Milk. Some love it, others hate it. Either way, milk is a huge part of worldwide culture – not just because it’s an incredibly popular drink, a versatile cooking substance, and something that’s well-known for keeping your bones strong. Milk’s renown worldwide because it’s a part of natural biology!
Milk is produced by the mammary glands of mammals after the birth of their offspring. Since milk is the primary source of nutrition for most mammals during their first few weeks, it goes without saying that milk is loaded with all sorts of essential nutrients. Human breast milk is undoubtedly one of the healthiest things a human being can consume, given that the provider of the milk has eaten a fairly healthy diet themselves.
What’s So Special About Milk?
Milk is a good source of vitamins and minerals, surprisingly so for something generally considered a beverage. Even more surprising is the whopping amount of complete high-quality protein found in the stuff.
Humans usually drink milk from other mammals – weird, right? Typically we use cow’s milk since cows are fairly easy to care for and produce a lot of milk. For prime nutrition, cow’s milk is harvested from cows before or soon after pregnancy.
MIlk contains a substance known as colostrum, which includes the antibodies that a parent’s body has developed over their lives. It’s absolutely crucial that the child receives these antibodies if they want to develop an immune system that’s strong enough to easily fight ofk sickness.
There are two types of milk that have been classified according to their use in nutrition:
- Milk as a source of nutrition for mammals, including humans. This is the milk that’s produced by the parent female during and after pregnancy. It’s recommended that infants receive only breast milk for nutrition during the first six months of their lives to ensure their bodies properly adapt to the nutrients provided.
- Milk as a food source for humans, from other mammals. Throughout history, adults weren’t able to consume milk – it was restricted to children who possessed the necessary enzymes to digest milk. A chance mutation several thousand years ago provided the necessary enzymes, though, and milk became wildly popular. Since females only lactate (produce milk) for a short period after pregnancy, humans have to drink milk from other animals to sustain their cravings for milk. Milk sold in commercial places doesn’t have the same colostrum that’s present in milk that parents provide their children during breastfeeding, however it still has quite a few nutrients that healthy body grow.