Camel milk looks set to be the latest foodie trend. Already a traditional staple in North African diets, camel milk boasts double the amount of iron and vitamin C as traditional cows’ milk, and has become known for its numerous health benefits. Little wonder then that it’s slowly gaining in popularity across the world with the market expected to grow by nearly 10%. Keen to try? We reveal seven reasons why you should give it a go…
1. It Has Numerous Health Benefits
“Camel milk is traditionally considered to have medicinal characteristics with potential health benefits,” explains Berta Corbera, Probio7 Nutritionist. “It’s actually the closest to human breast milk and has incredibly high levels of nutrients and bioactive components. The milk itself contains both low amounts of cholesterol and of lactose – the milk sugar – along with a superior healthy fat content.” Nutrient-wise, you can expect high levels of potassium, magnesium, copper, sodium, zinc and B vitamins, plus a protein content far greater than other sources on the market. If all that wasn’t enough, it’s also reported to improve specific friendly gut bacteria, which makes it an ideal option for those with digestive issues.
2. Research Shows It Positively Impacts Those With Autism
This is one that still needs more research, but certain medical research has suggested that camel milk has created a positive impact on children with autism to help them improve behavioural techniques including eye contact, communication, emotional expression and self-organisation. It sounds like quite a stretch, but it’s worth trying if reports are to be believed.
3. Lactose Intolerance Sufferers Can Drink It
“Everyone can have camel milk – even newborns,” says Berta. “It’s been shown to be suitable for lactose intolerant people, too. The main reason it’s a better choice for them is because it doesn’t contain beta-lactoglobin, which is the protein found in cow’s milk that causes allergic reactions. In fact, a recent report showed that for individuals allergic to cow’s milk, the least allergenic alternatives in descending order are human, camel, sheep and goats’ milk.”
4. You Can Find It In A Range Of Products, Not Just Milk
Diversifying the range and flavours, you’ll find that camel milk is in fresh milk, flavoured milk, certain cheeses, ice-cream, yoghurt and milk powder, so the options are abundant. “If you’re unsure, take camel milk with your porridge, coffee, or in your cereal. And if you have fussy kids, try adding some chocolate or strawberry syrup, sprinkle it with all-natural stevia, or make a smoothie with your favourite fruit,” recommends Berta.
5. It’s More Sustainable Than Other Milk Options
As well as being more nutrient-dense than other options on the market, camel milk is also said to be more sustainable. “Both plant-based and dairy milk industries have a major environmental impact around the world. Some of the disadvantages of taking these milks are potential plant genetic modifications, poor land use, vast water consumption and even a devasting impact on the Amazon rainforest,” says Berta. “Camel milk seems a better option because camels are not true ruminant animals like cows, so they produce significantly less methane compared to ruminant livestock.”
6. The Taste Is No Different & Far From Bitter
Most testers say it tastes exactly like milk, just a little more distinct. Expect it to be slightly salty, but also smooth, refreshing and fulfilling – never sour or bitter.
7. Camel’s Milk Has Anti-Viral Properties
In addition to its many health benefits, the components of camel milk are believed by many researchers to have anti-bacterial properties. “Some scientists believe that camel milk acts as an anti-inflammatory, calming inflammation caused by immune system dysfunction,” confirms Berta.