Health Benefits of raw, grass-fed Dairy.
If you are on the fence about cow or goat ownership I want to encourage you, “Go for it.” Deciding to get a dairy animal could be one of the best decisions you ever make. Having your own fresh milk could change your life and your health for the better.
Keep reading to hear my Doctor’s reaction to my chart the year after we got a milk-cow.
Raw Milk – Miracle Food
Our great-grandmothers drank milk. Just milk.
There was no such thing as “raw” milk. Just milk.
Diet, nutrition, and health. These are the underlying reasons why everything else happens on our homestead. At the root of it all, we are attempting to reclaim our food. We want to know where our food comes from. We want it to be raised humanely, healthy and happy. We want it to be free of antibiotics, GMOs, and hormones.
(I just made up a word)
This is the reason I:
- Milk a cow
- Make my own dairy products
- Raise chickens
- Raise Pigs
- Grow a garden
- Can and Preserve food
- Raise my own beef
- Render my own Lard
- Hunt (DH & our sons do most of the hunting)
- Cook real food from scratch
There are many health benefits associated with consuming raw, grass-fed dairy products. This is why we have a milk cow.
Here are 5 Reasons for Raw, Grass-fed Dairy
Reason # 1: Clean (chemical & hormone Free)
I wanted antibiotic-free, hormone-free, non-homogenized, organic, raw, probiotic-filled, real milk.
If you live in Kentucky and you want unprocessed, dairy products you will need to own a lactating, dairy animal. To come into possession of these items by any other means could get you into trouble. Big trouble. It is illegal to buy or sell raw, dairy products here.
I did not know how much I would love my cow before I got her. I just wanted real, clean, dairy products.
Reason #2: Raw (Unpasteurized)
Pasteurization is a process that was invented in 1864 which heats milk in order to kill bacteria. This prevents the milk from spoiling or souring (as quickly) and increases shelf life. Unfortunately, when milk is pasteurized the process not only kills any icky bacteria, it also kills all the good bacteria (think probiotics) that are oh so good for you & your gut.
Raw milk contains:
- anti-microbial components
- beneficial bacteria,
- B12 binding protein
All of these either kill pathogens and/or strengthen your immune system.
I want all these in my body. Pasteurization largely inactivates all these wonderful components. (Source)
- vitamin B12
- vitamin B2
- vitamin D
- pantothenic acid
- vitamin A
I also don’t want to risk sacrificing or devaluing these with pasteurization.
Reason #3: Not Homogenized
Homogenization is not destructive to the nutritional content like pasteurization is. It is a process that breaks down the fat molecules so that they stay suspended throughout the milk. This prevents the cream from rising to the top.
The first reason I don’t want my milk to be homogenized is that I want my cream to rise to the top. This is how I get butter and buttermilk and whip cream and ice-cream and sour cream. Yes, please.
I also prefer to have my milk not homogenized because I want it to be unprocessed. Since homogenization is a “process” it makes my food LESS what God created it to be and MORE processed. No, thank you.
Reason #4: CLA
CLA (Conjugated linoleic acid) is a fat found in foods like grass-fed meat and dairy as well as pastured eggs. CLA is not your average fat.
Scientists have found that CLA has the unique ability to fight cancer, prevent cancer and prevent cells from becoming cancer cells (source). It is truly a miracle food.
Not only does raw milk contain CLA, it also boasts Omega-3 (good fats), vitamin C, Vitamin E, and beta-carotene.
Increasing CLA in Your Diet can:
- Lower risk of diabetes, cancer, heart disease, breast cancer (source) and lower cholesterol
- Improve your metabolism (increased levels of fat burning), improve body composition (more muscle, less fat)
- Reduce fat levels (decrease abdominal fat)
- Increase immune response & increase ability to break down fats
- Lower risk of prostate cancer. Studies show consumption of whole milk is linked with lower risk of prostate cancer. Likewise, those who consumed low-fat milk have higher prostate cancer rates (source). When you understand that whole milk is higher in fat, thus higher in CLA it makes sense. To take out the fat would take out the cancer-fighting wonder-fat – CLA. Amazing!
One of the easiest and best ways to get more CLA into your diet naturally is through grass-fed dairy products.
The father of one of my best friends grew up on a dairy farm. They didn’t pasteurize their milk. They didn’t homogenize their milk. His family drank real, raw milk.
He has never taken antibiotics in his life.
Reason #5: Overall Health
I believe that we are healthier because we drink raw milk from grass-fed animals. If you would like more than my opinion on it there are all sorts of incredible information at realmilk.com.
Here is a quote from their site:
Studies showed that children consuming raw milk had greater resistance to disease, better growth, and stronger teeth than children consuming pasteurized milk. Animal studies indicate that raw milk confers better bone structure, better organ development, better nutrient assimilation, better fertility and even better behavior than pasteurized milk.
Since we got a cow our health has improved. My kid’s allergies are better. Our guts are healthier. We get sick less often.
I’ll never forget my visit to my general doctor the year after we got a cow. I’m just an average gal with normal numbers and weight. No big issues. No big changes. Nothing terribly notable with my health.
My doc visit the year after we got a cow was interesting.
My Doctor walked into the examining room, looked at my chart, looked at me and said, “OK. What have you been doing?”
I said, “What do you mean?”
She said, “You are eating, aren’t you?”
I said, “Of course, I eat all the time.”
She said, “You’ve lost 6 pounds. Your BMI (Body Mass Index) is down. Your blood pressure is down. Your good cholesterol is up. Your bad cholesterol is down. Your triglycerides are down. Something has changed. What have you been doing differently?”
I said, “I got a milk-cow.”
Before I sign off I should address what the press says about raw milk. They don’t like it. All you have to do is google “raw milk” and there will be an endless list of opinions stating that you are playing Russian roulette. They think raw milk is the devil. They think raw milk is dangerous. They think raw milk is contaminated with evil bacteria that want to destroy, kill and annihilate the entire human race.
Depending on where the milk came from, they could be right. Grin.
I am aware of the risks I am taking by drinking raw milk. I feel that the benefits outweigh the risks. I am comfortable drinking my milk. I do all the milking and milk handling around here. I would not trust another dairy to provide raw milk for my family (because I don’t trust most folks in the food industry).
I feel confident about feeding my family the milk that I get from my cow. I know how clean the animal is. I know how clean the equipment is. I know how clean the milk barn is. I know how the milk is handled, strained, chilled and stored.
Please do your own research and decide what is best for you.
There is no way to know what diseases, sicknesses and health problems we have avoided (and will avoid) because we consume real, grass-fed, raw milk and dairy products.
I love my cow.
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