By- Souvik Tewari & Rojina Swayamsiddha Sahu
Milk is regarded as a complete food. It is consumed for many health benefits. While thinking of milk, the first thing that comes into the mind is the cow milk – “common to all, accessible, affordable and of course of good health benefits.” But the milk that is going to be discussed in this article is also –“common to all, accessible, affordable and has good health benefits”, specially in India and many parts of Asia. Yes, it is buffalo milk.
Buffalo milk is extremely nutritional. It is richer in calcium and protein than cow’s milk, and has less cholesterol and sodium. Buffalo milk is great for healthy bones, dental health and cardiovascular health. It is also a good source of minerals, such as magnesium, potassium and phosphorus. Buffalo milk also has much higher Vitamin A content than cow’s milk (which is what gives it it’s milky white colour, as opposed to creamy yellow). Buffalo milk contains fat, protein, calcium, iron, phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, vitamin A and is heavier as compared to cow milk. As per the health condition of the individual, buffalo milk can be good for one and bad for another at the same time. So, considering the health condition as a factor, knowledge about the nutritive value of buffalo milk and consultation with an expert Nutritionist can help people out before its consumption.
Taking into account, both the cow milk and buffalo milk, it is found that buffalo has less cholesterol (total cholesterol 275 mg and free cholesterol 212mg per 100 g of fat) compared to cow milk (total cholesterol 330 mg and free cholesterol 280mg per 100 g of fat) and helps bringing down bad cholesterol (LDL). Thus, being a bonus point for those who are concerned or worried about heart health. Again it is found that, the net fat content is more as compared to that of cow milk. So, it can be suggested taking this in moderation. Further, buffalo milk has high content of potassium which keeps the blood pressure in check, indirectly affecting the heart health. Buffalo milk is loaded with vitamin A, C and B12 which reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes according to researches.
Tewari S.: PhD scholar in Food Science & Technology, WCDT, SHUATS, Allahabad.
Sahu R. S.: Guest Faculty in Home Science, Gov. Women’s College, Sambalpu, M.Sc in Food Science, Sambalpur University, Orrisa.)
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