Milk has been a part of the Indian diet since time immemorial. However, in recent times, the inclusion of milk has been a hot debate for the various side effects it can have on the digestive system. Yet, milk has different nutritional properties, including good source of vitamin A, magnesium, calcium, proteins, etc. Leaving aside small towns and countryside, most people in cities prefer taking packet milk for it readily availability, and is pasteurised and reated, because milk has a lot of impurities and bacteria present in it, which makes it all the more important to boil the milk. Freshly boiled and warm milk is considered to be a great bedtime drink during the winter season. Onlymyhealth editorial team spoke to Dr Charu Dua, Head of the Department - Dietetic, Max Super Speciality Hospital, Patparganj, Noida and Vaishali, about the health benefits, side effects, nutritional value and ways to consume boiled milk.
Boiled milk health benefits
Milk generally is called a complete food in itself because it is a good source of protein, vitamins and minerals. It is loaded with calcium and vitamins like vitamin A , vitamin B1, B2, B12. All vitamins are present in milk. According to Dr Charu, the health benefits of boiled milk are:
1. Safe for health
Boiling milk does not only kill the disease-causing organisms but plays a role in making the milk last longer too. It is much safer for your health as compared to unboiled milk. Therefore, drinking boiled milk can prevent you from several illnesses.
2. Good for growing kids
Having boiled milk is beneficial for growing kids as at their age, the body requires a lot of strength and energy. It is essential for growing kids because it is power packed with protein and calcium. You can give it to your child before bedtime. Or, a glass of milk along with some nuts can be perfect for your kid's growth.
3. Helps lactating mothers
Boiled milk is even good for lactating mothers and pregnant women. Milk has all that goodness present in it. It provides nutrients to the mothers as well as their kids. So, one should be having milk daily because it has all the vital nutrients present. Vitamin B group is also present in milk.
4. Good sleep
It is also believed that having milk at night is good for your health and helps in sleeping well. It can improve your digestive system and prevent constipation too. It is recommended to take milk at night hours only because of its many benefits. And, Indian tradition has made people drink milk in the night hours only because sometimes it will help you sleep well.
5. Prevents Hyperglycemia
Drinking a moderate amount of milk can even help in preventing Hyperglycemia. It benefits in lowering your blood sugar levels. You can take it during breakfast, along with a light food item. Do not overconsume it to avoid the side effects.
6. Can be consumed while losing weight
If you are trying to lose weight, you need milk like skimmed milk or double toned milk. Skimmed milk is 0.8% fat and double toned is 1.5% fat. So, one basically has to be careful about the amounts of fat. In the evening time, if you take glass full of milk with some nuts, it is a wholesome snack and a beverage for you, even during a weight loss regime.
Boiled milk side effects
Dr. Charu said, "Adding sugar or making cold coffee can add a lot of extra calories in the milk. So, this can become an extra load of calories. If you are not overdoing by adding these things into it then there would be no side effects. So, basically you need to have a balance of diet." Milk will not give you any side effects. However, any portion control that you disturb will lead to weight gain and obesity. So, overconsuming milk will be compromising on the nutrients, on fibre or certain other essential vitamins. We need to follow a portion control to have all the health benefits. Sometimes, people even complain of acidity and gas with milk . In such cases, adding saunf water to the milk while boiling might help you with the gas, acidity and bloating problem.
Boiled milk nutritional facts
Milk is boiled to destroy the bacteria and germs in the milk. Nutritional facts of unboiled milk and boiled milk are basically the same but boiling is an important step to kill the bacteria. Even nutrients like protein as well as calcium are all similar in boiled as well as unboiled milk. The nutritional facts of milk are:
Milk (100 grams)
- Calories: 42
- Fat: 1gram
- Carbohydrates: 5 grams
- Protein: 3 grams
Ways to consume milk for healthy consumption
It is not essential to take milk simply as it is. You can do your own experimentation too. However, one should also take advice from a dietician before adding anything to the milk. After boiling the milk, here are some ways to consume it for healthy consumption by Dr. Charu:
1. Don't add sugar
Take your boiled or unboiled milk fresh and do not add sugar into it. Mostly people do add sugar, into it, especially those who are in the sedentary lifestyle in the urban population. We should not be adding anything like supplements or sugar unless and until recommended because they are a form of calories.
2. Fruit shake
Milk can be taken as a fruit shake or just take it as simple milk but not adding a lot if flavours into it. Natural fruit milkshake can be beneficial for your body. You can use fruits like banana, mango, berries, etc. This will give you all the added benefits and nutrients of the fruits as well as milk.
3. Elaichi and saffron milk
Even if you want to add flavours it should be natural flavours like elaichi and saffron in winters. During winter season, you can take saffron milk because kesar produces warmness in the body. Try to add natural flavours like fruits in summers and these ingredients in winters. Take the supplements only if they are recommended.
How much milk should a normal person take?
As per Dr. Charu Dua, the consumption of milk depends on the age group and in the calorie requirements. There is no such average amount but in an average adult, 400-500 ml of milk is fine, inclusive of the coffee, paneer and curd. All milk and milk products should be 400-500 ml for an adult per day. It will vary according to your weight and height too. Like if you are pregnant you might need a little more. In menopausal women, it is adviced to give more milk because their calcium requirements are different.
How to boil milk?
Boiling milk might look like a very simple and easy process, but there's much more technology involved into it than you think. Boiling it too much or too quickly can burn the sugars. Dr. Charu Dua said, "One should take care that we should not be boiling milk at a very high temperature for a very long time because there are certain vitamins which are heat resistant and also they may get destroyed. So one should also not be boiling milk and heating milk repeatedly. One should basically stir the milk in between." Boiling milk also forms a foam on top that can spill, so you need to take care of that too. One has to be very attentive while keeping milk on the stove. Hence, it is recommended to boil your milk on medium heat slowly. You can even stir it while it comes to a boil. As soon as you see the formation of bubbles, turn off the stove. This means your milk is boiled and ready to use or store for future.
These were the health benefits, side effects, nutritional facts, ways to consume and the procedure to boil milk. Boiled milk can also have a different taste and texture, if compared to unboiled milk. Everything also depends on the type of milk you buy. Therefore, boil your milk and gain all the nutritional benefits from it!
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