Camel milk has been a staple in the diets of Asia and the Middle East peoples for over 5,000 years. It is not seen just as part of their regular diet, but as a remedy with a wide range of health benefits from reducing your risk of developing diabetes to improving your immunity and fighting viral and bacterial infections.
And the good news is that you don’t need to know a camel farmer or raise a camel in your backyard to enjoy the health benefits of camel milk!
You may not be used to seeing camel milk as an option in your grocery store refrigerator yet but prepare to be amazed! It’s now available commercially as fresh milk, as well as in frozen and powdered forms.
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What’s in Camel Milk?
Camel milk is high in proteins, amino acids, and immunoglobins and contains a range of nutrients similar to cow’s milk. However, camel milk has lower levels of saturated fat than cow’s milk and higher levels of vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, and potassium. Further, the fats in camel milk are healthy fats, including linoleic acid, long-chain fatty acids, and unsaturated fatty acids that are essential for your heart and brain health. Camel milk is also high in phosphorus, another mineral that supports bone health, but one that is sadly absent from the Western diet.
What is Camel Milk Good For?
Camel milk is a potent package of health-promoting nutrients. Its protein profile gives it a different composition from cow’s milk, and many people who are allergic to cow’s milk can drink camel milk without adverse effects. Studies have also shown that camel milk is suitable for people who are lactose intolerant, as it is significantly lower in lactose than cow’s milk. It seems that camel milk can also lower sensitivities in people who have more general food allergies. Even in cases of severe food allergy, the immunoglobulins contained in camel milk can neutralize the allergens.
Camel milk has also been found to have antibodies that help to treat diarrhea caused by rotavirus, which is common in young children. Camel milk’s antiviral properties have also been shown to be effective against hepatitis B and C, and other viral causes of liver disease. As well as antibodies against viral infection, research has shown that camel milk has potent antimicrobial, autoinflammatory, and insulin-boosting compounds. This makes it a strong support for your immune systems and helps lower your risk of chronic diseases and autoimmune conditions.
Studies have shown that camel milk is a rich source of lactoperoxidase, lysozyme, lactoferrin, immunoglobin G, and secretory immunoglobin. It can help regulate blood sugar and improve insulin sensitivity in patients with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes. A recent research review found that just 2 cups of camel milk a day can lower insulin resistance and improve blood sugar control in diabetics.
If you or your family have problems digesting regular cow’s milk or are allergic or lactose intolerant, camel milk provides a safer way of getting the benefits of dairy. Even if you don’t react badly to cow’s milk, camel milk is an excellent boost to your digestive health and supports a healthy gut biome.
Camel milk’s anti-inflammatory properties reduce oxidative stress and help protect your gut lining by strengthening the mucosal barrier, reducing inflammation. It has been used successfully in patients with ulcers, gut inflammation, and colitis.
Camel milk is also great for your heart health! The fatty acids contained in camel milk have been shown to balance your body’s cholesterol load and reduce the bad cholesterol that can clog your arteries and lead to heart disease.
Finally, camel milk has been shown to help treat autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, ulcerative colitis, eczema, and psoriasis. Camel milk is rich in alpha-hydroxyl acids and has been found to reduce levels of globulin, which can be elevated in people with autoimmune diseases.
How Do You Drink Camel Milk? Does It Taste Good?
Drinking camel milk is just like drinking cow’s or goat’s milk. You may notice some subtle differences in saltiness, sweetness, or smokiness, depending on where it was produced and the camel’s diet. Some people have reported that American camel milk is creamier and sweeter than camel milk from the Middle East.
You can drink camel milk straight up or in your usual smoothies or milkshakes. It goes well in tea, coffee, and hot chocolate. Try a camel version of a pumpkin spice latte!
You can substitute camel milk for your usual dairy (milk, cream, or half-and-half) in pancake and waffle batters, soups, sauces, and casseroles. Add it to your favorite baked goods and desserts.
Due to camel milk’s protein profile and fat composition, it is not easy to use in the making of cheese, yogurt, or butter, but dairy producers are working on it!
Is Camel Milk Safe to Drink?
Camel milk is just as safe as cow’s milk as long as you follow the same precautions. Do not drink unpasteurized milk, as raw milk can contain pathogens, viruses, and bacteria.
Buy your camel milk from certified producers. There are increasing herds of dairy camels in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Australia. If you can’t find camel milk at your local grocery or health food stores, it’s easy to order online.
If you have any doubts at all or if you suffer a chronic health condition, please consult your health care practitioner before making changes to your diet.
While camel milk is a relative newcomer to Western diets, it has been a central part of Asian and Middle Eastern cultures for thousands of years, both as a source of protein and as a health food and remedy. Camel milk is a low-fat, healthy way to add protein and calcium to your diet.
Camel milk has been shown to have a beneficial effect on people who suffer from lactose intolerance or allergy and can be used as part of your heart health and diabetic regime.
And to top it all off, choosing camel milk is even a better choice for the environment as camels do not require the same intensive farming practices as cows.