Dairy 101 – A Closer Look at Milk’s Nutritional Benefits

By Heide Kennedy, Arizona Farm Bureau Communications Intern


Milk is an incredibly popular beverage across the board. Whether it’s enjoyed by the glass, in cereal, in coffee, or used to make all sorts of other dairy products, dairy finds its way into many people’s diets and fridges. Not only is it a delicious and versatile product, but it is also incredibly nutritious and naturally loaded with lots of vitamins and minerals.

Below are listed all of the essential nutrients that milk has to offer, as well as the percent Daily Value of each nutrient (based on an 8-ounce serving).


Calcium – 25% Daily Value: Builds and maintains bones and teeth and also plays a role in nerve and muscle function and blood clotting.

Phosphorous – 20% Daily Value: Strengthens bones and generates energy in cells.

Protein – 16% Daily Value: Builds and repairs muscle tissues and serves as a source of energy.

Vitamin D – 15% Daily Value: Promotes the absorption of calcium and helps with bone mineralization.

Vitamin A – 15% Daily Value: Promotes skin and eye health, regulates cell growth, and strengthens the immune system.

Riboflavin – 30% Daily Value: Also known as vitamin B2, helps to convert food into energy.

Vitamin B12 – 50% Daily Value: Helps to build red blood cells which carry oxygen from lungs to muscles.

Zinc – 10% Daily Value: Maintains a healthy immune system, supports normal growth and development, and promotes skin health.

Pantothenic Acid – 20% Daily Value: Helps the body turn macronutrients such as fat, protein, and carbohydrates into fuel.

Niacin – 15% Daily Value: Is necessary for the function of enzymes in the body and for the metabolism of sugars and fatty acids.

Selenium – 10% Daily Value: Maintains a healthy immune system, regulates metabolism, and protects against cellular damage.

Iodine – 60% Daily Value: Necessary for proper bone and brain development during pregnancy and is linked to cognitive function in early childhood.

Potassium – 10% Daily Value: Regulates the body’s fluid balance, maintains blood pressure, and is necessary for muscle function.

Milk and dairy products have so much to offer in taste, versatility, and most importantly, nutrition. It is recommended that we get three servings of milk each day.

Did you know that we have many dairy farmers who produce lots of milk right here in our home state? So almost all of the milk you get from the store is fresh, local milk!

For more articles about milk, check out the Fill Your Plate blog!


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