Milk is still milk, but newly available data from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) shows that more nutrients in real milk meet the threshold of being a "good or excellent source" than was previously thought. A food is considered a good source of nutrients if the daily value per serving is between 10 and 19%; above 20%, it's considered an excellent source.
This is great news for both dairy lovers and value-seeking shoppers, given that milk's overall low cost comes with such a significant nutrition payoff.
It's well known that milk contains protein, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, D, B2, B3, B5 and B12, but this new data reveals that we can add iodine, selenium and zinc to the list.
So what do these new essential nutrients do for our bodies?
Zinc and selenium are both important for normal and healthy immune function, adding to the already strong immune supporters in milk: vitamin A, vitamin D and protein.
Specifically, zinc aids in the development and function of immune cells, in part by functioning as an antioxidant that stabilizes cell membranes. Similarly, selenium has been shown to function in a few different ways to boost immunity, including helping the body produce and activate immune cells.
Lastly, iodine is essential to thyroid function – the organ that regulates metabolism. Without a properly functioning thyroid, people may experience fatigue, joint pain and fertility issues. The mineral is also important for pregnant and lactating moms as it supports cognitive development in babies. The consequence of iodine deficiency during fetal development is severe and the CDC refers to iodine deficiency as the most preventable cause of intellectual disability in the world.
The essential nutrients in every serving of milk can help people meet their nutrition and wellness goals.
And it won't break the bank.