Goat’s milk is a highly nutritious, power-packed milk that is consumed by 65 percent of the world’s population. Though Americans prefer to drink cow’s milk, many of them also experience bloating, gas and indigestion.
Many people, who find it challenging to digest cow’s milk, tend to opt for plant-based sources of milk like soy milk or almond milk.
However, goat’s milk is a much healthier alternative as it is rich in nutrients and is naturally easy to digest.
But what is the difference between cow milk and goat’s milk? What are the health benefits of goat’s milk? Let us learn more about the nutritional profile and benefits of consuming goat’s milk.
Nutritional value of goat’s milk
Goat’s milk is gaining popularity in the western world as it is rich in many nutrients, vitamins, and minerals.
One cup (244 grams) of goat’s milk contains (1) –
- Calories: 168
- Total carbohydrates: 10.9 grams (4% of DV)
- Total fats: 10.1 grams (16% of DV)
- Protein: 8.7 grams (17% of DV)
- Riboflavin: .3 mg (20% of DV)
- Vitamin A: 483 IU (10% of DV)
- Thiamine: .1 mg (8% of DV)
- Vitamin D: 29.3 IU (7% of DV)
- Vitamin C: 3.2 mg (5% of DV)
- Calcium: 327 mg (33% of DV)
- Phosphorus: 271 mg (27% of DV)
- Potassium: 498 mg (14% of DV)
Health benefits of goat’s milk
1. Easy to digest
Though it is not entirely free of lactose, the lactose content in goat’s milk is lower than that in cow’s milk.
Having less lactose makes it easier for the milk to get digested for people who face indigestion, bloating and gas from cow’s milk.
Though the fat content of goat’s and cow’s milk is similar, the fat globules in goat’s milk are naturally smaller in size, which are easier to digest (2).
The protein composition of goat’s milk forms a softer curd during digestion, which helps in better digestion.
2. Rich in calcium content
One cup of goat’s milk provides 33 percent of your daily requirement for calcium (1) while cow’s milk has only 28 percent.
Calcium is essential for the development and maintenance of bones and teeth. It also supports healthy muscle function and blood clotting.
3. Nutrient uptake efficiency
The chemical composition of goat’s milk is similar to human milk. So our body can get more nutrients from goats milk than cow’s milk.
Though cow’s milk and goat’s milk are similar in their nutrient content, several studies have found that calcium, iron, phosphorus, and magnesium are better absorbed in goat’s milk.
This property makes goat’s milk a better solution for people with anemia and bone demineralization (3). Goat’s milk is also great for treating iron and magnesium deficiency.
When you consume goat’s milk regularly, it enhances your body’s ability to use iron. It also boosts the regeneration of hemoglobin, which helps treat osteoporosis and anemia.
It also provides zinc and selenium, which help prevent neurodegenerative diseases.
4. Less allergenic proteins
We need proteins for the growth, development, and repair of the body. However, many people are allergic to A1casein that is found in cow’s milk.
Cow’s milk contains 20 different allergens, which causes reactions like hives, runny noses, abdominal cramping and colic (4). This protein leads to inflammation in the body, which leads to gastrointestinal issues like irritable bowel syndrome, leaky gut, Crohn’s disease, and colitis.
In some cases, it can also cause acne and eczema. Goat’s milk, on the other hand, contains A2 casein, which produces none of these inflammatory effects. It is quite similar to human milk.
According to a study published in the Journal of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, when we use goat milk is as the first source of protein after a breastfeeding period, is less allergenic than cow’s milk (5).
5. Improves heart health
Goat’s milk is rich in heart-healthy medium chain fatty acids. In fact goats, milk has higher levels for medium-chain fatty acids (30 to 35 %) as compared to cow milk (15 to 20 %).
These fatty acids help lower the levels of bad cholesterol and increase the levels of good cholesterol. These essential fatty acids also help prevent atherosclerosis, stroke, heart attack and other complications.
Goat’s milk is also a rich source of potassium. Potassium helps to reduce blood pressure as it is a vasodilator that relaxes blood vessels and relieves tension on the cardiovascular system.
6. Helps improve skin
Goat’s milk contains moisturizing properties that help in keeping skin soft and healthy. The fatty acids and triglycerides improve the overall appearance of the skin.
Goats milk is also rich in vitamin A, which is excellent for the skin as it helps fight acne. The lactic acid in this milk can improve skin tone by removing the dead skin cells.
Since goat’s milk has similar pH level as humans, it is easily absorbed by the skin, and it also removes the bacteria and keeps the skin healthy.
7. Boosts immunity
Goat’s milk is much higher in selenium content as compared to cow milk. Selenium helps lower oxidative stress in the body, which helps reduce inflammation and enhances immunity.
Several studies have shown that an increase in the blood levels of selenium can improve the immune response (6).
8. Boosts metabolism
Goat’s milk provides many metabolism-boosting effects. This milk increases the uptake of calcium and iron in the body, which is helpful for people who are struggling with anemia and osteoporosis.
According to a 2000 study published in the Journal of Physiology and Biochemistry, goat’s milk has a beneficial effect on the metabolism of calcium and iron (7).
One cup of goat’s milk provides nearly 33 percent of our daily calcium requirements, 20 percent of vitamin B requirement and significant amounts of potassium and phosphorus.
9. Less chemical exposure
According to a report published in the Business Insider, cattle producers inject hormones in their cattle to fatten them up. While these hormones are FDA approved for meat, they aren’t recommended for dairy.
Thankfully, goats are not treated in the same manner. So, you stand a better chance of drinking chemical-free goat’s milk than cow milk.
10. Helps with fat loss
Goat’s milk contains linoleic acid, which improves blood sugar regulation; helps reduce body fat and maintain lean body mass. Also, the proteins in goat’s milk are easy for our body to use, so it also helps in muscle growth and repair after exercise.
11. Can ease anxiety
Goat’s milk can also help in reducing anxiety. According to a 2013 study, rats that were fed goat-based milk formula showed better development and behavioral modifications particularly involving anxiety levels (8).
Ways to use goat’s milk
Though goat’s milk is a much healthier option, it is still not readily available in the market. However, consumers do have some options to take in the benefits of goat’s milk.
Raw goat milk
Raw goat milk is available at farmer’s markets and health food stores. Drinking raw goat milk ensures that you get maximum nutrients from this health drink.
According to experts, drinking unpasteurized goat milk is not as much of a threat as drinking raw cow milk.
Pasteurized goat milk
If you are not comfortable with drinking raw goat milk, you can opt for the pasteurized version. Pasteurization is the process that helps to kill harmful bacteria in raw milk.
Goat cheese is packed with probiotics and is readily available at supermarkets. You can spread this soft cheese on a cracker or have it solo.
Goat milk yogurt
Fermented goat milk yogurt is very healthy and also provides the probiotic benefits. The probiotics in this yogurt help with digestion, lower the risk of diabetes, support fat loss and reduce high blood pressure.
Goat milk kefir is a cultured probiotic drink that is similar in taste to drinkable yogurt. Goat milk kefir tends to be a little thinner than cow milk kefir.
Though goat’s milk can be used in any recipe in place of cow’s milk, when it is heated it produces a stronger goaty flavor. This milk is an excellent addition to any dessert as it adds a sweet taste and creamy texture to the dish. It can also be added to smoothies.
Drawbacks of goat milk
- Since goat milk is not as commonly available in the US, it can be a bit expensive.
- You should also avoid using goat’s milk in recipes that need it to be heated as its flavor becomes stronger of heating.
- Goat milk has a distinctive smell and taste, and you could take some time getting used to it.
- Goat milk is usually only available in health food stores.
Goat milk is a healthier alternative to cow milk. It can solve many of the health issues like bloating, gas and indigestion that are caused by cow milk.
Goat milk is rich in proteins, healthy fats, calcium, phosphorus potassium, and vitamin A, B, and C. It also has lower lactose content than cow’s milk.
Goat’s milk provides many health benefits like improved digestion and heart health. It also helps boost metabolism and immunity.
Though it may be bit expensive when compared to cow’s milk, it is a healthier option for you.