Humans have been milking them for centuries and centuries sheep and enjoy the unique benefits of their milk. A habit that has been concentrated, for millennia, especially in the Mediterranean countries, which remain the largest producers of sheep's milk in the world. But why?
In short, the sheep's milk it is extremely rich in nutrients than other commercially available milk types. In many cases, it is more easily digested for people suffering from lactose intolerance and, evidence suggests that it can also help people struggling with eczema and other allergies.
Nutritional values of sheep's milk
Many people feel there is no better way to demonstrate the superiority of sheep's milk if not comparing it with cow's milk and goat's milk - especially as regards the possibility of appreciating the levels of nutrients essential for our health, such as proteins, calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamins B6, B12 and D, amino acids, linoleic and essential acids.
Sheep's milk contains about one third of power more than cow or goat milk (making it a favorite with athletes looking for high performance). It has twice the protein and much more of the right types of fats, vitamins and minerals, particularly calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, and zinc, while lower in sodium. It has more than double the vitamin C and double or triple the other essential vitamins. It is important to note that it also has more folic acid than cow or goat milk.
Two cups of sheep's milk, or 93g of goat cheese, provide the daily human need for calcium, riboflavin and 5 of the 10 essential amino acids. One liter of sheep's milk would provide the human daily requirement of protein, eight of the essential vitamins, calcium, phosphorus and several other essential minerals.
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As anticipated, sheep's milk contains about double the cow's milk fat, but this also means twice as many "healthy" fats (monounsaturated and polyunsaturated, including Omega 3 and 6). The same goes for goat milk. The body needs healthy fats for many bodily functions, such as the absorption of vitamins. Monounsaturated fats lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) while increasing HDL cholesterol (the good cholesterol). Polyunsaturated fats also lower total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol. Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids belong to this group.
Sheep's milk is also rich in medium chain fatty acids or triglycerides (MCT) - about 25% of the fat content. MCTs can benefit weight control by promoting "fullness", reducing fat deposits, increasing energy expenditure and being more easily metabolized (turned into energy in the body).
As the fat globules in sheep's milk are smaller than those in cow's or goat's milk, this milk is more easily digestible and is less likely to cause a high cholesterol condition.
Although the high content of saturated fat from sheep's milk may suggest that we should eat less to reduce the risk of heart disease, the high percentage of "healthy" fats may very well reduce or eliminate this risk. There isn't enough research at the moment to know either way. It is clear that crops with diets rich in sheep's milk, such as the famous and healthy "Mediterranean diet," enjoy lower rates of heart disease, which suggests that sheep's milk is not a risk factor.
People who develop intolerances to cow or goat milk they may find that sheep's milk products are the only dairy products they can eat safely.
In fact, during the production of hard cheeses, lactose is released in whey discarded. There is also evidence that the lactose and casein (the protein associated with cheese) in sheep's milk may be more acceptable to people than other types of milk.
Sheep's milk is also recommended for those suffering from eczema, asthma or others allergic diseases. There is still little scientific evidence as to why this is effective for some - its high zinc content can help eczema sufferers, and its high levels of unique peptides and nucleosides can help fight allergies.
The evidence for the sheep's milk and it yogurt as a base for easily digestible products for infants and the elderly, it is gaining some appreciation around the world.
One reason is that studies have found that sheep proteins are hydrolyzed (decomposed by reacting with water) faster than bovine proteins, due to the small differences in their structure. There have been no clinical studies to support this so far (which we are currently aware of), but the potential of whey protein is significant.
Lower blood pressure
Some research suggests that the exceptionally high concentrations of some amino acids in milk of sheep they should make it a natural substitute for blood pressure lowering drugs.
Goat milk has already been shown to have three peptides for lowering blood pressure; sheep's milk is even higher in these, but so far, no clinical studies (of which we are currently aware of) have been done to prove it.
Increase the absorption of calcium
Calcium absorption is essential for many body functions, including maintaining bone density and preventing osteoporosis with aging. There is evidence that a compound found in high levels in sheep's milk, CPP, aids in the absorption of calcium, but this is not proven.