What Is Camel Milk and Should You Drink It?

Long considered a staple in some cultures, some in the United States are discovering the benefits of camel milk.

So many of us look for alternatives to dairy these days—whether it’s oat milk, cashew milk, soy milk, rice milk, coconut milk or hemp milk, But not all alternatives to cow’s milk are plant-based. A growing number of people have discovered a source of milk that may feel strange to Americans: camels. That’s right, camel milk is trending.

Though it’s been a dietary staple in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia for centuries, camel milk has become more widely available in the U.S. In fact, the TikTok hashtag #camelmilk has been viewed more than 22 million times. “I do think this is better than cow’s milk,” says food influencer @moeatz in a popular video. “I would drink this all the time if I could.”

What Are the Health Benefits of Camel Milk?

Camel milk is rich in nutrients such as vitamin C, potassium, calcium and iron as well as a solid source of protein. Lower in cholesterol than cow’s milk, it may also be a better option for people who are lactose intolerant.

There is some evidence that it lowers blood sugar and improves insulin sensitivity. According to WebMD, researchers studied a community in India that has zero cases of diabetes. They concluded that it was likely due to their regular consumption of camel milk. Further, camel milk is the closest natural substance to a human mother’s milk.

Can You Find Camel Milk in the United States?

You can find it, though one drawback is its high cost. Companies such as Desert Farms in California sell milk from domestic camels. Desert Farms’ camel milk sells for $20 for 16 ounces. Another company, Camel Culture, sources its milk from 200 camels on its 1,000-acre farm in Missouri. Camel Culture sells its milk at $49.50 for three 16-ounce bottles, though it has discounts if you get a weekly delivery.

So at the moment, milk from camels may still be a premium, specialty product. But if the health benefits are to be believed, it could be an excellent, under-the-radar source of dairy that’s worth the price.

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