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Sheep milk is a delicious alternative to cow milk, and also provides a number of health benefits, including an ability to lower cholesterol levels, strengthen the bones, boost the immune system, stimulate growth and development, prevent birth defects, reduce inflammation, fight cancer and lower blood pressure.
When it comes to non-human milk, there are only a few animals on which the human population relies, such as cows, goats, buffalo, and sheep. Sheep milk has been used for thousands of years as a form of sustenance around the world, and while it is not nearly as common as cow milk, there is a reason for its perennial popularity. Sheep milk is actually superior to buffalo, cow, and goat milk in a few important categories, and also has a unique, delicious flavor that has become a cultural staple for cuisine in certain regions. Sheep milk comes from the mammary gland of the ewe (female sheep) and is intended to nurse their young, but humans have also been raising and milking sheep for generations.
Sheep milk is used in the production of numerous famous cheeses, including feta and Roquefort, in addition to making various yogurts and even being drunk as a standard beverage, although this is less common. When you consume milk from sheep or its derivative products, you are getting an impressive boost in protein, carbohydrates, beneficial fats, essential minerals and important vitamins. Due to the limited time of the year that most sheep produce milk, constant cultivation is more difficult, which is why sheep milk and related products are typically more expensive and harder to find. That being said, let’s take a look at some of the most important health benefits of sheep milk.
Health Benefits Of Sheep Milk
Immune System Boost
With the rich combination of minerals and nutrients found in sheep milk, including vitamins A and vitamin E, your immune system can get a solid healthy boost. Vitamins A and E both act as antioxidants within the body, seeking out free radicals and eliminating them from the system, thus preventing the onset of chronic disease and oxidative stress. This type of milk is also very good for improving the health and appearance of the skin, mainly through the activity of vitamin E.
Growth and Development
When it comes to protein content, non-human milks are excellent sources, but sheep milk is considered the best. With 5.4 grams of protein per 100 grams of milk, sheep milk is better than cow milk (3.2 grams), goat milk (3.1 grams) and buffalo milk (4.5 grams). This makes sheep milk extremely important for growth and development, as complete proteins are essential for the production of tissues, cells and bone matter in the body. Furthermore, protein is a great form of usable, easily accessible energy that keeps you active and operating normally.
The nucleosides and nucleotides found in high quantities in sheep milk (at least 50x higher than those levels found in cow milk) have been linked to lower risks of cancer, better cell growth and oxidative stress throughout the body. This can prevent the oxidative stress of free radicals from causing healthy cells to mutate, which is one of the ways that cancer can begin to spread.
Sheep milk contains a number of different B vitamins, including high levels of folate, which is extremely important for female reproductive health, as well as our overall metabolism. Folate deficiency is closely associated with neural tube defects, which can permanently impact the quality of life for your infant. Therefore, milk from a sheep can be a great way to balance your hormonal levels and ensure a healthy delivery!
Blood Pressure Issues
The concentration of key amino acids in sheep milk is higher than the levels found in cow, goat and buffalo milk, and these amino acids act in a similar way to certain blood pressure-mediating drugs. For people who prefer a natural approach to their health, this type of milk can be a good option for protecting heart health by reducing the strain on blood vessels and arteries.
Bone Mineral Density
As with all varieties of milk, sheep milk contains an impressive array of essential minerals, including zinc, magnesium and calcium. These are all important components for boosting bone mineral density in the body, which tends to decrease as we age. To prevent the onset of osteoporosis and ensure an active healthy lifestyle well into your old age, milk from sheep or its products can be an effective and delicious option. Sheep milk contains roughly twice as much calcium as cow and goat milk, protecting your bones and teeth!
It’s true that sheep milk contains nearly twice as much fat as cow milk, but it must be remembered that not all fats are bad. In fact, monounsaturated fats, like those found in sheep milk, can actually help to lower total cholesterol in the body. This can help to prevent the onset of certain cardiovascular conditions, such as atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes, as well as coronary heart disease. Medium-chain triglycerides also make up about 25% of the fat content in sheep milk, and these have been connected to reducing fat deposits in the body and improving the conversion of protein into energy.
Final Word of Warning: As mentioned above, sheep milk is quite high in fat, so if you are currently suffering from obesity or other weight-related conditions, using sheep milk as a source of your nutrients may not be the wisest choice. The higher level of calories in this alternative to cow milk can also make weight loss more difficult if you aren’t conscious of your intake.