Got Milk? Health Benefits of Raw Milk
Milk is one of the most wonderful, nutritious foods God has given us. I know I say that all the time. We are continuing to learn the Lord has provided health foods in abundance. Yet, do you know the health benefits of raw milk?
Why raw milk?
I mean, we’ve experienced commercials for decades now about the amazing benefits of milk. Isn’t homogenized, pasteurized milk best for us? It has a longer shelf life, doesn’t have the danger of bacteria, and is fortified with Vitamin D, which we know is the essential vitamin.
Milk is one of those foods that has been altered and changed from its original form to something processed.
For our good, though, right? After all, the intention of the pasteurization process is to improve it. To rid the “harmful bacteria” raw milk contains and make it safer for human consumption.
But is that the true result? Does processed milk have more value than raw milk?
Raw Milk - A Complete Health-Giving Food
Raw milk, whether from a cow or a goat, is one of the most complete health-giving foods on earth. Clean, raw milk from pastured cows (or goats) is a complete and properly-balanced food. It’s a good source for a myriad of nutrients.
You could live on it exclusively if necessary!
How many foods fit into that category?
There are even records of clean, raw milk being used as medicine in the past.
From the earliest recordings to just after World War II, clean, raw milk nourished and healed countless millions.
Milk straight from the udder definitely belongs in the treasure chest of healthy living.
What makes milk so incredible? Let's look at the ingredients to see what makes it such a power-packed food of great value.
8 Health Benefits of Raw Milk
To be such a power-food, milk must contain a plethora of nutrients essential to the body’s proper functioning.
As I said above, it has so many different vitamins and minerals, people can live completely on raw milk if they don’t have access to other food.
This is rare and I wouldn’t suggest a milk-only diet, but like with all the other foods God gave us as a gift, it’s perfectly balanced for fueling our bodies for health and wellness.
Now, there’s been a lot in the last couple of decades about whether milk is only for children or if it also provides benefits to adults. There have also been increasing numbers of milk allergies and intolerances.
Of course, these problems are linked to homogenized, pasteurized, processed milk. Is it the same as raw milk? Do people who drink raw milk have the same problems?
No! As with most adulterated foods, when we as humans try to make it better, we tend to strip it of God-given nutrients and benefits and decrease its nutritional value.
Processed milk is nothing more than white water. And worse, it leads moms into thinking they are doing good when they are not.
1. It is high in protein.
Raw cow’s milk has all nine essential amino acids we need. We know amino acids are good, but do you know why? They’re the building blocks for EVERY CELL in your body!
Your DNA can’t perform its functions necessary for life, growth, and survival without amino acids. Amino acids group together to make proteins, which tell your cells what to do. They really are fascinating.
So, amino acids aren’t just the latest, coolest fad in the diet and health industry. They are the miniscule fuel particles God created to provide your body with everything it needs.
And raw milk is chock-full of them. Very few foods have the perfect balance of proteins - made up of amino acids - that make it so easy to live and thrive.
2. Raw milk contains lactoferin.
Lacto is a term we’re familiar with. Ferrin, not so much. However, this nutrient has numerous beneficial properties, including:
- Improved absorption and assimilation of iron
- Anti-cancer properties
- Antimicrobial action against some species of bacteria which contribute to cavities
These are great health benefits, yet they are only found in raw dairy. Unfortunately, studies have shown a significant loss of these important disease fighters when milk is heated in pasteurization.
3. There are carbohydrates in raw milk.
Lactose, or milk sugar, is the primary carbohydrate in cow’s milk.
People with lactose intolerance - that uncomfortable gut and bowel reaction to off-the-shelf milk, no longer make the enzyme lactase that helps digest milk sugar.
However, raw milk has lactose-digesting bacteria (Lactobacilli). This may allow people who have an intolerance to give it another try.
Also, if people are worried about the sugar in milk, raw milk has the perfect balance to help our bodies digest it better. Remember those proteins? They help reduce spikes in blood sugar.
Now, that doesn’t mean to drink a half gallon at a time, or even every day.
Remember, no food is to become an idol. God gifted us a variety of food for our benefit and never intended for our eating (or drinking) to get out of balance.
4. Raw milk has beneficial fats.
Approximately ⅔ of the fat in milk is saturated. Saturated fats have gotten a bad rap in the last several decades, but do these fats make milk bad for you?
In fact, saturated fats play a number of key roles in our bodies:
- Construction of cell membranes
- Construction of important hormones - every woman needs these!
- Providing energy storage
- Providing padding for delicate organs - healthy padding not yellow fat.
- Serving as a vehicle for important fat-soluble vitamins - the brain loves a serving fat-soluble vitamins served with a glass of milk.
Saturated fats, or fatty acids, as with most food and some nutrients, are useful and even helpful in the right quantities. Yet, saturated fats create problems when they come from adulterated food or are consumed in great quantities.
The good news is the fats from foods God designed, like raw milk, don’t cause heart disease or contribute to it when they’re consumed in balance.
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5. There is an abundance of vitamins in raw milk.
Volumes have been written about the 2 groups of vitamins: water-soluble and fat-soluble.
All of them are essential to healthy living and have their own purposes.
Whole raw milk has them all.
Yes, you read that correctly. Every single vitamin God required our bodies to need for vibrant, abundant living is found in raw milk.
Are you starting to see why raw milk is such a complete food and consuming raw milk is such a good idea?
6. Raw milk has a lot of minerals.
Raw milk also contains a broad selection of completely available minerals ranging from the familiar calcium and phosphorus down to trace elements (some of which the function of is still unclear to us).
Calcium is the big one we hear a lot about in relation to milk. That’s because this mineral has a host of benefits all on its own.
- Reduction in cancers, particularly of the colon
- Higher bone mineral density in people of every age
- Lower risk of osteoporosis and fractures in older adults
- Lowered risk of kidney stones
- Formation of strong teeth
- Reduction of cavities
This is just a sampling of calcium’s benefits! And we haven’t touched on the other nutrients and benefits we know about.
An interesting feature of minerals as nutrients is the delicate balance they require with other minerals to function properly.
For instance, calcium needs a proper ratio of two other macronutrients (phosphorus and magnesium) to be properly utilized in our bodies.
By design, all of the minerals in raw milk from grass-fed cows are in proper balance to one another, helping our bodies to use them optimally.
I also bet, knowing God’s character and perfect provision, those trace elements we know little about also have some necessary or beneficial purposes.
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7. Raw milk is rich in enzymes.
Raw milk has 60+ (known) fully intact and functional enzymes that perform an amazing array of tasks in the body, each essential in facilitating one key reaction or another.
The most significant health benefit derived from food enzymes is the burden they take off our bodies.
When we eat food that contains enzymes devoted to its own digestion, our pancreas doesn’t have to work so hard.
The enzymes in raw milk break down starch, lactose, fat, and phosphate compounds, in that order, making milk more digestible and freeing up key minerals.
Other enzymes help protect milk from unwanted bacterial infection.
God’s creation is amazing.
8. Get choline from raw milk.
Choline isn’t a vitamin or mineral, but a nutrient that our bodies need to function at its best.
A recent quote from a registered dietitian nutritionist gives even more evidence for the immense value raw milk contains:
“Raw Milk is also a rich source of choline; an important nutrient found to support sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory. Choline helps to maintain the structure of cellular membranes, aids in the transmission of nerve impulses, assists in the absorption of fat and can lessen chronic inflammation.” M. Ware, RDN
“Osteoarthritis of the knee currently has no cure, but researchers say drinking raw milk every day has been linked to reduced progression of the disease.” M. Ware, RDN
Watch this video to learn more about the reasons to drink raw milk today and everyday!
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Is Raw Milk Safe? Pasteurization, Homogenization, and Raw Milk Safety
Louis Pasteur. We learn about him in science class and about his amazing discovery which allowed milk to be processed so that it lasts longer. This helped more people access milk who lived far away from farms, making milk access very limited.
The goal was a good one. The results, however, are in question.
During pasteurization, milk is exposed to high temperatures, being heated to 161 degrees for 15 seconds. Doesn’t sound like much, but it has several consequences.
There’s no debate about the effectiveness of pasteurization for killing unwanted bacteria, which is destroyed by pasteurization.
There’s also no doubt that this process gives dairy products longer shelf lives.
However, it also kills desired bacteria found in fresh milk, lowering the value of what we now know are beneficial to our gut and overall health.
In addition, the process denatures milk enzymes and changes its protein structure, which makes it difficult for our bodies to assimilate and digest.
What is Homogenization?
Homogenization breaks up the larger butterfat globules in milk into very tiny globules, which suspends them evenly in the milk.
This is why processed milk doesn’t have cream on top, while raw milk does.
The benefit of homogenization is similar to that of pasteurization: a longer shelf life. It also reduces the need for milk to be stirred or shaken to redistribute the fat before consuming.
Many people have studied the link between homogenized milk and heart disease, as the two coincided in timing (a rise in heart disease, that is). The results are inconclusive, with evidence falling on both sides of the issue.
However, it’s noteworthy that nutrition in our food plummeted as we scientifically altered and modified it from its natural state.
Raw Milk Safety
There are countless reasons to look into this nutrient dense food, but there are also reasons to be cautious.
In America, there are approximately 20 states that allow the sale of raw, farm-raised milk. In many other states, the law grants people the right to purchase a share of a cow they can receive the milk from.
This website gives a thorough overview of the different laws concerning raw milk state-to-state.
I love healthy living. This information, like all that I share, is meant to help others see how intricately God designed foods given to us for our health.
I can’t tell you if or where or how to obtain raw milk, only that if it’s available to you, God created it as a wonderful, amazing, power-food.
Only you can make the risk-benefit calculation between consuming raw, clean milk and homogenized, pasteurized milk and apply that decision to your life within the boundaries of the law where you live.
Reap the Amazing Health Benefits of Raw Milk Today!
Hopefully you’ve seen now the plethora of benefits of raw milk.
God created incredible foods like this because He loves you! He desires health and vibrancy and abundant living for you. A big part of that is how we take care of and treat our bodies.
God-designed milk brings health.
The benefits range from better digestion to equipping our bodies to more efficiently battle cancer to strong bones.
Have you tried raw milk? If you don’t have access to it, organic is the next best choice. Rice milk and almond milk are also great substitutions for recipes and drinking, especially if you have family members with a dairy allergy.
I’d love to hear your experience with raw milk, visiting a dairy farm, and even making your own butter. It’s simpler than you think.