9 Surprising Goat Milk Health Benefits
Some of the health benefits of goat milk include its ability to reduce inflammation, optimize digestion, improve bioavailability of nutrients, strengthen bones, boost heart health, increase immunity, increase your metabolism, prevent toxins from accumulating in the body, protect against weight loss, and benefit the overall environment.
As the name likely implies for any reader, goat milk is milk derived from goat’s, rather than the more common source of milk in most countries, cows. While goat milk may be harder to acquire in terms of availability and access in some parts of the world, the impressive health benefits of goat milk, and the recent research into its positive effects on the human body have made it a very popular choice in recent years. Although goats only produce about 2% of the global milk supply, it is cheaper to process, due to it not requiring homogenization (the small fat molecules do not separate and remain suspended in the cream).Certain studies have recommended that goat milk not be given to very young children, due to their unique nutritional needs in their developmental stages, but as we age, the chemical composition and impact of goat milk on our body is actually preferable to the effects of cow milk. For example, people who suffer from lactose intolerance can digest goat milk far better than cow milk due to its much higher levels of beneficial fatty acids (twice that of cow milk). Goat milk is commonly processed into cheeses, butter, ice cream, and yoghurts, many of which are considered delicacies due to their high buttermilk content and rich consistency.
While the prevalence of cow milk is not likely to fade in the near future, it is important to understand that there are other options out there if you’re interested in increasing your overall health. This is not meant to say that cow milk is “bad” for you, but if you’re willing to put in a bit of extra effort to find goat milk, you might be surprised at the beneficial effects you experience. Now, let’s take a closer look at some of the health benefits of goat milk.
Health Benefits of Goat Milk
Build Strong Bones: This is one of the most common characteristics of all forms of milk, and the main reason why we tell our children that milk is so important. Milk of all varieties is rich in calcium, and goat milk is no exception. In addition, goat milk gives you comparable amounts of calcium as cow milk without so many of the side effects, ensuring that our calcium deposits stay rich and stable, and our bones don’t experience bone mineral density loss as we age, thereby helping to prevent osteoporosis.
Anti-Inflammatory Properties: One reason why people tend to love goat milk is that they are able to enjoy it without the common inflammation and upset stomachs that cow milk so often causes. This is due to the unique enzymatic make-up of goat milk that soothes inflammation in the gut. Research is ongoing to see whether these anti-inflammatory properties extend to other areas of the body, but one thing is for certain, it’s definitely better for your stomach!
Nutrient Uptake Efficiency: One of the main benefits of goat milk is that the chemical composition is far closer to human milk than cow milk. Essentially, humans are designed to be breast-fed, just like goats and cows, but human milk is similar to goat milk, so our bodies are able to get more nutrients out of the milk as it moves through our system and it causes less stress on our digestive processes.
Metabolism Booster: Goat milk is far more nutrient-dense than cow milk, meaning that you don’t need as much of it to receive the same (or better) nutrient intake. A single cup provides nearly 40% of our daily calcium requirements, 20% of our vitamin B intake, as well as significant amounts of potassium and phosphorous. Furthermore, studies have shown that goat milk can help increase the uptake of iron and copper in our digestive tract, which is essential for people who struggle with anemia and other nutrient deficiencies.
Heart Health: There are nearly twice as many beneficial fatty acids in goat milk as can be found in cow milk, which means that our cholesterol balance can be helped significantly by goat milk. By balancing our essential fatty acids in the body, we can prevent atherosclerosis, strokes, heart attacks, and other coronary complications. The high potassium levels in goat milk also help to reduce blood pressure, as potassium is a vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels and relieves tension on the cardiovascular system.
Immunity Booster: Trace amounts of selenium are found in cow milk, but there are also significant amounts in goat milk. This somewhat rare mineral is a key component in immune system functionality, making us better able to protect ourselves from illness and fend off infections.
Growth and Development: Goat milk is a very rich source of protein, which is an essential part of growth and development, as proteins are the building blocks of cells, tissue, muscle, and bone. By ensuring a steady stream of protein, we protect our metabolic processes and stimulate growth and overall good health.
Weight Loss Efforts: Although goat milk has more fatty acids than cow milk, it actually has less “bad” fats, meaning that it can help people who want to lose weight, without compromising their nutritional needs.
Environmental Protection: Due to the digestive processes of cows, they tend to suffer from extreme flatulence, which comes out in the form of methane. This gas is highly corrosive to the atmosphere and the ozone layer; environmental scholars actually suggest that the millions of cows raised for beef and milk are a major player in ozone degradation and global warming. By supporting goat milk production, we can protect future generations and ourselves from the dangerous effects of climate change!
A Final Word of Warning: Due to the different nutrient composition of goat milk from cow milk, it is not recommended to immediately give your children goat milk once they stop breast or bottle-feeding. As they get older, the nutrient composition of goat milk becomes more appropriate, but for proper development, it is wise to begin with cow milk.