3 compelling reasons why goat milk is better for your child's digestive health
Goat milk has a range of incredible health benefits that you never knew about... until now!
If your little one is now one year or older, you might be thinking about adding cow milk to his diet. However, have you also considered goat milk?
For a start, goat milk is better for the environment because goats eat less and occupy less grazing space than cows, and its mild and creamy taste is sure to be enjoyed by your little one. But most importantly, goat milk offers your child several superior health benefits — especially related to digestion — in comparison to cow’s milk.
In this article, we tell you exactly what these benefits are.
1. There’s protein and there’s protein
Protein is essential for your child’s healthy growth and development. This is not surprising given that every cell in the human body is made of this major nutrient.
Milk is a great source of protein for your kids — it contains two types: caseins and whey. However, in some children, the alpha s1-casein that is found in abundance in cow’s milk may cause unpleasant digestion problems.
This is where goat milk becomes a better option, as it contains much less of this type of protein than cow milk. Additionally, it contains more of beta-casein protein than cow milk. These features contribute to the formation of a softer curd and gentler digestion process for your little one.
2. Easily digestible fats
We know that full-cream milk contains fat. But when you compare the properties of the fats found in cow milk and goat milk, you’ll see that the latter clearly provides more health benefits for your child.
Milk contains more saturated than unsaturated fatty acids. These fatty acids provide a valuable source of energy once metabolised after being absorbed by the intestine. Saturated fatty acids are further classified as short chain, medium chain and long-chain fatty acids.
Goat milk fat contains twice as much medium chain saturated fatty acids as cow milk and medium chain fatty acids are digested more readily than long chain saturated fatty acids. What this means is that goat milk is much gentler on your little one’s delicate tummy than cow milk, reducing the chances of digestive issues.
3. Superior digestibility
As a mum, you look for foods that are gentle on your little one’s stomach and are easy to digest. In this regard, goat milk is a great option as the proteins it contains are digested more completely than cow milk proteins.
For example, trypsin, an enzyme present in the stomach, breaks down 96% of goat casein, compared with only 76-90% of cow casein. Similarly, nearly three times more beta-lactoglobulin in goat milk is digested by human digestive juices compared to cow milk.
One reason for this is the differences in the way caseins coagulate in the stomach to form a sponge-like curd.
Goat milk forms a looser curd structure than standard cow milk. When in your baby’s stomach, this softer type of curd allows digestive enzymes easier access to the milk proteins. This assists with digestion, resulting in a happy little tummy and therefore, a very happy baby!
Besides how gentle goat milk is on your little one’s digestive system, it also comes with a host of other health benefits.
Find out what these are on the next page.
More health benefits of goat milk
- Natural homogenization: Goat milk comes naturally homogenized, because the fat globules it contains are just 1/5th the size of those in cow milk. The smaller size of these fat globules “provide a better dispersion, and a more homogeneous mixture of fat in the milk,” according to experts. Cow milk, on the other hand, is sometimes artificially homogenized, which may lead to health problems.
- Natural vitamin boost: Goat milk is a rich source of vitamin A, and has up to 47% more than cow’s milk. Goat milk also has a higher content of Vitamin B2 than cow milk, which may help to boost your child’s immune system as it stimulates antibodies.
- Calcium-rich: You may worry that you need to give your child cow milk for calcium. But goat milk, according to experts, also offers high levels of calcium as well as the amino acid tryptophan, which your body uses to make the new proteins it needs.
- Prebiotics for added protection: Goat milk has more oligosaccharides than cow milk. Experts say that these “have been widely recognized for their prebiotic and anti-infective properties”, and can help maintain the good health of your little one’s digestive system as well as help protect him from infections.
Parents, now that you know about the benefits of goat milk for your child, why not give it a go? And if you are making the switch from cow milk to goat milk for your child, don’t forget to tell us if you notice a difference by leaving a comment below.