Is raw milk healthy? Is raw milk safe to drink? For the past few years, there has been quite a bit of controversy surrounding raw milk. It’s understandable. After all, in today’s day and age, we live in an extremely sterilized environment where every germ is sought out and destroyed for fear of disease.
The irony is that you actually can be too clean. Studies have shown that children raised in farm environments where they have regular exposure to multiple strains of bacteria actually have fewer incidents of allergies and asthma than children who grow up in a city.
This is because the more bacteria, viruses, and germs a child is exposed to during the early stages of life, the stronger that child’s immune system becomes.
So, this returns us to our original question: Is raw milk healthy and safe to drink? Yes, it is. But it’s important to know which kind of raw milk is best and how to buy, store, and consume it.
Why Ultra-Pasteurized Milk Does Not Offer the Nutrients You Need
That white liquid you buy from your grocery store labeled “milk” has been pasteurized, ultra-pasteurized, or homogenized. It has been heated to remove pathogens and bacteria, resulting in a low-enzyme, low-nutrition product that contains trace amounts of drugs and antibiotics that can pose a threat to your health.
This is why most natural health advocates caution against drinking conventionally-produced milk. Research has shown that consuming it increases the risk of sinus problems, ear infections, asthma, and eczema.
Raw Milk From Commercially-Raised Cows is Dangerous to Drink
Some of the controversy surrounding raw milk boils down to a simple yet serious misunderstanding. Factory-farmed cows are raised on a soy- and corn-based diet and given bovine growth hormone (BGH) to artificially stimulate their milk production.
Since this diet is so foreign to their biology, it makes them sick to the point where the only way their milk can safely be consumed (after pasteurization) is by continually injecting the cows with antibiotics.
Not to mention the fact that conventionally-raised animals are subject to cramped quarters, mistreatment, and extreme stress.
Therefore, if you were to drink raw milk from conventionally-raised cows, it could make you quite sick.
The Nutritional Superiority of Raw Milk From Grass-Fed Cows
Cows are natural herbivores and are in the best health when they are allowed to graze freely on grass. Research has shown that the milk from these cows has higher levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA). This functional food has been shown to aid in the prevention of cancer and modulate the immune system, as well as prevent obesity and diabetes.
The Top Health Benefits of Raw Milk
Consumption of raw milk has multiple health benefits. These benefits include, but are not limited to:
- Reduction of Allergies and Autoimmune Disease
According to a study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Allergy, “consumption of farm milk may offer protection against asthma and allergy”.
In the past decade or so, incidents of atopy, or a “hyperallergic” state, have skyrocketed. Millions struggle with allergic rhinitis, hay fever, eczema, and multiple food and chemical sensitivities.
There is epidemiological evidence that the probiotic bacteria and microbial enzymes contained in raw milk may help prevent against these immune-mediated diseases.
- Improvement of Heart Health
Raw milk that comes from grass-grazing cows has been shown to contain higher levels of fat-soluble vitamins, which can help support healthy heart function.
- Brain and Nervous System Support
Nutrient deficiencies are very common today. This is due to a combination of poor diet and poor nutrient absorption. The fat-soluble vitamins contained in raw milk support the nervous system so brain function is at its best.
- Reduction of Chronic Inflammation
Raw milk is a rich source of a short chain fatty acid called butyrate, which is widely known to treat inflammatory health issues. It also high in anti-inflammatory omega-3 fatty acids.
- Maintenance of a Healthy Weight
The reason so many people struggle with their weight is because, even though they are eating plenty of food, the food does not contain enough nutrients for the body to sustain itself.
This is what causes constant cravings, blood sugar fluctuations, and an addiction to junk food.
When you consume raw milk, you’re infusing your body with the raw fats and proteins it desperately needs to function. Once your body has regular access to these nutrients, you will feel full, satisfied, and energetic, and be able to lose weight safely and naturally.
- Prevention of Chronic Infections
In early human studies, raw milk was shown to protect against infection, tooth decay, diarrhea, rickets, and tuberculosis.
How to Drink Raw Milk Safely
1. Get your raw milk from farms who raise cows for this purpose
The raw milk you drink should be from grass-fed cows that farmers raise for this purpose only. Small, family farms and health food stores are the best places to find quality raw milk.
Never, under any circumstances, drink raw milk from a cow that has been raised in a conventional setting. The milk will be loaded with growth hormones and antibiotics that could wreak serious havoc on your health.
2. Keep your raw milk cold
Farm-fresh raw milk must be kept at a temperature below 40 degrees F at all times. When buying raw milk, take a portable cooler along to keep the milk fresh as you transport it to your home. When you get home, take the milk out of the cooler and place it in the coldest part of your fridge.
You may also freeze your raw milk in glass jars. Simply pour the milk into a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid and place it sideways in your freezer. Be sure not to fill the jar to the brim. A little bit of room is necessary to keep the bottles from breaking under pressure. Thaw milk out at room temperature before drinking.
3. Drink your raw milk within 1 to 3 days
Raw milk can be stored anywhere from 7 to 14 days, but once you have opened it, it is best to drink it quickly.
4. Drink small amounts at a time
If you’ve never consumed raw milk before, start slowly. Drink only 1 or 2 ounces and see how it affects you. Raw milk, while excellent for your health, can trigger diarrhea. In some cases, it may trigger a common detoxification reaction called the Herxheimer reaction.
This can cause flu-like symptoms that usually only last for a couple of days. While this is completely normal and a good sign your body is detoxifying, it can be uncomfortable.
Drinking Raw Milk Could Give You a New Lease on Life
Those with autoimmune disease, chronic pain conditions, and gastrointestinal abnormalities should be especially careful when introducing themselves to raw milk. Such rich, healing nutrition can take some time to get used to when the body has been weakened by disease.
Once you’ve consumed raw milk for a short while, you may find your chronic pain, low energy, gastrointestinal complaints, and allergies a thing of the past!
Research has shown that the risk of developing an illness that would require hospitalization from the consumption of raw milk is about 1 in 6 million.
If you would like to experience the incredible healing benefits of raw milk, and you’re in the local area, come down to our Meriden, CT store. If you live outside of the state, search for small farms that sell raw milk from grass-fed cows, and enjoy all the health benefits this nutritional goldmine has to offer!
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