The World Health Organization recommends exclusive breastfeeding for the first 6 months. Thereafter, infants should receive complementary foods with continued breastfeeding up to 2 years of age or beyond.1
When breastfeeding is not possible, the next best alternative is formula milk. But with the dizzying array of milk choices in the market, you’ll want the best possible option for your child.
Goat milk is recommended over most dairy-based infant formula, especially for babies with digestive problems or an intolerance to lactose. Read on to discover the benefits of goat milk and why it is the preferred choice amongst parents.
#1: Naturally Rich in Bioactives (Nucleotides & Taurine)
Among the many valuable properties of goat milk is the natural richness of nucleotides – essential nutrients that are associated with impressive benefits for immune function, gastrointestinal development and metabolism. Formulas using whole goat milk have 40-50% higher naturally occurring levels of nucleotides than cow milk based formula.
In addition, goat milk has an abundance of free amino acids which are important for the development of strong bones and iron absorption. A particular amino acid, Taurine, is especially rich in goat milk, amounting to 20 times more than that of cow milk.
This conditionally essential amino acid has an important role in supporting brain development and muscular functions in newborns, and since babies do not produce it naturally, it has to be obtained from breast milk or formula.
#2: Goodbye Tummy Troubles
With a growing number of infants having issues with formula tolerance, goat milk may be a safe and natural alternative. Goat milk contain less lactose than cow milk, thus lactose intolerant tummies are able to digest goat milk far better than cow milk due to higher levels of beneficial fatty acids present (almost double that in cow milk).2
Intolerance to lactose is most often caused by the presence of allergenic casein protein, alpha-S1, found in cow milk. Since goat milk only contains trace amounts of alpha-S1, it reduces the risk of triggering inflammation or tummy troubles associated with the consumption of cow milk.
#3: Goat Milk is More Easily Absorbed & Digested
The fat content in goat and cow milk is actually similar, but did you know that the fat globules in goat milk are much smaller than those found in cow milk? 3
Goat milk is easier to digest as these bubble-like fat globules are much smaller than cow milk due to a higher proportion of short and medium-chain fatty acids. These shorter chains form a loose and softer curd that is easily digested with little irritation. Cow milk, on the other hand, is made up of longer-chain fatty acid which takes a much longer time to digest.
The body also uses fatty acids as an energy source, but only short and medium chain fatty acids are used. Some studies show that goat milk has up to 40% higher content of medium-chain fatty acids than cow milk.4
#4: More Nutrition In A Single Cup of Goat Milk
Goat milk is more nutrient-dense than cow milk, meaning you don’t have to consume as much to receive the same amount of nutrients.
A single glass of goat milk contains5:
- 40% of daily calcium requirement
- 20% of vitamin B
- Rich in potassium & phosphorus (for a healthy heart)
- Anti-inflammatory property (enzymatic makeup soothes inflammation in gut)
- Twice the amount of beneficial fatty acids
- Rich in selenium (rare mineral essential for strong immune system functionality)
- Source of protein (building blocks for growth & development in kids)
#5: Goat Milk Increases Iron Absorption
Iron is a key nutrient for newborns for the production of haemoglobin to boost long-term cognitive development. Hence, iron deficiency is not something to be taken lightly. Iron in goat milk is very bioavailable – meaning it can be absorbed and utilised by the body. Studies have shown that the bioavailability of iron in goat milk is far superior to that of cow milk.
A research study in the Journal of Dairy Science also found that not only does goat milk increase the body’s ability to absorb and use both calcium and iron, but it also does this better and faster than cow milk.6 The higher contents of vitamin A and C in goat milk also aids the absorption of iron. So give your little ones a head start on a goat milk diet for increased uptake of iron & copper in their digestive track.
Goat Milk: The Preferred Infant Formula for Your Little Ones
In the early stages of childhood, goat milk is a preferred choice for optimal growth and development, as it naturally retains the unique proteins and richness of bio-actives as compared to cow’s milk.
Its hypoallergenic properties and unique fat structure also make it naturally digestible, giving rise to many benefits in the body while making it a great source of nutrition for children of all ages.