You may recall the catchphrase, “milk, it does a body good”. It was part of a campaign in the late 80’s and early 90’s to boost the sales of milk. There is truth to the idea that milk is good for you and your body, but this marketing has one flaw. The processed milk sold commercially today isn’t really milk by the time it reaches the grocery store. We’ve seen that highly processed foods can be a detriment to our health and even cause cancer. In order to receive all the benefits milk has to offer, you need to drink it in it’s original state – raw. Here are just some of the many benefits of raw milk.
How is Raw Milk Different?
Raw milk is not pasteurized or homogenized. This leaves the good bacteria, enzymes, and other beneficial components intact. Conventional milk is pasteurized to temperatures that actually destroy some of the biggest benefits of cow’s milk. When milk is heated to 165 degrees fahrenheit, most of the nutrients are damaged. These dead and damaged cells remain in the milk as a bi-product. These can cause an allergic reaction for many people when they consume pasteurized milk. Homogenization emulsifies the fat globules, which is why the cream doesn’t separate and rise to the top in commercial milk.
Organic, grass-fed cows graze in the pasture and are not fed a diet of GMO grain. In contrast, non-organic cows eat nearly an all GMO grain diet. Their milk is then contaminated with glyphosate and other toxins found in GMOs. In addition, organic milk cannot contain hormones or antibiotics. Hormones are used in conventional dairy cows to boost milk production. Raw milk does not use hormones, and therefore produces smaller yields of milk.
The differences between processed dairy farms and raw milk dairy farms go much further. In fact, the processed milk most drink today could never be consumed raw. It must be pasteurized to remove all of the bacteria and contamination from the filthy living conditions of the cows. With those unsanitary conditions, disease and infection risks to the cows are high. They are given antibiotics to ward off illness, which results in antibiotics in the milk. This only adds further to the contamination of conventional milk. A study, published late last year, by the Stanford University School of Medicine indicated this increased antibiotic usage may actually be spreading Salmonella bacteria among cows and livestock.
Raw milk from a responsible farmer is collected carefully, so as to avoid contamination. The cows must be healthy and the conditions must be kept clean. Meticulous care is taken with each step to provide a product that is to their high standards. In addition, one of the benefits of raw milk is that it has immunity boosting properties to support your immune system and prevent illness. Although no food can be deemed 100% safe, responsible raw milk farmer’s have practices in place to prevent illness and contamination. The same cannot be said for conventional dairy farms. In fact, dairy herds are not even required to be inspected for the production of pasteurized milk.
So why go to all this trouble to provide raw milk?
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Here are the Top 10 Benefits of Raw Milk
1. Boosts Immune System
As mentioned above, properties of raw milk can support the immune system. The milk contains immunoglobulins, which are antibodies that provide resistance to viruses, bacteria and bacterial toxins.
2. All 8 Essential Amino Acids
It’s true. You can find all of the 8 essential amino acids in raw milk. Unlike in the pasteurized version. Essential amino acids are not produced by the human body and must be obtained from food. They are vital to our health.
3. Decreases Eczema
One of the benefits of raw milk claimed by its drinkers is an improvement in eczema, an inflammatory condition of the skin which results in patches of dry, itchy skin and rash.
4. Easily Digestible
Those who are lactose intolerant have trouble digesting milk due to the inability to make the enzyme lactase. Raw milk contains lactobacilli bacteria which digests lactose. This allows some people to be able to digest raw milk, when they otherwise could not digest pasteurized milk. It was found that over 80% of survey participants in a Michigan study were able to consume raw milk despite being lactose intolerant.
The bi-product of lactose digestion is lactic acid. Lactic acid aids in the digestion of milk proteins by separating them into fine milk particles.
Enzymes are important to our ability to absorb nutrients. They break them down to make them bio-available to the human body. One of the benefits of raw milk is that, since it isn’t heated or pasteurized, the enzymes remain intact to be most beneficial.
6. Fewer Allergies
The pasteurization process can actually promote allergies with the lack of lactobacilli bacteria to aid in the digestion of lactose. Raw milk from grass fed cows contains an abundance of conjugated linoleic acid or CLA. It’s properties are well researched and, adding to its ability to lower allergic reactions, it also promotes muscle growth, reduction of abdominal fat, and raises the metabolic rate.
7. Beneficial Bacteria
As mentioned earlier, the pasteurization of milk kills off or damages bacteria in milk. This includes good bacteria. As a result, raw milk still contains beneficial bacteria. Good bacteria can help us digest food and fight off infections, among other things.
Around 20% of the proteins in milk are sensitive to heat. This means 20% of the proteins are lost when milk is heated, as in pasteurization. Some of these proteins that remain in raw milk are lactoferrin, lysozyme, and lactoperoxidase.
9. Heathy Fats
There is more butterfat in raw milk, something that is rich in fatty acids. Organic Pastures states “Fats present in raw mammal’s milk are building blocks for nervous tissue in the brain.” Milk from grass fed cows contain more Omega-6 fatty acids, considered the essential fatty acid. A balance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids is important to obtain the most benefits. Pasture raised cows have milk that has a balance between the two. Studies suggest that a balance between these fats can result in a lower risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, autoimmune disorders, allergies, obesity, diabetes, dementia, and various other mental disorders.
10. Reduces Asthma
The proteins in raw milk help to reduce the severity of asthma. A European study showed raw milk protected against asthma and allergies.
A Note About Safety
As more and more people are discovering the benefits of raw milk, opponents are quick to point out safety concerns. Yes, pasteurization does kill pathogens and potentially harmful bacteria. It is, however, important to note that raw milk is safe. What is not safe is contaminated raw milk. This is why raw milk producers take such precautions to prevent contamination. Illnesses reported from raw milk consumption have been greatly exaggerated and you can find a full detailed response to claims that raw milk is unsafe here from the Weston A. Price foundation.
Where to Find Raw Milk
Raw milk isn’t available for purchase in all states. You can check the availability near you with this locater. Be sure you choose a raw milk provider who’s standards you trust.
Disclosure: Bookieboo LLC has worked with a numerous organic and natural brands, including Organic Pastures.[/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]