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A dietician’s opinion: milk is a superfood, and Omega-3 and Choline take it to the next level
If you were to open the hatchback of my car you would find a small cooler stocked with nutritious snacks. As a mother, dietitian, and athlete I place a high value on living an active lifestyle so what and when we eat is planned around our activities. In the cooler, I stock milk, water, fruit, cheese, and yogurt because these nutrient-rich snack foods work hard to fuel our bodies in between mealtimes, which is why milk is at the top of my list. Milk is one of the hardest working foods I know of.
Milk, the Original Superfood
Milk naturally contains all three macronutrients – carbohydrates, protein, and fat – and many other essential nutrients that are important for kids, adults, and pregnant or nursing women: Magnesium, Phosphorus, Riboflavin, Vitamin A, Vitamin B12, and Potassium. Calcium and Vitamin D are naturally occurring in milk which we know are important for strong bones and healthy development; it’s a true superfood.
Clover Sonoma’s new Organic Omega-3 + Choline milk serves up a whole new list of benefits. Choline supports brain function and the nervous system, helps the body transport fat for metabolism, and provides early brain development during pregnancy. Omega-3 fatty acids known as DHA is found in some fortified milks and also works to support brain function and development. This is like a one-two punch of nutrients for pregnant and nursing mothers.
Omega-3 fatty acids have anti-inflammatory properties and are understood to reduce the risk of heart disease. This makes them more than just good fats! It makes them incredibly-good-for-you-fats. This is why the American Heart Association recommends eating two to three servings of fatty fish per week, or other sources of Omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids also work in neurological and brain development of infants and growing kids. Aside from fish, Omega-3s can be challenged to source in everyday food. Milk fortified with Omega-3 provides a great option that is easily integrated into the menu for both adults and kids.
Choline is naturally found in many foods yet intake is below what is recommended. In healthy adults and children who consume milk and eggs, deficiency is not common. Pregnant and breastfeeding moms, however, are at risk for deficiency because they must meet the needs of mom and baby. Much like Calcium, the body will pull from the mother’s supply of Choline to meet the increased demand in baby’s neurodevelopment. Choline is necessary to form compounds that the brain needs to develop and function. Today research shows that low intake of Choline is also a risk factor for neural tube defects.
A variety of factors such as life stage, pregnancy, and genetics impact how much Choline the body needs – and is able to make. We need to make sure we are supplementing the difference between what our body makes vs. what it needs by eating foods that are a good source of Choline.
Consuming good sources of choline daily can fill the nutrient gap that exists across all ages and genders.
I continue to stand behind milk as one of the most nutritionally complete single foods a person can put into their body, so long as they are not allergic to it. Milk is often reduced to its individual components but the magic of milk is that it is a whole food, with nutrients that work synergistically together to support health. With the addition of Omega-3 and Choline, Clover’s new product makes a glass of milk even more nutritious, no matter your age.