Goat’s milk is a power-packed, nutrient-rich animal milk that, while consumed by over 65% of the world’s population, is constantly overlooked by most of us here in Australia. While cow’s milk is promoted by health and government sources in Australia this doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the healthiest choice for our family.
10 little-known benefits of goat’s milk
1. Higher in calcium than cow’s milk
According to many health experts, cow’s milk should be a non-negotiable part of our daily diet due to its calcium content. Goat’s milk, however, is higher in calcium than cow’s milk and better still the nutrients, including calcium, are more easily absorbed. Goat’s milk is therefore a superior provider of calcium for healthy bones.
2. Close in form to human breast milk so it’s easily digested
Goat’s milk provides us with a source of dairy that’s very close in composition to that of human breast milk. The small protein and fat molecules in goat’s milk are easily broken down and are therefore readily available for building, healing and growth.
3. Less likely to cause skin and gut reactions than cow’s milk
The small, easily digested proteins in goat’s milk are less reactive than the large cow’s milk proteins, so are less likely to cause problems. Research suggests that goat’s milk can actually reduce gut and skin inflammation. Reducing the presence of large allergenic cow’s milk protein molecules and maintaining gut and skin integrity reduces the likelihood of skin rashes, constipation, diarrhoea, gassiness, reflux, colic and other digestive issues.
4. Promotes healthy gut bacteria
Goat’s milk contains a high amount of oligosaccharides that feed good gut bacteria. Goat milk oligosaccharides are similar in make-up to those in breast milk making them perfect for promoting healthy human gut flora, and in turn promoting healthy digestion, immune function, weight loss/obesity-prevention, insulin sensitivity, diabetes-prevention and more.
5. Less allergenic than cow’s milk
The large, complex proteins of cow’s milk are not easily broken down and can therefore, readily stimulate an immune response. Large, circulating cow’s milk proteins can lead to intolerance and excess mucus production, plus digestive, immune and skin issues. The 65% of the world’s population who consume goat’s milk have been found to have a significantly lower incidence of allergies and digestive complaints compared to groups who consume cow’s milk.
6. Good for brain health and concentration
There is a great deal of research affirming the benefits of medium-chain fatty acids (MCT’s) for brain growth, health and function. Goat’s milk contains high levels of MCT’s (yes, more than cow’s milk) – these valuable fatty acids not only benefit the brain, but also provide an energy boost, help lower cholesterol, and promote heart and digestive health. MCT’s are also immune boosters and help inhibit yeast infections such as candida.
7. Calming for the mind and body
Goat’s milk is high in the amino acid L-glutamine, which is a vital component of our most abundant “calming” neurotransmitter, GABA. GABA enhances mood balance and helps us relax, concentrate and sleep. Glutamine also alkalinizes the body, boosts immunity, and is key in repairing damage to the gut lining.
8. Promotes healthy skin
Goat’s milk has high levels of vitamin A, which can improve overall skin health. The vitamin A is also beneficial for healing any damage to the gut lining – a healthier gut means healthier brighter, clearer skin.
9. Doesn’t promote mucus production
I often see children in my clinic with a nose that constantly runs without the presence of a virus. This over-production of mucus is a classic sign of food intolerance and inflammation. I regularly find that removing cow’s milk with its the large inflammatory proteins will allow healing of the nasal passages and a cessation of mucus flow.
The smaller protein molecules in goat’s milk are less likely to promote an immune response or excess mucus which can have a huge impact on conditions such as asthma and can also influence colds, congestion, throat clearing and that constantly running nose.
10. Greater absorption of nutrients compared to cow’s milk
Goat’s milk has a slightly increased nutrient content compared to cow’s milk, however more importantly, early studies have found that nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, phosphorous and vitamins A, B3 and B6 are more easily digested, taken up and used by the body when they are derived from goat’s milk rather than cow’s milk. Higher nutrient intake leads to better overall health and well-being for your family.
About the author: Karena Tonkin
Karena is a clinical nutritionist, presenter, educator and health coach working in private practice and within the corporate sector. Karena's private Nutritional and Environmental Medicine practice in Brighton is dedicated to the integrative and holistic care and treatment of children and adults with chronic physical, mental and behavioural conditions.
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Goat milk naturally supports gentle digestion & may be a good alternative for babies with sensitive tummies. Goat milk is also naturally rich in probiotics and nucleotides.