Author: Rhonda Bilsker Pearl, NCCAOM, LAc, CA
A cow has four stomachs! Yes, you heard me correctly. Let me say it again - a cow has four, count ‘em four stomachs! Guess how many we humans have? ONE. Yep, only one stomach. How well do you think we can digest dairy? How hard do you think our bodies have to work to process dairy? The answer is: very hard! Instead of using our energy to supply our bodies with normal functioning, our energy is devoted to trying to digest something that is not meant for us to digest. Our bodies don't know what to do with the dairy. This causes havoc to our health. Dairy is known to cause allergies and inflammation just to name a few problems!
I haven't even mentioned the hormones and antibiotics that the animal is fed. Guess who is putting those dangerous substances into their bodies when they consume dairy! We are! You may be thinking, "okay I will only drink organic milk…" but, remember that the organically fed cows still have how many stomachs? Four…and we have one. You may want to consider leaving the milk for the calves. When we consume dairy we are allowing foreign bacteria to enter our bodies.
One good way to help our bodies battle bad bacteria is to ensure we have plenty of good bacteria. I often recommend a probiotic to support our immune system and to help the good flora. Lemongrass is an excellent essential oil to assist the good flora. Marigold will also help to support healthy detoxification of the bad bacteria.
So now we know not to eat dairy and what to do to support our digestive system. But what are some healthy alternatives to dairy?
I tell my patients to replace milk with one of these alternatives.
They may take some getting used to and your children may not like them at first, but given that we are finding inflammation is the root of illness, it's worth making this easy and healthful change!
Almond milk is made from ground almonds. It has no cholesterol like regular milk (yet another reason to say goodbye to milk) or lactose. Almond milk does come flavored, however these flavored milks have more sugar, so I do not recommend them.
Rice milk is mainly made from brown rice. This milk does not contain cholesterol or lactose either. The milk has a very thin consistency and may take some time getting used to.
Finally two other choices, not my favorite, are soy milk and coconut milk.
There is controversy around soy milk as it is made from soy beans which are genetically modified and can produce estrogen in our bodies. So be cautious about how much of this you consume. People tend to prefer soy to the two choice above because its consistency is more similar to milk and it has a sweeter flavor than almond or rice milk. Coconut milk is sweeter and is made from grated coconut. The fat content is high, however. Some research is showing many healthful benefits from the milk, while others state the milk contains too much saturated fat.
By the way, you don't have to be concerned about not getting the calcium or vitamins you think dairy provides because eating your veggies will provide your body with plenty of that!
Bottom line is: don't drink or eat dairy because your body doesn't need it or want it! And take products that contain lemongrass oil and also provide a gentle detox to help your body to be healthy.