01March

Why you should love your dairy

Milk bottles

 

It seems dairy has gotten a bad rap lately. It could be due to the paleo hype going around at the moment (which excludes dairy from the diet)…I guess they have their reasons.

I have two big reasons for loving my dairy…

1. It’s high in calcium and is a great source of protein. Calcium is vital for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth and is also required for normal neuromuscular and cardiac function; where protein is important for the growth and maintenance of our muscles. Which makes sense because our bones and muscles work hand in hand - whether we’re going about our days or pumping out some exercise.

2. The second reason I’m a massive supporter of dairy, particularly for women, is because once we hit menopause our bone density decreases 2-3% per year which increases our chance of developing osteoporosis. By the time we’re 30, our bone density physically cannot increase more than it is already is, which is why it’s so important to maintain whatever our density is at that stage, for later in life.

Let’s veer away from dairy as a whole and look more closely at yoghurt (my fave - yum). This beautiful food is my savior for all things ‘gut-focused’. I recently had to take a dose of antibiotics that would apparently strip my gut of both good and bad bacteria and I was recommended to take Inner Health Plus for 1 WHOLE MONTH. While I’ve got nothing wrong with Inner Health Plus (by all means there are some people out there that do need it), I’m a young, healthy and fit person and strongly believed that my immune system would do just fine if feeding it the right food.

The reason yoghurt comes into this is because it’s full of probiotics - friendly little bacteria that are superb for our digestive system. There’s been so much new research coming out recently that suggests that an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria may strongly influence food allergies, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and obesity.

My tips for keeping your digestive system happy and healthy:

  • Have at least 200g yoghurt per day!
  • Have lots of high fibre foods which improve your balance of good bacteria (lentils, beans, bran, nuts & wholegrains etc)
  • Avoid overusing antibiotics!!! A US study looking at antibiotic use in children under three found that those who’d had three or more courses of antibiotics were twice as likely to develop a food allergy because of the change in gut microbiota. Not to mention that our bodies are incredibly adaptive - the more drugs to give it, the more immune it becomes.

 

By Sophie Aardoom

Bachelor of Health Science (Nutrition & Dietetics), Provisional Accredited Practicing Dietician, Accredited Nutritionist

 

Posted in Wellbeing, Diet, General

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