This article originally appeared on Live in the Now.
Humans have actually been drinking camel milk for thousands of years, but only in recent decades have research and testing begun to clarify the health benefits of camel milk. And while the camel milk industry is still in its infancy in the United States, the product is slowly becoming more available and could become more affordable as interest grows.
Camel milk is rich in vitamins and minerals, with the milk from Bactrian camels having a higher fat content than Arabian camel milk. In addition, camel milk boasts lower levels of cholesterol, despite containing more fat, and also has more protein than cow or goat milk. It has about three times the vitamin C content and 10 times the iron content of cow’s milk. Camel milk also has higher levels of magnesium, manganese, zinc, potassium, copper and sodium, and more unsaturated fatty acids and B vitamins than cow’s milk.
Unfortunately, camel milk remains difficult to come by in the United States, but that may be changing. With only about 5,000 camels in the U.S., and various state laws regulating processing, pasteurization and distribution, camel milk has been primarily limited to use for medical purposes and among ethnic populations.
However, Whole Foods has recently added frozen camel milk to their shelves, though currently only in parts of California and Nevada, at $25.99 for a 16-ounce bottle. It is also available in frozen form online via Desert Farms for around $18/pint.
If early attempts to sell the product reveal public demand, the unique durability of camels paired with their ability to produce up to 30 liters of milk per day (depending on the type of camel), could help to propel the industry.
At any rate, the development of the camel milk industry in the U.S. will be interesting to follow, and if you should have the opportunity to give it a try, remember that you could be drinking the next superfood.