• Nutrition & health

Benefits of consuming dairy

By Mindy Wigzell

Mindy is a Senior Nutritionist for Anchor. She holds a BSc (Hons) Nutrition and Dietetics from King’s College, London.

  • Nutrition & health

Milk and core dairy products such as cheese and yoghurt are rich in essential nutrients. Dairy is known for supporting good bone health, but dairy does so much more such as supporting muscles, energy levels and an active mind. Explore the many benefits of including dairy in your diet.

More than just calcium

Milk is known for its important role in providing calcium for healthy bones. But milk provides many other nutrients that are essential for good health.

Along with calcium, milk is a source of phosphorus, potassium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, and contains several other vitamins and minerals in smaller amounts. Milk is also a great source of high quality protein containing all of the essential amino acids.

Milk and core dairy foods is an important part of a balanced diet  as it provides essential nutrients.

New Zealand Ministry of Health guidelines recommend NZ Adults eat at least 2 serves of core dairy products every day, such as milk, yoghurt or cheese.

Keeping up your health

Because dairy is so rich in nutrients, including it in your diet can help you keep healthy and active.

Strong bones and muscles

It’s not just the calcium in milk but also phosphorous, that helps build and maintain a healthy skeleton.

Childhood and adolescence are particularly important life stages for building strong bones, while for adults a sufficient intake of nutrients is important to minimise bone loss, therefore helping to keep the skeleton strong.

Dairy is also great for muscles - milk protein provides all of the essential amino acids as building blocks for muscle growth and maintenance, and can help slow down the muscle loss that naturally occurs as we get older. Dairy also provides other key nutrients that support muscle function, including calcium and potassium.

 Keeping your energy levels up

Milk has a low GI and so provides a source of slow-release energy. In addition, dairy provides several B vitamins that help reduce tiredness and fatigue and therefore help us keep our energy levels up. It is also a source of calcium and phosphorus that  support energy metabolism.

Enjoying dairy every day is a great way to help us get through the day.

Dairy for an active mind

The brain is the most active organ in the body and requires a good supply of vitamins and minerals to function well. Dairy provides several nutrients that support the brain, including riboflavin, niacin, and vitamin B12. Milk is also a source of phospholipids, and emerging evidence suggests a beneficial role for these lipids for brain function. Milk is also great for keeping the body hydrated, which is also essential for an active mind.

Go and up your health with dairy!

As you can see milk is a great way to support your overall health as part of a balanced diet It is full of natural goodness, including essential vitamins and minerals. Check out what’s in a glass of milk below!

What’s in a glass of milk?

What’s the benefit?

Hiqh quality protein

Helps to grow and repair muscles; dairy protein provides all of the essential amino acids.


Supports strong teeth & bones

Riboflavin (Vitamin B2)

Helps to reduce tiredness

Niacin (Vitamin B3)

Supports skin structure

Vitamin B12

Supports normal brain function


Supports energy metabolism


Needed for water and electrolyte balance

Vitamin A*

Supports vision & immune function

*in full fat milk.