Domesticated some 4,000 years ago, the camel has been an integral part of survival for peoples inhabiting arid lands. Providing transportation, wool, meat, and deeply nourishing milk, the dromedary - or one-humped camel - is particularly well-adapted for thriving in places with scant natural resources.
The scarcity of food and water in the camel's native habitat offers an explanation as to why the milk of the camel is so nutrient-dense and therapeutic. Closer in composition to human milk, camel milk is easier to digest than other milks and helps curb hunger. Available raw or pasteurized, some say camel milk tastes just like cow's milk, though others detect a slightly sweet or salty finish.
Only recently has camel milk become available for purchase in the United States. Providing milk when they give birth, camels have a gestation period of 15 months, and produce a little over a gallon of milk every day (compared with a cow's ability to produce 5 to 10 gallons each day). These factors, combined with high demand, can make camel milk quite an expensive purchase. But as you will see, the health-giving properties of camel milk are abundant, and each precious drop is well worth the price.
1. It's Nutritious
Animal milks are an important source of energy, protein, calcium, riboflavin, vitamin B12, pantothenic acid, and many other essential nutrients.
Although cow's milk is ubiquitous in the Western world, the milk from camels has been enjoyed for centuries by Middle Eastern, North African, and Asian cultures. Adapted to ensure the survival of baby camels in harsh desert environments, camel milk is higher in calcium, thiamine, niacin, iron, potassium, copper, and manganese than cow milk, while containing three times the vitamin C. It is also lower in calories, saturated fat, and sugars than the bovine variety.
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