Camel milk has been an important source of nutrition for nomadic cultures in harsh desert environments for as long as we can remember.
Like horses, camels originated in North America and eventually spread across Beringia to Asia.
Although you may think camels are exclusively used for transportation, people in Middle Eastern, Asian, and African cultures have drunk camel milk for centuries.
It’s now commercially produced, and about 5.3 million tons of camel milk are sold in many countries in fresh, frozen and powdered versions.
What Does Camel Milk Taste Like?
Camel milk tastes similar to cow’s milk. It does have a distinctive, slightly salty, fresh taste.
It differs a little from farmer to farmer depending on the local diet and the stage of lactation. As always Grass fed is best and it’s important that the milk is pasteurized.
Camel Milk is a good base for dairy smoothies and milk shakes for the kids.
Camel Milk Nutritional Information
Camel milk is high in antioxidants, which help prevent damage to your cells that can lead to serious diseases such as cancer, diabetes, and heart disease.
Camel milk is rich in many nutrients that are important for overall health.
When it comes to calorie, protein, and carb content, camel milk is comparable to whole cow’s milk. However, it’s lower in saturated fat and offers more vitamin C, B vitamins, calcium, iron, and potassium.
It’s also a good source of healthy fats, such as long-chain fatty acids, linoleic acid, and unsaturated fatty acids, which may support brain and heart health.
One-half cup/120 ml/4 oz of camel milk contains the following nutrients:
- Calories: 50
- Protein: 3 grams
- Fat: 3 grams
- Carbs: 5 grams
- Thiamine: 29% of the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA)
- Riboflavin: 8% of the RDA
- Calcium: 16% of the RDA
- Potassium: 6% of the RDA
- Phosphorus: 6% of the RDA
- Vitamin C: 5% of the RDA
Camel milk is the closest natural substance to a human mother’s milk. Just like breast milk protects newborn babies from various health issues, camel milk can provide a number of health benefits, including:
Reduced risk of Allergic reaction
Camel milk contains a different protein than other dairy products. One that doesn’t trigger an immune response in humans. Camel milk can help with other food allergies in children as well.
May be a Better Option for People with Lactose Intolerance
Camel milk contains less lactose than cow’s milk, making it more tolerable for people with lactose intolerance.
Can Be Used as a Cure for Diarrhea
Camel milk has been used to treat diarrhea caused by rotavirus for hundreds of years. Research suggests that the milk contains antibodies that help treat this diarrheal disease, which is especially common in children.
Can help protect against diabetes
Researchers studied a community in India that has zero cases of diabetes and concluded that it was likely due to their regular consumption of camel milk.
Camel milk protects against diabetes and improves its symptoms by:
- Controlling blood sugar levels
- Reducing fasting blood sugar
- Decreasing insulin resistance
- Lowering cholesterol
How Much Does Camel Milk Cost?
Camel milk is very expensive. It can cost between $16 and $18 a pint (16 US oz). This is because camels produce a lot less milk than a cow does, and in the United States there is just one Camel for every 18,000 cows. (Camel Pregnancies are also very long at around 13–14 months).
In the United States most family dairies have between two to 20 camels, with each milking camel producing around just five liters per day.
Should I buy Fresh, Frozen or Powdered Camel Milk?
Fresh, frozen and powdered Camel Milk cost about the same at around $35 a litre and contain the same nutrients. Powdered milk is easier to store and ship.
Pasteurized fresh camel milk can last up to 2 weeks in the fridge. You can freeze the milk at any time within those 2 weeks.
Once frozen, the milk can stay in the freezer for up to 6 months.
Once thawed or defrosted it is best to consume it within 3 – 5 days.
The Bottom Line
There’s no getting away from the fact that Camel Milk is a very expensive alternative to most other milk products and substitutes.
As more and more people include Camel milk in their diet prices will fall but will never compete with the amazing value that cow’s milk offers.
On the plus side it is a totally natural, environmentally sustainable product that may have substantial health benefits, especially for those of us who can’t consume cow’s milk.
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