A balanced diet that’s rich in nutrients is a key component of a healthy lifestyle. Nutritious diets include fruits and vegetables, but a truly well-rounded diet also includes dairy. Dairy products are good sources of calcium and vitamin D, giving them a well-earned reputation as nutrient-rich products worthy of inclusion in healthy diets. Dairy products are more than just milk. Low- or reduced-fat cheeses and yogurts can provide a host of vitamins and nutrients for those who want to include dairy in their diets without pouring themselves a glass of milk. The effects of dairy on the body are numerous, and the following are just some of the ways that the various nutrients and vitamins in dairy can have a positive impact on you and your body.
Calcium Various dairy products, including low-fat milk, yogurt and cottage cheese, are rich in calcium. The body uses calcium to build bones and teeth and maintain bone mass. That can help people lower their risk for osteoporosis, a potentially debilitating condition characterized by brittle, fragile bones that are vulnerable to injury due to tissue loss.
Vitamin D Dairy products that are fortified with vitamin D can help to build and maintain healthy bones. Milk, soy milk and certain yogurts and cereals are among the products that may be fortified with vitamin D.
Potassium Certain dairy products can be great sources of potassium. The organization notes that milk and yogurt have more potassium and less sodium than cheeses. Diets that include sufficient potassium have been linked to healthy blood pressure. Fruits and vegetables may the first foods people think of when crafting healthy eating habits. But dairy products also make great, nutrient-rich additions to any diet.