It wasn’t too long ago that my family made the switch from store bought and pasteurized milk to drinking raw milk. We’ve been on a mission of sorts for months now – since the doctor told me to go gluten free – to improve our overall health and just live better; simpler; the way we’ve always dreamed of. Raw milk is one of those things that has such a bad reputation that it actually took us a while to make the decision. One of the things that helped us make that decision was how many benefits of raw milk there are. I was actually quite surprised!
The truth is that even if the benefits of raw milk weren’t as great as they are, I would still probably drink it. I absolutely can not drink store bought milk. In fact, it makes me gag and want to vomit. It tastes sour to me no matter how “fresh” it is. I just can’t get past that taste to enjoy it. Raw milk, however, tastes amazing which means the benefits of drinking raw milk are just whipped cream on the ice cream sundae so to speak.
Benefits of Raw Milk
I will get into the specific reasons we drink raw milk in another post on another day, but the health benefits of raw milk alone were worth it for our family. If you’re considering making the move to raw, I highly suggest you really weigh things for your family. It is very much a personal decision and what works for my family will not necessarily work for yours.
Once You Make the Decision to Drink Raw Milk
If you’ve decided to starting drinking raw milk, you’ll want to be sure you take care in choosing the dairy you buy from. While I personally feel raw milk is as safe as raw broccoli, it is only as safe as the dairy you purchase from. This is pretty much true for any food you consume. In fact, I have gotten more spoiled store bought milk from lax handling practices than I ever have from my raw milk dairy. In case you didn’t know, store bought milk turns putrid when it spoils. Raw milk never really spoils and in fact, only sours. The milk we get is fresh from the cow; usually that morning and is of amazing quality.
How to Choose a Raw Milk Dairy
The raw milk you choose should have cattle that are healthy, grass fed and well cared for. Obviously they need to be antibiotic and hormone free, but this shouldn’t be much of a concern since you’re buying from a small farmer. Large farms do not usually sell raw milk. Their milking equipment should be well sanitized and cared for. Their milk should be immediately chilled once the cattle are milked. We were lucky enough to find a raw milk dairy near us that is certified for raw milk sales by the State of Texas. Their stock is tested and so on making me 100% comfortable buying from them.
Health Benefits of Raw Milk
1. Fewer Allergies in Children –
One of the major health benefits of raw milk is that it can possible help relieve allergies in children. There has not been enough research done on this specific one to know for sure yet, but a large portion of raw milk drinkers report their kids allergies are relieved.
2. Relieved Asthma Symptoms in Children
Like allergy relief, there isn’t much evidence to support this one yet either, but again, parents of children who drink raw milk often report asthma symptoms are helped or relieved. I can tell you from personal experience that one of the benefits of drinking raw milk I personally experience is that my asthma is reduced. I use my inhaler far less often since we’ve made the swap.
3. Raw Milk contains beneficial bacteria for gut health
One of the proven health benefits of raw milk is that it contains bacteria that is beneficial for a healthy gut. If your gut is unhealthy, your entire body will feel it. When milk is pasteurized, it is basically cooked at a high heat. This heat kills the beneficial gut bacteria.
4. Raw Milk Contains immunoglobulins
Unlike pasteurized milk, raw milk is full of immunoglobulins that help your body build antibodies to fight off bad bacteria and viruses. This is another benefit of drinking raw milk that the heat of pasteurization kills.
5. Raw milk stimulates your immune system
Because raw milk contains immunoglobulins, raw milk stimulates the immune system helping you stay healthier longer. This is especially important during cold & flu season and may actually boost your immune system enough to keep you from getting sick! For me, this is one of the best benefits of drinking raw milk hands down!
6. Raw milk helps digestion and vitamin absorption
Raw milk is also rich in lactase, lipase and phosphate. These three things helps improve digestion and helps your body absorb more vitamins. Both of which are vital for good health.
7. Raw milk may allow people with lactose intolerance to drink milk
As I said in #6, raw milk contains lactase – a compound that helps the body digest the sugars found in milk. The Weston A Price Foundation conducted a survey of over 700 families and found that over 80% of the polled families no longer experienced the symptoms of lactose intolerance once they switched to drinking raw milk
8. Raw milk contains healthy fat
Avocado isn’t the only delicious healthy fat out there. Raw milk is full of healthy butter fat that is rich in vitamin A, vitamin K and vitamin E.
9. Raw milk is also rich in calcium, vitamin C and B-complex vitamins
Not only is it rich in vitamins A, K and E, but another benefit of raw milk is that it is also rich in calcium, vitamin C and B-complex vitamins.
10. All Eight Amino Acids are found in raw milk
Amino Acids help your body do essential functions such as building muscle. Raw milk contains all 8 amino acids that your body needs making it great for those who need to build muscle, boost their immune system and more.
11. Raw milk may help relieve eczema symptoms
One of the benefits of raw milk and one of the major reasons we began drinking it is because it may help relieve eczema. Steve suffers from Dyshidrotic eczema or eczema of the hands. It causes stinging, painful and itchy blisters on his hands. Eczema is an immune response and since one of the benefits of raw milk is a healthier immune system, we decided to make the switch. He made the swap later than the girls and I did so we are in a wait and see mode on if it will help him or not.
12. Raw Milk can help fight hypertension and obesity
Raw milk that comes from grass fed cows is rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid or CLA. CLA has been shown to not only help fight hypertension but to help fight obesity as well.
13. Raw milk gives you real cream
If you have never experienced real cream from raw milk, you’re missing out. Raw cream is thick and undeniably delicious and can be used for so many different things! Pasteurized milk has had the cream removed so you don’t get this added benefit of drinking raw.
14. Buying raw milk supports the small farmer
Pasteurized milk is put in stores by large mega farms where the animals are often kept under harsh, cruel conditions and aren’t always the healthiest. Those large mega farms also have driven out the small farmer. When you drink raw milk, you will be buying it from a small farmer. Your purchase may help keep their family farm running.
15. Raw milk is antibiotic and hormone free
Store bought milk is usually full of milk from cows that have had antibiotics. Aside from the fact that those antibiotics and any added hormones can not be good for humans, their use has actually been shown to increase salmonella in animals who are already fighting infections in a study done by Stanford.
16. Raw milk helps the body to absorb iron better
If you or someone you know has issues with anemia or a problem absorbing iron, making the switch to raw milk may help. It contains Lactoferrin which acts as an “iron scavenger” of sorts meaning it may help your body retain iron where it wouldn’t otherwise.
17. Raw milk may help eliminate bad breath
Because raw milk contains good bacteria that kills bad bacteria, it will most likely kill the bacteria that causes bad breath when you drink it.
18. Raw milk is rich in Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids
Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids are responsible for helping to regulate blood pressure, support the immune system, help prevent heart disease and more. Raw milk is balanced between Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids giving you the extra health boost you need.
19, Raw milk does not expire; it clabbers
If you let pasteurized milk sit out on the counter for days, it creates a putrid, nasty and inedible goo. Allow raw milk to sit out though and you get clabber; a tasty breakfast idea or leavening addition to your baking. In fact, clabber is the reason that Clabber Girl baking powder exists. They named it “Clabber Girl” so buyers would understand what it was for.
20. Raw milk also makes whey
Whey is another by product of clabbered raw milk and is a great addition to baking, great for plants, to boost your compost and more. Pancakes made with whey are absolutely amazing and one of my favorite ways to make them!
21. Raw milk supports your local economy
We’ve already talked about how one of the benefits of raw milk is that it supports local farmers, but you can take that a step farther. Raw milk helps boost your local economy. When you purchase something locally, it helps to boost your community. It doesn’t matter if that is a tire for your car or a gallon of raw milk.
22. Raw milk comes from cows that are treated far more humanely
As I said earlier, mega farms owned or sponsored by Big Ag do not always treat their animals the greatest. They are often kept in pens too small for such a large number of animals, are often not kept clean, are often sick and more. Raw milk comes from farmers who care about their stock and as such, they are treated far better. Happy cows give great milk.
23. Raw milk may be better for your teeth
The pasteurization process has been associated with tooth decay which means that raw milk; aside from the calcium it contains; may actually be better for your teeth than store bought milk. This is especially important if you have children.
24. Raw milk makes real raw sour cream
Just like raw milk makes clabber, you can also make real sour cream with it. To do so, skim the cream off your raw milk then let it sit on the counter until it’s pleasantly sour. Voila! Real sour cream!
25. You are less likely to get sick from raw milk than pasteurized milk
Despite common beliefs, raw milk is not actually as dangerous as you may have been led to believe. In fact, pasteurized milk bought in stores is more likely to make you sick provided you buy your raw milk from a farmer who keeps his stock and milking equipment clean. Raw milk contains 14 protective enzymes to help keep bad bacteria that make you sick. Pasteurization removes 13 of the 14 protective enzymes.
One brand of raw milk, Organic Pastures, tested their customers – who have consumed more than 40 million servings of their milk – 1300 times since 1999. Our of those 1300 tests, there was not one case of reported illness, however, there were 19 recalls of pasteurized store bought milk during the same time period.
26. Grass fed cows eat a non-GMO diet.
Research has shown that GMO’s do transfer to a mothers milk. This means if you are drinking milk from a cow that has been fed a diet of GMO grains, you are getting those GMO’s in your diet as well. Raw milk comes from grass fed cows. The non-GMO diet of the cows means there is no transfer to you and your family.
27. Raw milk just tastes better
I am going to be totally honest; I will not drink pasteurized milk and that is not a new thing. It has been well over a decade since I have had a glass of pasteurized milk. Pasteurized milk tastes horrible to me. It’s watery even if I buy whole milk. If the grocery does not store it correctly, it tastes sour. I refuse. Raw milk however tastes amazing. It has a rich, creamy and slightly sweet taste that I have grown to love very much. I drink an 8 oz glass every single morning and enjoy it very much. For me, being able to enjoy milk the way it was meant to be is probably one of the best benefits of raw milk period.