Milk is a drink consumed by humans and other animals. But humans are the only kind that drinks the milk of other species even after weaning and throughout their adult life. Perhaps, ants domesticating and milking aphids for their honeydew may be another such example. Milk contains calcium, magnesium, zinc, proteins, fats, sugars, vitamins A and D, and all 18 essentials nutrients required by the body in easily digestible and absorbable form, and along with egg, is considered a complete diet.
Milk is a rich source of Choline, an important nutrient found to support sleep, muscle movement, learning and memory it also helps in the absorption of fat and can lessen chronic inflammation. Milk is also a rich source of Potassium which helps reduce the risk of stroke, heart disease, high blood pressure and protects against the loss of muscle mass and in preservation of bone mineral density and reduction in formation of kidney stones. However, the recommended limit of 3 glasses per day will only provide about a third of an adult’s daily requirement of Potassium, hence it is important to add other Potassium rich foods into your diet. Stick to raw, full fat milk. Pasteurization eliminates its good bacteria. However, do consider its carbohydrates content.
The general nutritive content of both cow and buffalo milk is similar, except that because of greater fat and protein content buffalo milk has 100 calories per 100 ml versus 70 calories in cow milk, and also that buffalo milk has lower cholesterol content at 0.65 mg/gm versus 3.14 mg/gm in cow milk and more protein, Vit-A, and absorbable minerals (Calcium, Iron and Phosphorous) than Cow milk. Saturated fat in the milk prevents muscle mass from being used for energy. Cow milk has a greater water content and is more easily digestible, hence it is recommended for infants and very elderly, while for the rest buffalo milk is better. Blind taste tests have found that people actually like full fat milk, even as they claim that they prefer low fat or skimmed milk.
Though cow milk is used in the preparation of a wide range of special dietary and health foods in addition to paneer, cheese and yoghurt, Buffalo milk which has higher levels of various bioprotective factors, such as immunoglobulin’s, lactoferrin, lysozyme, lactoperoxidase as well as bifidogenic factors, is more beneficial.