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National Dairy Month: The benefits of milk

Posted by Janice Cox, RDN, LD, Lunds and Byerly’s Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist
Monday, June 3, 2013

What has nine essential nutrients, should be consumed in three or more servings of each day and is a cookie’s best friend?

Answer: Milk!

June is National Dairy Month, so let’s take a look at what one glass of milk offers:

  • Calcium, 30% of the daily value (DV) - Calcium builds and maintains strong bones. You’d have to eat 10 cups of spinach to get that much calcium!
  • Vitamin D, 25% daily value - Vitamin D helps absorb calcium for healthy bones. One cup has as much vitamin D as ¾ ounces of salmon.
  • Riboflavin, 20% daily value - Riboflavin converts food into energy. To get that much riboflavin, you would need to eat 1/3 cup of almonds.
  • Phosphorus, 20% daily value - Phosphorus helps keep bones strong. One cup of milk has as much phosphorus as 1 cup of kidney beans.
  • Protein, 16% daily value - Protein builds and maintains lean muscle. One cup has about as much protein as an ounce of lean meat.
  • Potassium, 11% daily value - Potassium regulates your fluid balance and blood pressure. One cup of milk has as much potassium as a small banana.
  • Niacin, 10% daily value - Niacin helps convert food into energy. ½ ounce of peanuts has the same niacin as a glass of milk.
  • Vitamin B-12, 13% daily value - B-12 helps build red blood cells. 1 ¼ ounces of Swiss cheese equals the amount of B-12 in a cup of milk.

The best part is, skim or fat free milk is only 85 calories per cup. That’s a lot of nutrition packed in one place!

The lactose (milk sugar) helps our bodies absorb the calcium in milk. If you’re unable to drink milk because of lactose intolerance, you have the option of lactose-free milk, as well as many foods listed above that offer the nutrients you find in milk. If you’d like help finding foods to meet your needs, call me at 952-541-1414.

Frosty Orange Banana Sipper
Recipe from the Midwest Dairy Council


  • 1 medium banana, peeled, chunked and frozen 
  • 3 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1 cup low-fat or skim milk (set in freezer 30 minutes before using)
  • 6 ounce container of low-fat vanilla yogurt

Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend until smooth and creamy. Pour into a glass and enjoy!

Tags: milkdairy

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