About Goat Milk:
Every person on this planet is aware of the benefits of milk and its role in daily life. Milk, in general, helps in staying healthy by providing the body with the essential nutrients and proteins and is known as a significant source of nutrition in the early years of a child’s life. Known as one of the world’s earliest superfood, humans for more than a millennia have enjoyed goat milk, research has shown. Most of us are becoming aware of different allergies and intolerance towards cow milk and have started to look for alternatives to cow milk. Goat milk has certain properties that set it apart from other forms of milk, as it positively affects the digestive system and health simultaneously. In terms of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins, goat milk becomes an ideal food. In various countries, goat milk is preferred over cow’s milk.
Due to its nutritional value, goat milk has gained popularity in recent years. It is rich in nutrients and contains carbohydrates, sugar, proteins, sodium, etc. It also has minerals such as magnesium, calcium, copper, zinc, and potassium. Additionally, goat milk also contains vitamins such as Vitamin, A, B and C.
Composition of goat milk:
Goat milk is similar to cow milk in terms of basic composition. It has a slightly lower amount of total casein, but a higher amount of nonprotein nitrogen than cow’s milk. It has 3 -4 times more protein and ash than human milk. The fat content in goat milk ranges from 2.45 to 7.76%. It has smaller fat globules that make for better dispersion and a better homogenous mixture of the fat in goat milk provides a greater area of fat for improved digestion and its activities by lipases. There are significant proteins in goat milk, namely, A2 casein, beta-casein, beta-lactoglobulin, etc. where beta-casein is a major factor for the casein fraction in goat milk. The alpha casein in goat milk contains aspartate, lysine and tyrosine than beta-casein, where it has leucine, proline and valine as compared to alpha-caseins. The major carbohydrate in goat milk is lactose, which is about 0.2% to 0.5% that is lower than cow’s milk. The lactoferrin, transferrin, and the prolactin contents of goat milk can be compared to cow’s milk. The higher levels of folate-binding protein in goat milk lessen the availability of folic acid in the milk. The amount of immunoglobulins in goat milk is higher than that of human milk, which makes it fit for consumption and a good source of proteins, minerals and vitamins.
Nutritional value of goat milk:
Goat milk is specifically valuable because of its high content of vitamins, minerals and even trace elements. This milk contains copper, zinc, phosphorus, calcium, sodium, potassium, and magnesium. It even contains Vitamins A, B1, B12, C, D and E. With a higher amount of Vitamin D, it has a positive effect on the preparation of infant formula. It has fatty acids that belong to the short and medium-chain. Goat milk, because of its fatty acids, becomes easier to digest and does not settle on the hip as fat powder. Therefore, goat milk is often used in weight-loss diets.
Every 100 ml of goat’s milk contains:
69 kcal / 290 kJ
3 grams of protein
4 grams of fat
4 grams of carbohydrates.
Benefits of goat milk:
There are various goat milk benefits, a few of which have been mentioned below.
Goat Milk for Digestive system:
It is good for the digestive system. The fat content in goat milk and cow milk are somewhat similar, but in goat’s milk, the fat globules are smaller than cow milk, which makes it easier to digest. When you consume milk, and it reaches your stomach, goat milk turns into curd, which is softer than the curd formed by cow’s milk. Cow’s milk has 10% curd, as compared to 2% of goat’s milk. This helps your body to digest it with less irritation as compared to cow’s milk.
There have been various reports that show that goat milk can help in the treatment of intestinal troubles because it is easily digestible. The buffer capacity of goat’s milk and the physical character of the curd formed by the coagulation of the milk have also been considered as significant aspects in its digestibility.
Acts as lactose Intolerant:
It acts as lactose intolerant. Goat milk, although it has sugar, it is lower in amount and has lower lactose when compared to cow’s milk. Many people are not lactose intolerant and face difficulty in digesting dairy products or cow’s milk, in particular, goat milk can act as a good alternative and viable option.
Has anti-inflammatory properties:
It contains A2 protein. Goat milk mostly has A2 casein that makes it comparable to human milk in terms of protein. A2 casein does not cause any inflammatory issues or diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, colitis, etc. A study conducted on goat milk suggests that when babies are fed goat’s milk as their first source of protein, after breastfeeding, they become less prone to be allergic when compared with cow’s milk feeding. The presence of A2 beta-casein makes goat milk far healthier than A1 beta-casein, which can be found in cow’s milk. A2 beta-casein is known to be a safer counterpart when compared to A1 beta-casein, which is considered as one of the major reasons for diabetes and ischemic heart diseases.
Prevents allergies and keeps the heart healthy:
Goat milk helps in preventing allergies. Since it is less allergic than cow’s milk, it is more preferred. Cow’s milk is known to be the number one cause of allergy among young children, which can be seen throughout adulthood. The major cause of this is the presence of 20 different allergens, which can cause allergic reactions.
Being a good source of magnesium, goat milk has beneficial properties when it comes to the heart. Magnesium helps in maintaining a regular heartbeat and even prevents the formation of blood clots and increased cholesterol levels. Magnesium is also compatible with Vitamin D that is another nutrient that is important for a healthy heart.
Good source of Calcium:
Usually, people think that cow’s milk is the richest source of calcium, but one should not worry about the calcium content when switching to goat’s milk. It contains more minerals than cow’s milk, that is, 33% of the daily recommended value, where cow’s milk only has 28% of the daily recommended value. A research conducted on the administration of 400 ml of goat milk brought positive results and showed that it increased bone metabolism. Consumption of goat milk, when combined with therapy can also help in preventing osteoporosis in individuals suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
Goat Milk in Dengue:
Dengue fever is one of the major issues relating to public health in India as well as the world that infects several people annually, and for which, there is no effective therapy that exists currently. A deficiency of Selenium and reduced platelet count are a few of the major complications of dengue fever. Goat milk has nearly 27% more selenium, which is also known by the name of selenoprotein and is one of the most important micronutrients that has been incorporated in about 25 proteins. Selenoproteins act as enzymes that protect from cellular damages. Goat milk, when consumed during dengue fever acts as the main dietary source of selenium, that helps in overcoming this disease. Goat milk can be consumed by a person suffering from dengue with the intention of maintaining the bodily fluids, as a platelet transfusion from the outside may not always be possible. This means that goat milk helps in increasing the platelet count, along with it, it also increases iron bioavailability. Even Ayurveda has suggested the consumption of goat milk for treating Dengue fever.
Boosts immune system:
Goat milk is rich in vitamins and minerals that can help to fight various diseases and improve the immune system. It is rich in Vitamins B6, B12 and vitamin D, folic acid and proteins that strengthen the immunity system by reinforcing the body, making it immune to diseases. According to research, feeding goat’s milk to children increases their immunity to an extent that makes it unlikely for them to get sick. The proteins found in goat’s milk are lighter than the proteins present in cow’s or buffalo milk. While it takes 8 hours for cow’s milk to digest, goat’s milk only takes 20 minutes. The amount of alkaline and ash present in goat milk does not produce any acid in the intestines, which keeps the body away from problems like headache, fatigue or muscle tension.
Goat milk for skin:
There are various goat milk benefits for skin, and it has been used by the Egyptian Empress Cleopatra, who bathed in goat’s milk to make her skin smooth and improve its health. Recent studies on goat milk and its benefits on the skin have shown that the ingredients in goat milk correspond to the natural acid protective layer of the skin. It helps in keeping the skin moisturized and gives it natural care. Goat milk promotes blood circulation of the skin, and also boosts its metabolism. With the presence of Vitamin E, an important property for the skin, goat milk keeps the skin healthy and has an anti-inflammatory effect on the skin. As goat milk has triglycerides, capric, caprylic and caproic acid, it helps to maintain the pH balance, and promote the natural exfoliation of the skin. Goat milk is very gentle, which is effective in calming troubles skin, making it a good choice for people with sensitive skin. The natural ingredients of goat milk help in reducing redness, itchiness and does not cause any further irritation that makes it the perfect ingredient for the skin. The presence of selenium in goat milk makes it an antioxidant product that helps in neutralizing the free radicals than can lead to premature ageing of the skin.
Side effects of goat milk:
There is only one major side effect of goat milk, that is, it can cause a specific type of allergy. It has been stated by science that goat milk allergy, which is not usually related to cow’s milk is a rare disease. It can be contributed to the casein protein in the milk. This allergy, as per research, is shown to affect children and the elderly and appears on the later side of its consumption. To avoid this disorder, it requires strict avoidance of goat milk and any other milk-derived products, as the reactions may be severe. Consuming goat milk even in minimal dosages can cause reactions.
Although goat milk is almost similar to cow milk in its basic composition, the importance of goat milk and its products can never be underestimated. Goat milk has the ability to provide essential nutrients to the human body, as well as is considered as a major source of survival in various ecosystems in various parts of the world. Goat milk has a few differences and many important constituents and physical parameters that include proteins, lipids, minerals, vitamins, enzymes, fat globule size, etc. which are considered as significant for human nutrition.