While buffalo milk may not be the most popular variety of milk, it does have certain health benefits, including the ability to build strong bones, promote growth, protect the heart, stimulate circulation, and lower blood pressure.
When most people think of milk, they naturally picture the udders of a cow, the classic bovine, but there are many people in parts of the world who use buffalo milk instead. You might never have had a glass of buffalo milk, but you’ve likely consumed it in your “buffalo” mozzarella at one point or another. As the name implies, it is the milk from the mammary gland of a buffalo. In parts of the world like India and parts of Asia where different buffalo species are still in high supply, this milk represents a key component of a healthy diet. The increased availability and demand for buffalo milk have boosted the attention, and research has found a number of differences between buffalo milk and other varieties of non-human milk for consumption.
Buffalo milk is rich in protein, calcium, iron, phosphorous, vitamin A, and other important compounds, but is also notably higher in fat content than traditional cow milk. Depending on your present health condition and lifestyle, the milk of a buffalo can be good for some things, but bad for others, which makes it important to know the nutritional profile and potential health benefits of this cow milk alternative.
Health Benefits of Buffalo Milk
Let’s dig into more details about the health benefits of buffalo milk.
Improves Heart Health
In comparison to cow milk, there is actually less cholesterol in buffalo milk, which is a good thing for anyone concerned about their cardiovascular health. That being said, there is more fat in buffalo milk, about 100% more, so moderation is key. Given the widespread epidemic of cardiovascular disease, atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes around the world, adopting buffalo milk and rebalancing your cholesterol isn’t a bad idea.
Growth and Development
Research has shown that similar to cow milk, buffalo milk is also impressively high in protein content. In fact, milk from a buffalo has about 10% more protein than its cow-derived cousin. This is good news for the growth and development of children and adolescents, as well as adults, considering that protein is needed for nearly every bodily process. Buffalo milk also provides complete proteins, which are highly valuable and can be converted into usable energy or applied for the repair and growth of our body.
Vitamin A and vitamin C are found in significant amounts within buffalo milk, and these two vitamins are key to the functioning of our immune system and the overall protection of the body. Both of these vitamins act as antioxidants, cleansing the body of dangerous free radicals and toxins that can cause chronic illness. Furthermore, vitamin C stimulates the immune system by producing white blood cells, the first line of defense for the body. Zinc and certain other trace minerals in this milk variety can also act as antioxidants and immune system boosters.
Anemia is the formal term for iron deficiency, and this is a major problem for people all over the world. A great cure for this condition is high-iron foods, as iron is an important component of red blood cells. By increasing RBC count in the body, you are able to increase circulation, which boosts oxygenation to the extremities and organ systems, keeping them operating at full capacity. This also speeds healing and growth of new cells and tissues.
It seems that milk of all varieties is quite well known for its impact on bone strength and development. As it turns out, milk from buffalo actually has more calcium than cow milk, making it even better for the prevention of osteoporosis and general bone strength and resilience. This is in addition to the number of other essential minerals found in buffalo milk, including copper, manganese, phosphorous and zinc.
Regulates Blood Pressure
This isn’t a well-known benefit of buffalo milk, as the potassium content of this milk variety is often overlooked. However, there is more potassium in buffalo milk than regular cow milk, and since potassium functions as a vasodilator, buffalo milk can help you lower your blood pressure. By reducing the strain on blood vessels and arteries, milk from buffalo can prevent the development of atherosclerosis and other coronary complications.
Word of Caution: As mentioned, buffalo milk has considerably more fat than cow milk, but many of the other benefits are worthwhile. If you struggle with weight, have a slow metabolism, or live a less than active lifestyle, milk from buffalo may be providing too much fat in your diet. Before making any major changes to your daily or weekly health regimen, speak with your medical professional or a nutritionist.