Sheep’s Milk can be more specifically called Ewe’s Milk. Humans have been raising and milking sheep for generations in many places over the world. It is a common belief in certain civilizations that sheep milk is superior to buffalo, cow, and goat milk. It is also supposed to have a unique, delicious flavor that is part of the culture for some cuisines in specific regions.
The sheep’s milk is a rich source of healthy fats, proteins, carbohydrates, essential minerals, and important vitamins. It is considered to be very healthy for daily human consumption. Sheep milk is used in the production of milk cheeses, yogurts, beverages, and beauty products.
Trivia on Sheep Milk Production
The female sheep, also known as ewe, produces milk during the initial 11 – 15 weeks after birthing. The usual breeding period of sheep is in the fall season. Therefore, a majority of the birthing process occurs in the winter or early spring season. Thus, milk production decreases steadily after the lambs are weaned from their mothers; consequently, sheep milk cannot be produced around the year.
The meat and wool breeds of sheep only produce milk or lactate for 12 –22 weeks, while the sheep used for dairy production can lactate for upto 17-34 weeks in a year. Dairy sheep produce higher quantities of milk per ewe per year. Therefore, due to these reasons there is a continuous shortage of sheep milk supply, making the sheep milk as well as its products very expensive and rare.
Composition of Sheep’s Milk
Sheep’s Milk is said to be a rich source of proteins, of which approximately 20 % is whey proteins. A study says that the principal proteins present in sheep’s milk are ?-lactoglobulin and ?-lactalbumin. The immunoglobulins, serum albumin, and peptones are purported to be present in lesser quantities. Sheep milk is also said to have small amounts of lactoferrin, which has antibacterial properties.
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Sheep Milk contains a higher level of total protein and fat solids as well as major nutrients in comparison to goat and cow milk. Sheep milk also has higher casein content. This affects its renneting properties and coagulation time. The casein also functions as a chelator of ions. A higher concentration of this is associated with the higher mineral content of sheep milk.
The average fat globule size is the least in sheep milk, as compared to goat and cow milk. The volume of curd and cheese per litre of milk is the highest in sheep milk.
Nutritional Facts on Sheep Milk
The following are the nutritional facts for 100 grams of sheep’s milk :
|S. NO.||Nutritional Value||Quantity per 100 grams|
|2.1||Saturated Fat||5g (23%)|
|2.3||Omega 3 fatty acid||127 mg|
|2.4||Omega 6 fatty acid||181 mg|
|6||Protein||6 g (12%)|
Health Benefits of Sheep’s Milk
The following are a few commonly acknowledged facts on the health benefits accorded to sheep milk when compared with cow or goat’s milk:
- Sheep’s milk is easy to digest due to the presence of smaller size of fat globules.
- Sheep’s milk has approximately double the amount of protein and healthy fats when compared with cow’s milk.
- Sheep’s milk is rich in Vitamins A, B, and E, calcium, phosphorus, potassium, and magnesium.
- Sheep’s milk has a high proportion of healthy fatty acids. These promote heart health and are good for increasing the natural immunity of a person.
- Sheep’s milk is rich in zinc, which is very important to the health of the skin. Zinc is said to effectively contribute to fighting many skin conditions, like anorexia.
- The rich mineral content of sheep milk is said to promote a healthier sex life.
- Sheep milk also has more Conjugated Linoleic Acid (which is cancer-fighting fat) than a cow, goat, and human milk.
- Sheep’s milk is said to provide more energy than cow’s milk.
- Sheep’s milk is purported to contain more iron than cow’s or goat’s milk.
- Sheep’s milk is very rich in folic acid and B12, specifically in comparison to cow and goat milk.
- It is purported that sheep’s milk has a high proportion of the good fatty acids, which are more easily broken down in the body. These fatty acids help in the reduction of cholesterol levels in the body, leading to better health.
Comparison of Sheep and Cow Milk
Here are a few ways to effectively compare sheep and cow milk:
|S. No.||COW MILK||SHEEP MILK|
|1||Larger fat globules||Smaller fat globules|
|2||Difficult to digest||Easier to digest|
|3||Lower in fat||Rich in healthy fatty acids|
|4||Neutral in taste||Sweet in taste|
|5||Good source of calcium||Rich in calcium, protein, selenium, zinc, Vitamin B12, and folate.|
Sheep’s Milk Yoghurt
Sheep’s milk yoghurt can effectively restore the balance of good bacteria in the digestive tract. Most producers of sheep’s milk yoghurt claim that sheep milk yogurt is richer than cow’s milk. The high quantities of Vitamins A, Folic Acid, B12, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, copper, manganese, and potassium in the sheep’s milk are the primary reason for such a claim.
Sheep’s Milk Yogurt Health Benefits
- Due to the lower concentrations of lactose in sheep’s milk, sheep milk yoghurt is easy to digest.
- The high milk solids proportion of sheep’s milk help the yoghurt to be thick and rich in consistency without added gelatine, starch, or milk solids. Additionally, there no requirement to drain off any whey to increase the thickness of the yoghurt, making it a healthy milk product with all its goodness intact.
- The Conjugated Linoleic Acid in the sheep’s milk yoghurt helps to reduce body fat, preserve muscle tissue, and improve insulin absorption. It also helps in reducing the quantity of the circulating glucose. It transforms into a powerful anti-inflammatory agent that is known to help in fighting off cancer.
Sheep’s Milk Cheese
Cheese prepared from sheep milk is purported to be a great source of protein and calcium. These help in improving bone and body health. There are a few famous cheese made from sheep milk, they are:
- Feta of Greece
- Roquefort of France
- Manchego of Spain
- Pecorino Romano from Italy
- Ricotta of Italy
Benefits of Sheep Milk for Skin
Whitens and Brightens the Skin Tone
Sunlight exposure can be resultant in a dull look on the skin. Using sheep milk scrub regularly can brighten and whiten the skin back effectively.
Helps Dead Skin Cell Treatment
The dead skin cells can clog the pores resulting in skin inflammation and acne. The use of sheep milk’s scrub can help in getting rid of the dead skin cells and improve skin health.
Evens the Skin Tone
Sheep milk products help in body skin tome balance, even in the intimate regions of the body like the armpits.
Assists in Skin Regeneration Process
The sheep milk has several health benefits. The lactate acid content of the milk is helpful for the skin’s regeneration process. It helps to smooth the skin by helping it regenerate well and routinely.
Lightens the Marks on Skin
The skin can have marks on it due to wounds and injury. Regular use of sheep milk products on the skin can help in a visible reduction of these marks.
Improves Skin Elasticity and Softness
Sheep milk’s scrub contains allantoin, which makes the skin feel elastic and soft.
Skin nutrition is extremely important. In addition to consumption, the application of beauty products based on sheep milk help in the maintenance of skin health.
Frequently Asked Questions About Sheep Milk Benefits
1. Does Sheep Milk help in Muscle building exercises?
Ans. Yes. Sheep’s milk has a high quantity of whey proteins. This aids in muscle building by acting as a high protein nutritional diet element.
2. Does Sheep Milk consumption boost body immunity?
Ans. Yes. The combination of rich vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in sheep’s milk one improves the body immunity system.
3. Does sheep milk consumption have age dying effects?
Ans. Yes. The rich vitamin and mineral content of the sheep’s milk improves the skin and hair quality. The milk also helps to detoxify the body. Thereby, resulting in healthy and younger-looking skin.
4. Can a lactose intolerant person consume sheep milk?
Ans. Yes. Since sheep milk has lesser lactose content and more protein content in comparison to any other milk, a person having low lactose tolerance can consume sheep milk with greater ease.
5. What cautions should be exercised while consuming sheep’s milk?
Ans. The amount of sheep milk consumption should be restricted to one or two glasses per day. The sheep’s milk is healthy but is also rich in fat, which if consumed in excess may add to the body fat levels.
Sheep milk is a rare resource that is rich in many nutrients. This healthy milk is easy to digest and good for overall health. Although drinking fresh milk is the best way to absorb nutrition, the rich sheep milk yoghurt and cheese are an effective way to enjoy the benefits of sheep milk all-round the year.