5 Ways Dairy Improves Holistic Health
Health is the new wealth. As we continue to place importance on improving and maintaining our physical health, it’s important to make sure you’re taking a holistic approach to your health as well.
Holistic health looks at a person’s entire wellbeing, including but not exclusively focusing on physical health. There are five key areas of holistic health: physical, emotional, social, spiritual, and mental. Below are several ways dairy can help improve your holistic health in each key area.
Physical health focuses on your body’s overall fitness. Having a balanced diet, exercising for at least 30 minutes a day, and getting a good night’s sleep are some of the best ways to improve and maintain your physical health.
Eating a nutritious and balanced diet is key to your overall physical health, and dairy needs no introduction here. With 13 key vitamins and nutrients like calcium, protein, and vitamins A and D in a single glass of milk, popular dairy foods like milk and yogurt can help boost your physical health. Dairy is especially important for your bones and teeth, heart health, and your immune system.
Exercise also plays a vital role in physical health. Start by making sure you’re active for at least 30 minutes each day. Even taking your dog for a casual walk outside counts! For those who partake in more advanced and strenuous exercise, make sure you let your body recover properly. Chocolate milk is a great option to refuel and recover. For anyone exercising outside, you can learn more about staying safely hydrated here.
Make sure you get a good night’s sleep. A general rule for sleep suggests you need at least eight hours. To get better sleep, unplug and avoid screens at least an hour before bed. Make sure you don’t drink any caffeine in the late hours of the day. Instead, try something calming like this chamomile moon milk. If something’s on your mind, try reading or some other mindful activity to relax your thoughts before you turn off the lights.
Emotional health is harder to gauge and measure than physical health, so it’s a bit trickier to maintain but just as essential as your physical health. Mindfulness, stress reduction, and - once again - getting proper sleep are important aspects of emotional health.
Mindfulness and de-stressing go hand-in-hand. Mindfulness is about becoming fully aware of the present rather than worrying about the future or the past. You can practice mindfulness with meditation or guided imagery, but even stopping to take a few deep breaths or taking a quick walk outside to “reset” your headspace works! Like practicing mindfulness, getting proper sleep will help reduce stress and improve overall emotional health.
The ability to form meaningful, healthy relationships and adapt to social situations is your social health. Connections, community, and learning how to set boundaries are all vital to your social health.
Staying connected is easier said than done. Despite all the advances in technology making it more convenient than ever to talk to people, it’s easy to grow distant in our busy world. Make sure you pause and spend time with those who are important to you.
Cooking and sharing food is a great way to spend time with people. Bring back a traditional favorite, make someone special their favorite meal, or try something totally new! We have some great suggestions here. Slow down a bit, get your friends and family in the kitchen and dining room, and refresh your connections.
Feeling like part of your community is also important. Try volunteering for local events, get to know your neighbors, and learn about your community. Supporting local businesses is another great way to connect. Order takeout from the family-run diners and buy locally grown products at the grocery store. You can even buy your milk locally! Just look for the #12 on the code next to the sell-by date. That means your milk was produced by a local Florida family.
Spiritual health is about feeling like you have a purpose in life and are in-tune with your mind, body, and spirit. It doesn’t just mean religion, but religion is part of your spiritual health if you consider yourself to be religious.
Spending time in nature is a great way to reconnect with your spirituality. The extent of many people’s interaction with nature is the time it takes to walk from their car to a building. Work on your spiritual health by taking short walks outside or even just opening the windows and letting in fresh air. It is easy to become disconnected from nature in our tech-savvy world, and easy to forget where food really comes from or how it got to the store. Start learning about how your food is produced by getting this behind the scenes look at a dairy farm.
Another way to get in-tune with your spiritual health is through prayer or meditation. It’s a time to block out the rest of the world and focus only on the present and your mind, body, and spiritual connection. It doesn’t have to be super serious either. Have some fun with it and get the whole family involved with MOOGA, our cow-inspired yoga which you can learn more about here.
Emotional, psychological, and social well-being are all important parts of your mental health. Two key areas that can improve your mental health are continued learning and a healthy diet.
Active learning is key to your mental health. Learning isn’t limited to the classroom or signing up for a new webinar or course (though that counts too!). Getting a new perspective on something from a friend, trying a new recipe, or reading a blog about a topic that interests you will come with amazing benefits.
While all areas of holistic health are interrelated, mental health is especially tied to your physical health. Vitamins and nutrients are essential for your brain. Make sure you’re eating a balanced diet with nutritious foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains, and dairy foods like milk, cheese, and yogurt. Gut health is also closely tied to mental wellness. Eat foods rich in vitamin D, C, and the B vitamins like fruits, vegetables, and milk to keep your digestive system - and your brain - happy!