KOMPAS.com – A healthy lifestyle must be applied by everyone, including the younger generation. This is important to maintain a healthy body and avoid disease.
Apart from actively exercising, maintaining a balanced nutritional intake is also an important foundation for realizing a healthy lifestyle.
A nutritionist from the Indonesian Nutrition Association, dr Juwalita Surapsari, MGizi, SpGK, said that the food consumed needs to be considered for nutrition in order to meet all its nutritional needs.
“Remember, food or drinks that are consumed are not only to meet energy needs, but also must meet the macronutrients and micronutrients that the body needs,” he said in a written statement received by Kompas.com, Friday (25/9/2020). ).
In fact, continued Juwalita, cross-sectional studies on women aged 15-29 years in all provinces in Indonesia show that the intake of animal protein in most subjects is classified as insufficient.
“As many as 55.2 percent of women aged 15-18 years and 50.6 percent at 19-29 years of age do not get enough animal protein intake in their daily diet,” he explained.
In fact, animal protein contains complete essential amino acids. Then, in general, protein is one of the macronutrients and is the main structural component of muscles and body tissues. Protein also plays a role in the formation of hormones, enzymes and hemoglobin which are very important in various important functions in the body.
According to him, one option is to meet protein needs Balanced Nutrition Guidelines from the Indonesian Ministry of Health (2014) by consuming milk. Therefore, milk is a source of protein it has biological value or high biological value.
“This biological value reflects how efficiently our bodies use the protein we eat in our daily diet,” added Juwalita.
Juwalita added that milk is a nutrient-dense food containing calcium, vitamin D (especially fortified milk), protein, vitamin B12, vitamin A, riboflavin, potassium and phosphorus.
In addition, the main carbohydrate in milk is lactose which plays an important role in the absorption of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus in the intestine. This lactose also plays a role in the use of vitamin D by the body.
“The protein in cow’s milk is high quality protein containing nine essential amino acids, including lysine,” said Juwalita.
The main protein in milk is mostly casein with a content of 80 percent. While the remaining 20 percent curd water.
Snacks low fat or fat free dairy products, like milk, is also recommended in the DASH diet, a diet for people with high blood pressure. This is because calcium in milk can decrease the activity of the renin-angiotensin system, which regulates blood pressure, improves sodium-potassium balance, and inhibits vascular smooth muscle.
“High calcium intake has also been widely researched to help lose weight and increase insulin sensitivity, thereby also lowering blood pressure,” Juwalita explained.
Actually, said Juwalita, calcium is found in other foods besides milk or dairy products, such as green leafy vegetables. However, fiber, phytic acid, and oxalic acid in green vegetables can cause calcium absorption in the digestive tract to be ineffective.
For example, a bowl of spinach (85 grams) contains 115 milligrams (mg) of calcium. Of the total calcium, only 5 percent can be absorbed by the body because spinach contains high oxalates and phytates. Meanwhile, from just one glass of milk, the body can absorb 100 mg of calcium.
“Therefore, you must consume at least 16 cups of spinach to get the calcium equivalent to one glass of milk. It seems impossible to do, “said Juwalita.
In addition to calcium, Juwalita continues, another micronutrient contained in dairy products is zinc (Zn). These micronutrients are involved in nearly 200 enzyme systems that regulate body function.
“Zinc also plays a role in the function of T cells and B cells in the body that play a role in the immune system. This is of course very necessary in the midst of conditions (pandemic) like now, “he added.
Juwalita added, in products that have undergone the process of adding micronutrients there is vitamin D.
As is known, vitamin D functions to help bone mineralization by increasing the absorption of calcium and phosphorus in the intestine. This mineralization is useful for forming strong and dense bones.
“The immune system is controlled with adequate intake of vitamin D,” said Juwalita.
So, when is the best time to consume milk in order to get optimal macronutrient and micronutrient benefits?
Juwalita said, one of the studies shows that the best time to consume milk is two hours after breakfast or while snacking. The reason is, consuming milk at that time can reduce hunger and food intake at the next meal.
“Therefore, dairy products can be an ideal alternative to consume during intermittent meals in order to reduce excessive hunger. Moreover, milk is also a type of drink that is practical for consumption and can be taken anywhere, ”said Juwalita.