Raw milk is unpasteurized and contains all of the vital nutrients a cow provides its calf, such as natural enzymes, fatty acids, vitamins, and minerals.
Pasteurization destroys the vital nutrients found in milk and eliminates beneficial bacteria and microorganisms found in raw milk, making it only suitable for lactose intolerance individuals. Unfortunately, raw milk should not be the go-to choice for everyone else; even if it helps some people maintain a healthy weight, its health benefits cannot be guaranteed.
|Nutrient||Amount per 1 cup (240 ml)|
|Total fat||8 g|
|Saturated fat||5 g|
|Calcium||276 mg (28% of DV)|
|Vitamin D||24 IU (6% of DV)|
|Vitamin B12||1.1 mcg (18% of DV)|
|Potassium||322 mg (9% of DV)|
|Phosphorus||210 mg (21% of DV)|
Protein is a necessary nutrient for optimal body functioning. It plays an essential role in muscle building and tissue repair as well as cellular maintenance and immune system regulation. Furthermore, protein helps keep your digestive health, protects heart and blood vessels from disease, and encourages weight loss.
Complete protein refers to a food that provides all essential amino acids your body needs for building and maintaining healthy tissues. Raw milk is an excellent source of this vital nutrient, with just one cup containing 8 grams. You can add it to smoothies, coffee or your morning oatmeal for additional nutrition.
Raw milk protein is divided into two major groups: casein and whey proteins (source). Whey is the most bioavailable form of milk protein, making up nearly 75% of total protein content. Not only does it contain essential amino acids like immunoglobulins and lactoferrin, but also b-lactoglobulin and bovine serum albumin that promote health benefits.
This type of protein has been demonstrated to possess anti-inflammatory, hepatoprotective and pulmonary protective effects (source). Additionally, it functions as an important immune regulator.
However, pasteurization of milk proteins causes damage to milk proteins which can result in higher sugar levels and an increased risk for diabetes, obesity and cardiovascular disease. Furthermore, pasteurization destroys phosphatase – an enzyme essential for calcium absorption – leading to decreased nutritional value as well as other side effects such as inflammation or skin rashes.
Milk intolerance or sensitivity can be especially problematic for those with low stomach acid, which is often the source of milk intolerance or sensitivity in many individuals. A balanced diet and supplementation with enzymes may help restore normal stomach acid levels and reduce milk sensitivity.
Milk is an excellent source of calcium, but it’s not the only way to get your daily serving. Other superfoods also provide great amounts of this essential mineral!
Calcium is essential for bone strength and the prevention of osteoporosis. It also supports healthy muscle function, nerve transmission, and hormone secretion – though it should be noted that the amount of calcium a food contains may not always be the same as what your body can absorb.
Many Americans struggle to meet their recommended daily dietary allowance of 1,000 milligrams, especially women over age 50. A major factor may be lactose intolerance, which affects millions of Americans due to a deficiency in lactase enzyme production.
Unsweetened almond milk provides 482 mg of calcium per cup, making it a suitable option for those who can’t tolerate dairy products. Calcium-fortified soy milk also makes an excellent plant source of this vital mineral; according to Dr. Weaver, this kind of beverage has the same amount of calcium as cow’s milk but no additional sugar added.
Kale is an excellent source of this bone-building mineral. It contains more bioavailable calcium than raw whole milk, making it easier for your body to absorb.
Zeratsky notes that this bitter green contains 177 milligrams of calcium per cooked cup, making it a nutritious alternative to spinach or other leafy greens. Furthermore, it’s abundant in vitamin C which aids calcium absorption in your body.
If you’re not a fan of dairy, try some fortified orange juice or half a cup of calcium-set tofu instead; both are packed with this vital mineral. Other vegan sources of calcium include beans, nuts, seeds and some starchy vegetables which can be eaten raw or cooked and are packed with essential vitamins, minerals and fiber.
What has as much nutrition as raw whole milk?
Raw milk is packed with essential vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. Plus it provides an excellent source of protein which aids in many vital body processes like growth and development, cellular repair and immune system regulation (source).
Studies have indicated that raw milk may reduce the risk of obesity among those who consume more milk-fat rich dairy products. Unlike pasteurized milk, which has been denatured by heat treatment, raw milk retains all its beneficial nutrients in their original forms.
Additionally, raw milk contains naturally occurring food enzymes that aid in digesting milk’s sugars such as lactase. This makes it easier for those with lactose intolerance to tolerate raw milk.
Pasteurized milk differs from raw in that it retains all fat-soluble vitamins in their natural forms, while pasteurization loses more than 50% of these essential vitamins, particularly for fat-soluble vitamins.
Vitamins are always part of a broader network of other nutrients and substances that allow them to function in the body. Denatureing one nutrient will prevent it from working together harmoniously with other vitamins and minerals, leaving you with an imbalanced diet.
When supplementing milk with vitamin D3, for example, you are adding a synthetic and patented drug that is less efficient than the animal version, D3. Furthermore, there are increased chances for toxic side effects like kidney stones and bone damage from fortifying milk with D3.
It’s essential to note that most of the vitamin A found in milk comes from conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). CLA has been linked to improved cholesterol levels, heart health and weight loss.
Raw milk is packed full of essential nutrients derived from various sources, such as fodder and green forage. Forage provides plenty of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus as well as trace minerals like potassium and selenium.
Minerals play a vital role in the body, from enzyme function to bone formation and water balance to oxygen transport. Milk usually contains minerals bound together as salts; this does not reduce their nutritional value but it may affect how well milk retains vitamins and minerals during storage.
Vitamins are vital for many bodily processes, such as metabolism, growth and development, and immune system support. They assist with the production of proteins, enzymes, and cells within the body.
Raw whole milk is an excellent source of calcium and phosphorus, which help support strong bones, boost the immune system health, lower blood pressure and heart disease risk factors. Furthermore, these minerals support muscle health, cellular function, as well as detoxification.
Kalium is also an excellent source of potassium, which may lower blood pressure and promote heart health. Furthermore, it may reduce the likelihood of kidney stones.
Raw whole milk, unlike pasteurized, is free from additives and preservatives. Furthermore, it’s low in sugar and fat.
Raw whole milk has a lower temperature stability than pasteurized milk due to the absence of lactoferrin (which is destroyed by heat). Furthermore, it contains more xanthine oxidase, an enzyme which can create reactive oxygen and nitrogen species toxic to pathogens in the digestive tract. This helps reduce bacteria growth and other microorganisms in the GI tract.
Raw whole milk contains every fat- and water-soluble vitamin in its bioavailable form, unlike synthetic vitamins which must be isolated and cannot be easily broken down or utilized by the body; these vitamins exist in their complex, synergistic forms found naturally occurring in milk that your body is designed to recognize, utilize and absorb.
Cow’s milk contains about two thirds of its fat in the form of saturated fatty acids, which are essential for proper body functioning. They help construct cell membranes and secret hormones, provide energy storage and padding for delicate organs, as well as transport essential fat-soluble vitamins.
Fats are essential for the optimal functioning of our brains and nervous systems, for storing energy for later, as well as keeping skin, teeth, and nails supple and elastic. Furthermore, they help us maintain an ideal weight while decreasing our risk for heart disease, diabetes and certain cancers.
Pasteurization (the process of heating milk to kill bacteria) denatures the fats and proteins present, destroying much of their nutritional value. This includes fat soluble vitamins A, D, E and K as well as water soluble vitamin C which loses up to 66% of its active value when pasteurized.
Protein losses in milk, such as caseins and whey proteins, can be even greater. Proteins play a significant role in immune health by providing protection from viruses, bacteria and bacterial toxins.
Selecting the ideal type of dairy for you and your family can have a major impact on your wellbeing. Whether it’s skim, reduced or whole milk, each offers an abundant supply of calcium, protein, vitamin A and other essential nutrients.
Hi, I’m Alexander. I’m a vegan of over 20 years, and I initially made the switch for health reasons. However, as time went on, I became more and more passionate about the ethical and environmental implications of leading a vegan lifestyle.
I am the author of The Graceful Kitchen, a vegan blog where I share recipes for delicious and nutritious vegan meals. As someone who is deeply committed to living a cruelty-free life, I am also a strong advocate for using whole foods as the foundation of a healthy diet – and believe that going vegan is one of the best ways to achieve this.