Remember your parents forcing you to drink at least a cup of milk every day? Or doctors and even your grandmother asking you to drink a glass of milk for quick relief from fever cold? Milk has immense benefits.
June 1 every year is celebrated as World Milk Day. In 2001, World Milk Day was announced by the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations to mark the importance of milk as a worldwide staple food.
Since then, the day is celebrated worldwide to promote milk, its products and their benefits.
Do you know: India has nearly 70 million small-scale producers and yields approximately 175 billion litres of milk yearly, thus making the country the world’s largest milk producer. However, the challenge persists when we talk about the production of quality milk.
Drinking milk has been a cultural practice right from the early times when every individual household housed a cow from which fresh milk was sourced. However, there has been a shift in our milk consumption patterns with many options available today.
In India, most consumption is A1 milk, which isn’t too healthy.
A1 VS A2 MILK
The two important proteins in milk are casein and whey. Casein consists of 80 per cent of the protein in milk. Also, there are two types of casein, one of which is known as beta-casein, and the other is alpha-casein.
It makes up about 30 per cent of the protein in the milk, whereas A1 and A2 are two alternatives of beta-casein. Though both types of milk have the same source, there is a considerable difference in chemical compositions.
The two proteins A1 and A2 are almost identical; they each cover 209 amino acids which are the building blocks of any protein.
The only alteration between both is a difference when it comes to the 67th amino acid. Here, A1 has a histidine amino acid, whereas A2 boasts of a proline amino acid. This means when A1 protein is broken from the chain, it can create the peptide BCM-7. Beta-casomorphin-7 (BCM-7) is an opioid peptide unrestricted during the digestion of A1 beta-casein.
Also, the milk generated from breeds of European cows is high in A1 beta-casein.
These breeds include Ayrshire, Holstein, Friesian and British Shorthorn. Maximum dairies around generate A1 milk; thus, the A1 milk is available on a large scale in the market.
On the other side, A2 milk is obtained from cows based in Indian origin such as Gir, Sahiwal to name a few. A2 milk contains A2 beta-casein and colostrum (the protein present in mother’s milk), therefore is considered as the most nutritious and healthy milk for babies.
Talking about the nutrients, there is a modification in the ratios of lactose and fatty acids in both kinds of milk.
However, it is the protein constituent in the milk that distinguishes the two from each other in terms of quality. Regular milk comprises both A1 and A2 beta-casein, but A2 milk has only A2 beta-casein. This is significant because the way the milk is broken down and metabolised in the system is different.
Due to the difference in obtainability, A1 milk is moderately cheaper and easier to find than A2.
WHY A2 MILK?
A2 is the purest form of milk and has original protein that is present in cows. A2 milk is obtained from the cows who are nurtured well in terms of fresh fodder and clean water. No special medications are given to these Indian cows to alter their milk. Instead of machines, the milking process is traditional and in the Vedic way.
Our desi cows yield less milk linked to European ones. That is why European cow’s A1 milk is easily available in the market while dairies for A2 milk are limited as maximum dairies in our country use A1 milk which produces five times more milk in a day equalled to Desi cows.
BENEFITS OF A2 MILK
The purest milk: The first benefit of A2 milk is that it is the healthiest and purest form of milk. A2 milk is easy to consume and can be consumed by most lactose-intolerant people also as it is very healthy and can digest easily. A2 milk is compared to being as healthy as a mother’s milk as it backs equally in building resistance, growing metabolism and in providing Omega 3 fatty acids which help you to create high mental growth.
Eight grams of protein per glass: If you’re a fitness freak and planning to build your muscles, A2 milk will definitely be your real ‘supplement’. Instead of consuming those artificial supplements, one can drink a glass of A2 milk daily as it has 8 grams of protein (per glass).
Makes your bones strong: Milk is the rich source of calcium, and A2 milk is an incredible source of calcium that supports you in building strong bones. One can consume this milk daily, and even if you are not a milk drinker, you can consume it by mixing it with cereals and baked goodies.
A2 milk has nine essential vitamins: A2 milk has over nine nutrients including Vitamin A, D and B12 with other forms of nutrients such as potassium, phosphorous, pantothenic acid, niacin and riboflavin which helps regulate fluids and mineral balance in your body to control blood pressure.
A2 milk is free of antibiotics: Generally, the cows which deliver A2 milk are not treated with growth hormones; as a result, the milk is antibiotic-free. The maximum of A2 milk yields from pasture-raised cows that are never given supplementary hormones and are nourished with a plant-based diet.
Made in India product: The government is promoting to use maximum products made in India, so why not A2 milk? This is the best suitable instance of ‘Made in India product’. Though the cost of this milk is higher than the ordinary milk with so many unbelievable benefits, wouldn’t you rather spend extra on this ‘powerhouse’ rather than on expensive medical bills?