Although cow’s milk still remains the most consumed milk in the world, not many people know that goat milk is a healthier alternative. Since goat milk is organic and raw, people who drink it has been found to have lower risks of digestive problems like bloating, flatulence, indigestion and allergies. Raising goats is much easier than raising cows because they require less food and space. The chemical constituents in goat milk are much similar to human milk and hence are easier for the human body to digest and absorb it. In fact, goat milk is easy for most people with lactose intolerance to digest, especially when consumed raw. According to the Journal of American Medicine, goat milk is the most complete food known.
Nutrients in goat milk
Goats milk has less fat but contains high levels of proteins and essential amino acids. It is in fact a complete protein, since it contains all the essential amino acids in high amounts. It contains more fatty acids when compared to cow’s milk, which makes it more nutritionally wholesome. It is lower in cholesterol and hence is a good choice for people who are watching their intake of cholesterol or saturated fat. Goat milk is also rich in vitamins like vitamin A and vitamin D, and contains good amounts of other vitamins like vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, and B group vitamins like thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, vitamin B12 and vitamin B6. It also contains high amounts of minerals like calcium, phosphorus, and potassium. Iron, magnesium, sodium, zinc, copper and selenium are the other minerals that are available in goat milk. It is a rich source of bioorganic sodium that helps in maintaining the health of the muscular, skeletal and digestive system.
Why should you consider goat milk?
Goats milk is highly nutritious and offers a wide variety of benefits when compared to other pasteurized and homogenized varieties of milk. A few of the benefits of goat milk are explained below:
Goat milk has less allergenic proteins
Your body requires proteins for its growth, development and repair. According to studies, proteins are the main reason for many people experiencing intolerance to cow’s milk, especially proteins like Aplha-S1-casein. Goat milk is better tolerated by many people since it has less amount of this protein when compared to cows’ milk. However, it is important to seek the advice of an allergy specialist or allergy consultant before drinking goat milk, as some of the proteins in goat milk are almost similar to those in cows’ milk, which may lead to cross-reactivity.
Goat milk good lactose intolerant people
Goat milk contains slightly less lactose than cows’ milk and hence may be good for people who have been diagnosed with lactose intolerance. Moreover, goat milk is easier to digest, which may be the reason why many people with lactose intolerance are able to consume it without any side effects. One may try out Goat milk powder or goat milk powder as alternative to cow milk powder if lactose intolerant.
Goat milk source of calcium
Calcium is an essential mineral needed for the development and maintenance of healthy bones and teeth. Goat milk is very high in calcium content. In fact, 3 servings of goat milk can provide more you with 100% of your daily requirement of calcium. Not only does this mineral strengthen the bones, it also helps in preventing bone loss, thereby lowering the risks of bone disorders like osteoporosis. Calcium also helps in breaking down body fat and hence is beneficial for those trying to lose weight. Goats milk for babies is good source of calcium for their early growth.
Goat milk source of minerals
Goat milk is high in phosphorus, a mineral which helps in building strong bones and teeth. It also helps in releasing energy from the food that we eat. Potassium is another mineral found in high amounts in goat milk. This mineral helps in maintaining normal blood pressure both by negating the effects of sodium as well as by acting as a vasodilator. Goat milk provides good amounts of iodine, which helps in keeping your thyroid healthy and in maintaining healthy metabolic rate.
Goat milk is easily digestible
The fat globules in goat milk are very much smaller in size, which makes it easier to digest. What is interesting is that it takes only 20 minutes to digest goat milk, whereas cow’s milk requires up to 24 hours to get digested. Additionally the protein composition of this milk is in such a way that it forms a softer curd inside the intestine during the process of digestion, thus supporting your digestive health. Raw goat milk can be consumed without suffering from allergic responses such as bloating, diarrhea and asthma. Goat milk is effective in treating ulcers since it has acid buffering properties. It also acts as an antacid that helps in preventing too much acidity, acid reflux, heartburn, or other associated digestive problems. Goat milk also has high levels of oligosaccharides that act as prebiotics in the intestine. This helps in keeping the digestive tract healthy by promoting the growth of gut friendly bacteria and also by preventing the growth and proliferation of harmful bacteria.
It is possible because of this goats milk for infants is popular. There are various baby products available these days – goat milk baby formula, goats milk formula, powdered goat milk.
Goat milk lowers the risk of heart diseases
Goat milk is high in calcium, which is extremely good for your heart. It lowers the levels of bad cholesterol or LDL in the blood thus preventing heart diseases. Goat milk contains less amounts of xanthise oxidase, an enzyme which when enters the blood stream causes scarring of tissue on the heart. As a result, the liver tries to protect the heart by supplying more cholesterol, which may lead to the accumulation of cholesterol, causing conditions like arteriosclerosis. The blood pressure regulating effects of goat milk also helps in preventing heart attacks and heart diseases.
Goat milk boosts immunity
Goat milk has been found to be beneficial in boosting the immune system. Raw goat milk is rich in medium-chained fatty acids such as capric and caprylic acids that are capable of fighting the disease causing microbes. It also contains high amounts of selenium, an essential mineral and a potent antioxidant that plays an important role in strengthening the immune system. Goats milk for infants is considered as home remedy to increase their immunity.
Goat milk balances the pH levels of the body
Cow’s milk contains a protein that is capable of stimulating the mucous glands, which can lead to the excess production of mucous. Goat milk, however, helps in keeping the pH level of your body at normal levels as it is an alkaline-forming food.
Goat milk is a brain food
Goat milk strengthens the nervous system as it contains brain healthy vitamins B1, B2, B6 and B12. The animal phosphorous found in goat milk is essential to the brain. Goat milk cholesterol contains higher percentage of chemical salts and hence is beneficial for the human brain. The cholesterol found in goat milk has been found to be beneficial for the nerve structures, communication fibers in the brain, bone marrow, spinal ganglia, nerves, and the brain cells.
Goat milk as anti-inflammatory
According to an animal study conducted in 2006, goat milk contains potent anti-inflammatory molecules called oligosaccharides. They help in preventing the accumulation of pro-inflammatory bacteria on stomach and lining of the intestine. They also help in reducing bacterial translocation (the passage of viable resident bacteria from the gastrointestinal tract to other sites such as the spleen, mesenteric lymph nodes, liver and blood through the mucosal epithelium), which is responsible for causing serious inflammatory response known as sepsis. The anti-inflammatory nature of goat milk makes it beneficial for treating inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
Benefits of goats milk during pregnancy
Woman requires adequate supply of calcium and other minerals during pregnancy. Milk and particularly goats millk is good choice of pregnancy food. Also with distinct flavor, goats milk is good choice during pregnancy. When we compare Cow’s Milk vs. Goat’s Milk, goats milk has higher protein than cows milk. Its proteins and fats are much easier to digest. Goats milk doesn’t cause symptoms of lactose intolerance.
Goats milk for skin care
Goat milk soap has been used as a natural and healthy skin care ingredient for several centuries. It helps in the rejuvenation of skin as it contains lactic acid that helps in the break down the dead skin cells. It is packed with skin healthy vitamins and minerals that give your skin a natural glow. Goat milk has a pH level similar to that of the skin, which helps in eliminating infection causing bacteria and preventing acne breakouts and other infections. The essential fatty acids and triglycerides found in goat milk are easily absorbed by the skin, which help to keep the skin moisturized. Many skin care products that make use of goat milk have been recommended by dermatologists and skin care specialists. Goats milk soap is popular these days as beauty care products. In our next article we shall help you with recipe for handmade goat milk soap.
Benefits of goat milk for the hair
Goat milk helps in making the hair very soft and manageable. It moisturizes the scalp and prevents dry scalp and dandruff. Goat milk is also good for dry and damaged hair. It penetrates the hair shaft and replenishes the moisture in each and every hair strand. Massaging the scalp with goat milk promotes the growth of stronger and beautiful hair.
Where to buy goats milk? Most large stores keep stock of goat milk. You can also look for organic goats milk, goats milk yogurt, goat cheese or goat milk ice cream.
Health and general wellbeing are important to lead a happy life. Regular exercise and making the right food choices are the two important ways to attain overall health. Drinking goat milk is definitely a healthier choice because not only is it more nutritious but it also does not have the negative side effects of the additives in cow’s milk. Goat milk contains important nutrients like vitamins and minerals and is an ideal food for improving your overall health.Image Credits: Wikimedia, Flickr - Graphisoap