Dairy, A Metabolic Superfood?

Dairy. Is it good? Is it “bad”? Fat Free? Low Fat? Full Fat? Farm raised? California Milk?

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Real California Milk

If you’re asking yourself these questions or have asked them before, not to worry, you’re not alone. I frequently remind clients, that it’s not your fault you’re unsure of what to eat anymore. We are inundated with so much information that we’re often left frustrated and confused as to what to do?

In this blog, I hope to help you strengthen your filtering system and offer some additional facts of how to improve metabolic function through foods, one of which is dairy..

I was given the opportunity to work with Real California Milk to learn more about dairy, the farmers, creative ways to utilize dairy, and overall how beneficial and versatile it can be.

Dairy benefits:

  1. Dairy has calcium and calcium helps the breakdown process of fat

  2. Dairy and more specifically, a glass of milk, is a relatively balanced snack. It has carbs, fat, and protein. Remember, the goal of many fitness or health programs is to manage stress and inflammation and to somehow create balance. Balanced snacks are hard to find, but a glass of whole milk contains 8 grams of proteins, carbs and fats and is often utilized as the liquid of choice in post workout snack smoothies.  

  3. Whole Milk is also high in the following Vitamins A, B2 and B12, D and K

  • Vitamin A: Promotes tissue repair, relieves inflammation. 

    • Managing inflammation via what we fuel our bodies with, is a powerful way to improve metabolic function. The more foods we find that are metabolically supportive (increase in temperature, also known as the thermic effect of food, in combination with heart rate are great indicators that a food is supporting your metabolism).

  • Vitamin B2: Helps maintain energy levels, Protects Digestive Tract

    • A healthy gut is a clear indicator that your body is working efficiently. B2, helps protect the healthy bacteria in the digestive tract. Remember that we have both "good" and "bad" bacteria that circulate throughout our body. Optimizing B2 can help protect your gut from moving out of balance. 

  • Vitamin B12: Improved Energy, Performance

    • A common symptom of a sluggish metabolism is low energy. You may often hear of people utilizing B12 as a supplement to help alleviate fatigue. Consider opting in some dairy in your day to boost your B12 and improve your overall energy.

  • Vitamin D: Helps regulate insulin, supports the health of the immune and nervous system, strong teeth and bones

    • Would you want to make it through the cold/flu season with less bouts of illness? Vitamin D is a powerful vitamin that helps boost immune function. I tend to increase my vitamin D intake (via milk and yogurt) during the months of late October through mid February to boost my immunity.

Suggestions:

1. Assess and Reassess: This is a great tool to refine when embarking on a health journey. As you begin the journey of becoming your own expert, I would encourage you to take the time to take notes, lots of notes.You’ll want to assess how you’re currently experiencing life and consistently reassess how you’re beginning to feel: How it is impacting your performance, recovery, energy and body.

  1. First start by jotting down how you’re currently feeling and be sure to reassess yourself as often as you can. I always encourage clients to be descriptive as possible. The more details (data) the better!
  2. Be mindful of the following:
  • How is my energy?

  • How do I feel digestively (Bloating? Gas? Cramping?)

  • How do my joints and muscles feel?

  • How is my mood (remember the gut and brain are closely interlinked, therefore feeding one area with healthful information can impact the other)?

  • The notes you gather, will serve as a helpful tool for you as you move further into the experimental process.

2. “Return to real, Look for the Seal”:

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  • Remember that quality matters. When looking for Real California Milk products, look for the seal (see photo below).

  • Buying products with the seal also supports real families and local farms

  • California is home to more than 1,300 Dairy Farms, 99% of which are family owned -- that means real food from real people!  

    • The seal means the product is made with 100% Real California Milk from Real California Dairy families.

    • Also, be sure to use the Real California Milk product locator to find products at a store near you: http://www.realcaliforniamilk.com/product-locator/

If you’re suffering from negative metabolic changes like low body temp, low mood, exhaustion, low performance, unusual weight gain your body is fighting to find stability. Often times going against the grain and opening up your food choices may be the missing link in starting the repair process. I know for myself, that once I started to add milk, creams and yogurts back into my meal plan, I started to feel better. I was recovering better (less muscle pains and improved sleep quality), I was enjoying what I was eating (because I love cheese), and I was happier (welcome back serotonin), all of which, led to improved performance and my body’s migration back into homeostasis.

I want to lastly just mention that my suggestions are from my viewpoints, and research that I’ve done. I aim to educate you on some alternative ways to look and view health and wellness, in hopes that many of you will find more answers.

References:

https://www.realcaliforniamilk.com

https://www.healthyeating.org

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5084021/

https://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/VitaminB12-Consumer/

https://www.healthyeating.org/Milk-Dairy/Nutrients-in-Milk-Cheese-Yogurt/Nutrients-in-Cheese

https://www.realcaliforniamilk.com/cheese-types