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Nutritional Value of Fresh Milk

Updated on June 18, 2010

Fresh milk is a food with high nutritional value. Milk contains more than 100 kinds of chemical components, the main components of which are water, fat, protein, lactose, salt, vitamins, amino acids and enzymes. Although the chemical composition of milk varies according to individual cow’s health, lactation period, feeding and grazing conditions, the main nutrient components of milk are described as follow:

  • Water: 85.5% -89.5%;
  • Fat: 3% -5.5%;
  • Protein: 2.5% -4.5%;
  • Lactose: 3.6% -5.5%;
  • Inorganic salt: 0.6% -0.9%

The composition of milk is very stable, that’s why we can determine the quality of fresh milk according to its chemical composition. However, milk composition change within a certain range. Fat is a component that changes the most, protein is in the second place, and there is little change in lactose. Fat is the most important factor in the production of dairy products, most manufactures use fat content as an indicator of the quality of the fresh milk.

Some studies have shown that fresh milk helps to prevent gastric cancer, because the milk contains immunoglobulins, which can enhance the body's resistance to disease and accelerate the recovery from peptic ulcer. Fresh milk is an ideal nutritional food to improve low calcium condition in elderly people. Fresh milk also contains L-tryptophan which has a sedative effect for a good night’s sleep. Particularly for those who regularly drink low-fat milk, the risks of stomach cancer, colorectal cancer and cervical cancer are lower than those who do not milk, which may be due to the role played by calcium, vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin P in the milk. 

Some drinking tips

  • The best time to drink milk is at night. The body’s calcium content in the blood drops at midnight, which is called the low-calcium state. This condition can cause osteoporosis and fracture for the elderly people. Drink a glass of milk before bedtime can change the state of low blood calcium.

  • If you prefer to drink the milk in the morning, it is best to eat foods containing starch at the same time to help absorption.

  • Do not heat the milk for too long, remove from heat immediately as long as it boils, long time cooking will destroy many nutrients in milk.

  • Do not frozen milk in the fridge, because it causes chemical changes in milk fat and protein.

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