In various ancient cultures throughout the history of mankind, milk has been highly regarded as a nutrient-rich food. In fact, some historians assert that drinking cow’s milk may have begun even before nomadic people decided to settle down and engage in agriculture. Nowadays, statistics show that the United States ranks as the 16th top milk drinking country. Around 25 gallons of milk is consumed by the average American every year.
Milk is formed in the mammary gland of a mammal for the sustenance of newborns. However, adults can also benefit from its complex nutritional composition. Jo Ann Hattner, a nutrition consultant at the Stanford University School of Medicine affirms that although eating just one type of food throughout one’s life can cause organ failure, people can survive solely on milk. This proves that this white liquid is not only hydrating but is also dense in multiple nutrients and minerals. Milk is very high in vitamin B2, B12, phosphorus, and calcium. The amount of calcium in a glass of milk is actually equivalent to six slices of wheat bread. For this reason, milk is not just considered a beverage, but a staple food.
The industry of dairy continues to be lucrative. According to Journal Communications, an estimate of more than six gallons of milk is produced by U.S dairy farms each day and an average cow produces more than 350,000 glasses of milk in its lifetime.
Although cow’s milk is the most popular type of milk, there are several issues regarding dairy. For instance, a study available in the PubMed Central database reports that 75% of the world’s population is affected by lactose intolerance. This digestive disorder is caused by the genetic inability to digest lactose, a chemical compound present in dairy. Lactose intolerant individuals suffer from symptoms such as headaches, nausea, diarrhea, stomach cramps, and bloating.
According to Dr. Mark Hyman, Director of the Cleveland Center for Functional Medicine, dairy products may increase the body’s level of insulin-like growth factor-1, which is linked to raising cancer risks. Some individuals also claim that consumption of dairy products cause breakouts and skin problems. For these reasons, more people appear to be on the search for a good dairy-free alternative.
Camel Milk and Its Benefits
There are plenty of non-dairy milk alternatives available in the market today, and the popularity of plant-based milk seems to be steadily surging. However, these liquids are not really types of milk but rather mixtures of water and ground nuts. Plant-based milk does contain nutrients but not in the same significant amount and range found in dairy.
If you’re looking for an ideal dairy-free alternative that is nutritionally dense, camel milk can be suitable for you. Camel milk is widely consumed in certain parts of the world including Somalia and the United Arab Emirates. Some studies prove that not only is it a good alternative to cow’s milk but may also be a superior option.
When it comes to nutritional benefits, camel milk may be healthier than cow milk. A higher concentration of minerals such as potassium, magnesium, zinc, and iron is present in camel milk. Camel milk also contains more antibacterial and antiviral properties. A study published by the National Center for Biotechnology Information affirms that it’s also richer than dairy milk in protein, riboflavin, vitamin C, and vitamin A. In addition, camel milk has 50% less saturated fat and lower levels of cholesterol than cow milk.
Camel milk offers a seemingly endless list of nutrients. To help you determine if camel milk is the right alternative for your diet, there are several promising benefits of camel milk.
1. A Natural Probiotic
Camel milk acts as a natural probiotic and aids in promoting the growth of healthy intestinal bacteria. This improves the overall health and immunity of the digestive tract. It is a healthier option for people suffering from lactose intolerance. In fact, researches show that not only does it not trigger side effects, it also helps the body recover from milk allergies. Camel milk does not contain the protein beta-lactoglobulin, which is responsible for stimulating allergic reactions. It also contains significantly less lactose than cow’s milk, making it easier for lactose intolerant individuals to digest.
2. Helps in Maintaining Fitness
Because of the presence of insulin-like proteins and its significantly low level of fat, camel milk is good in keeping the blood sugar level balanced. The low level of cholesterol also lessens your likelihood of gaining unwanted weight. Camel milk also contains a significant amount of vitamin B1—70% of your recommended daily intake. Vitamin B1 boosts mental function and metabolism, allowing you to keep both your mind and body in good shape.
3. Rich in Antioxidants
Antioxidants are the key to neutralizing harmful free radicals, removing oxidizing agents, and decreasing risks of cancer. These also promote cell turnover and renewal and even assist in balancing enzymes in the body. One of the antioxidants present in camel milk is lactoferrin, which, according to PubMed researchers, repels viral and antibacterial infections as well as regulate the body’s processing of the mineral iron. Camel milk also contains alpha hydroxy acids which are commonly used in skin care for fighting signs of aging and for protection against sun damage.
4. Helps in Controlling Diseases
Camel milk is effective in regulating blood sugar levels due to its composition which includes insulin-like proteins. These proteins enable camel milk to aid in controlling diabetes. Camel milk consumption is also linked to improving the conditions of individuals suffering from tuberculosis due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties that can combat the causative agent of the disease. It is also a good source of phosphorus and potassium, which supports the maintenance of healthy blood pressure and even decreases risks of stroke.
5. Better for Nature
Because of the natural habitat of camels, the milk they produce has less impact on the environment. The production of cow milk causes many undesirable environmental effects such as soil damage, over-foraging, and emission of greenhouse gases. Raising camels, on the other hand, doesn’t require a large grazing area and they can survive long days with little water. In fact, statistics show that camels only consume half of the feed of cows while producing the same amount of milk. For these reasons, camel milk is not just a great non-dairy alternative but also an eco-friendly option.
If you want to obtain the benefits of dairy milk consumption without the inconvenience of its side effects, then it may be worth it to give camel milk a try. The nutritional benefits speak for themselves that camel milk is indeed the ideal alternative.