Did you know that taking eight glasses of water a day is actually more of a myth than a health recommendation? Yes, I was equally amazed and relieved to learn so.
This misconception came about when people focused on part and not the whole of a recommendation by an American Food and Nutrition Board published in 1945. The report indicated that a suitable allowance of water for adults is 2.5 litres daily, which is roughly eight glasses. The ignored bit is that most of this quantity is already contained in other fluids and prepared foods.
Foods and alternative drinks help balance out the body’s daily water requirements without having to drown ourselves in glasses of water.
One good source of hydration that also gives more health and nutritional benefits is milk.
The main benefit we have all heard about and experienced through breastfeeding, is that milk is essential for the development and maintenance of healthy teeth and bones. This is so because milk contains essential nutrients such as Calcium, Phosphorous, Magnesium and Proteins.
In addition, milk is a great muscle builder as it contains lots of protein. It is also a good energy booster for the start of your day and stress reliever to cool off or cheer you up at the end of a rough day.
Some studies indicate that contents of milk such as Calcium and a naturally occurring fat in dairy products known as Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLA) have been indicated as protective components against cancer. Which means that milk intake is beneficial in reducing risk of developing certain cancers such as of the breast and colon.
Consumption of milk has also been proven to lower risk for other diseases and managing conditions such as Osteoporosis, Hypertension, Heart attacks, Obesity, stomach problems and Candidiasis. This is owing to the fact that milk is low in salt content, has low levels of good cholesterol, a low fat content especially in skimmed milk brands and probiotics found in fermented milk and yogurt.
How about grabbing a glass of milk right now to-re hydrate while tapping into all these benefits. Boring, you say? Well, the milky way is full of diversity, different cultures around the world prepare and consume milk in various ways. Here are some interesting ways to use milk.
1. Consume: Milk can be spiced up, flavored and processed in various ways to add some zest to consuming it, for example in Masala tea, Yogurt, Ice cream and homemade Cheese such as mozzarella, ricotta and paneer. A cold glass of milk is an amazing way to kill a hangover as it rehydrates your system, replaces lost nutrients and settles an upset stomach.
2. Cooking: Milk can be used instead of water in various recipes especially for traditional vegetables and spicy curries. My mother taught me one interesting bit, that if your fish has been frozen for too long and you are worried it would have a stale taste when cooked, soak it in milk as it thaws to improve the flavor.
Other processed products processed from milk such as Ghee, Butter and Cream can also be used in various recipes.
3. Skin care: Centuries ago, the stunning Egyptian Queen Cleopatra used milk in her beauty regimen, this is still something many women today can do as well. Milk can be used as an inexpensive cleanser especially to remove makeup and moisturizer to help remove dead skin and achieve smooth, glowing skin. Men, aren’t left out either as they can use milk as a shaving cream especially for the sensitive skin. Sunburns and insect bites can also be soothed using cold milk.
4. Hair care: While this may sound odd to many, milk combined with some natural oils can also be used to treat rough, dry hair and scalp when used as a replenishing and detangling conditioner after washing.
5. Home care: Homemakers have used milk to sort out various home care issues such as removing stubborn ink stains on clothes, adding lemon to milk for cleaning and polishing wooden items, shining leather items and polishing silverware.
Mwende Maritim is a budding freelance writer based in Nairobi, Kenya. She has always had a passion for well written content but began writing professionally in 2014. Her writing mainly covers lifestyle issues and anything to inspire people especially the teenagers she mentors.