Why Dairy Is Empowerment for Women

Ladies, many of us know that dairy is crucial for bone building and maintaining our bones throughout our lifetime. Women are at increased risk of developing osteoporosis and broken bones. As an orthopedic surgeon, I know that good nutrition plays a key role in a healthy body, specifically strong bones. Prevention, detection and treatment can help you beat the odds. Here’s how dairy can be empowering to your bone health.

Better Bones

Milk’s unique nutrient profile benefits our bones in many ways. It’s a food that offers calcium, vitamin D and high-quality protein, all nutrients that maintain your bone health over time. A few key nutrients keep your bones healthy and strong:

  • Calcium plays an important role: Eating enough calcium throughout your life can decrease your risk of osteoporosis. Get enough calcium by eating the recommended servings of dairy each day.
  • Protein power: A high-protein diet is associated with a lower rate of age-related bone loss. Milk has 8 grams of high-quality protein.
  • Build peak bone mass: Milk, cheese and yogurt remain the number one source of calcium and vitamin D in the diet for children and adults.
  • Reduce PMS symptoms: PMS can increase risk for osteoporosis. Milk and calcium may help reduce PMS symptoms, including fatigue and cramps.

Dangers of Going Dairy-Free

According to the National Osteoporosis Foundation, a dairy-free diet during critical growing years could mean not reaching your full height potential, an increase in stress fractures during adolescence and a greater chance of osteoporosis as an adult. Luckily, milk is a top source of calcium, potassium and vitamin D, nutrients that Americans aren’t eating enough of according to the 2015-20 Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Benefits for the Body

Beyond bones, milk really does a body good. It keeps your heart pumping and your body moving. Dairy is a part of MyPlate for a reason – it helps us get the nutrients we need for a lifetime.

  • Good for your heart: Calcium, potassium, magnesium and protein don’t just help build healthy bones, they’re a key to heart health… a win-win for your body! Following the DASH Eating Plan helps deliver those nutrients.
  • Good for your health:  Dairy foods can benefit your waistline and reduce the risk of Type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease.

So yes, knowledge is power. Being aware and informed about the benefits of dairy for women can literally save your life. So the next time you reach for that cold glass of milk, you can be confident and empowered that it will do your body good.

For more on how dairy foods deliver the nutrients your bones need, visit DairyDiscoveryZone.com.

By Sonya M. Sloan, M.D.

Dr. Sonya M. Sloan is an orthopaedic surgeon, entrepreneur and highly sought-after speaker. She graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in chemistry, and then returned home to operate her own coffee house before entering medical school and earning her Medical Doctor degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) at Galveston. She became the first-ever African-American female surgical resident and, later, the first African-American female orthopaedic surgical resident in the history of Baylor College of Medicine.

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