June Dairy Month
June Dairy Month

June is National Dairy Month. Introduced in 1937 as, National Milk Month, the goal was to promote the importance of drinking milk as it was often referred to as “nature’s most nearly perfect food” due to its versatility and nutritional qualities.1

What are the nutritional qualities of milk?

Milk contains nine essential nutrients that our bodies need to function well. Eating a dairy-free diet may make these nutrients difficult to obtain in the proper amounts from other foods. The typical American diet is often lacking in three of the four key nutrients found in milk, including calcium, vitamin D and potassium.

When consumed in the recommended amounts of three servings per day, health benefits may include weight management, lower risk of high blood pressure, osteoporosis and type 2 diabetes, stronger bones, teeth, muscle tissue and skin and, protection against certain cancers.

If consuming three. eight-ounce glasses of milk, you will receive:

  • 50% Daily Value (DV) protein
  • 70% DV of Calcium
  • 60% DV Phosphorous
  • 140% DV Vitamin B12
  • 100% DV Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)
  • 50% DV Pantothenic Acid (Vitamin B5)
  • 45% DV Vitamin A
  • 45% DV Vitamin D
  • 35% DV Niacin (Vitamin B3)

How does milk compare to milk alternatives?
Traditional dairy products have slightly dropped in popularity in recent years due to the growth of alternative non-dairy products such as soy, almond, cashew, rice, coconut and oat “milk-beverages.” The nutritional quality between cow’s milk and alternatives is comparable in some ways, but also vastly different in others. Here is a great chart that stacks cow’s milk up against other alternatives.

Meeting Your Needs
Strive to incorporate dairy into every day meals and snack to meet the recommendation of three servings per day. Try a tasty fruit smoothie, yogurt parfait, cheese and charcuterie tray, or even ice cream on a warm summer night. Consuming dairy products provides your body with naturally powerful nutrients that will keep your body energized not only in June, but all year long. For more recipe inspiration, check out these recipes below from our HealthyBites Magazine.