegetables recipe I posted and the mango lassi recipe. A great way to have yoghurt is with this raita recipe. Another of my favorites is to have cornflakes with yogurt-a concoction that I came up with, owing to my love for yogurt.

The recipe below is for milkshake. I wait each year for the mango season, to have this thick, delicious shake.

Ingredients

1 glass milk (organic and low fat)

1 mango, chopped in pieces (if it is a large mango, use 2 glasses milk)

-Alternately, 1 cup Mango pulp

1 tbsp. sugar or honey

crushed ice

Method

Add milk and sugar to a blender. Add 3/4 of the mango pieces (or all the pulp if using pulp) and blend for about 30 seconds. After the mixture is smooth, add the remaining mango pieces and the crushed ice and blend for 5-10 seconds. Mango shake is ready!

This method works really well if you like to get mango pieces in your mouth when having the shake. If you like it smooth, just add all the mango at once. If you prefer not to add ice, chill the drink in the refrigerator.

If you want to reduce the calories, leave out the sugar-mango has enough natural sugar in it to make the drink sweet enough.

Serve chilled.

This post is part of a series on health foods. I have previously written about Avocado, Broccoli, Cauliflower, Dates, Eggs, Fennel, Green chickpeas or chholiya, Honey, Iceberg lettuce, Jackfruit, Kidney Beans and Lentils.

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