More than Milk: The New Generation of Dairy Superfoods 

By Eamonn McKay

 

Organic, Fermented, and Grass-Fed are some of the hottest dairy trends of 2017. Answering the call for high-quality, milk-based nutrition, a new generation of functional dairy superfoods have arrived, some rediscovered from times past, others invigorated by modern science, and all packed full of nutritional goodness and offering consumers unique options to diversify their health and wellness regimens.

 

BUTTER GHEE

 

The era of “low-fat” has come and gone, and natural health consumers are increasingly seeking out high-quality nutritional oils to supercharge their diets.

Butter Ghee occupies a unique space in this category. Unlike most unrefined cooking oils, the ancient Ayurvedic butter oil is both incredibly resistant to rancidity, and packs a very high smoke point (450 degrees), making it well-suited to an endless list of high-heat applications, from baking to buttered coffee.

On the nutritional side of things, ghee is one of the best sources of gut-loving butyric acid, as well as the naturally-occurring, healthy trans-fats. You heard right, healthy trans-fats! In contrast to the noxious industrially-produced trans-fats found in hydrogenated oils and margarines, naturally-occurring rumenic and vaccenic trans-fats found in ghee have demonstrated promising cognitive (Jenkins, 2016), cardio-protective (Benjamin, 2009) and cancer-protective (Benjamin, 2009) benefits.

Driven by low-carb and ketogenic lifestyles movements, butter ghee is trending upwards with no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

 

COLOSTRUM

 

Colostrum, the “first-milk” newborn calfs receive after birth, is a serum rich in immune-fortifying proteins and growth factors. When dehydrated, colostrum is transformed into a dairy superfood boasting  benefits for digestive, skin, and oral health.

Colostrum is chalked full of immunoglobulins, proteins which confer serious gut-protection against bacterial infection and travellers diarrhea (Wlodzimierz, 2011), can help heal a damaged gut lining (Hagiwara, 1995), and decrease intestinal permeability (“leakiness”) caused by NSAID use (Playford, 2001). With a roster of benefits running this deep, colostrum is poised to emerge as a novel ingredient in the fight against inflammatory digestive and gut conditions.

Colostrum is also rich in lactoferrin, an immune-bolstering, anti-viral super-protein that could factor into the next generation of natural acne remedies. A handful of studies have already demonstrated lactoferrin’s protective effects against acne and other skin diseases (Hassoun, 2017).

And rounding out colostrum’s unique nutritional resume are lysozyme and lactoperoxidase, enzymes that fortify our saliva against gum disease-causing bacteria and dry mouth (Tenovuo, 2002). Look to colostrum lozenges to help consumers harness these oral benefits.

 

FERMENTED DAIRY PROTEINS

 

What happens when one of the hottest health trends collides with the world of milk proteins? You get fermented [dairy] protein powders like Greek Yogurt Protein and Fermented Goat Protein, offering natural health consumers whole-food, digestion-friendly alternatives to whey.

Greek Yogurt Protein is pre-digested by the same bacterial cultures used in yogurt manufacturing, packed with calcium and vitamin D, and offers a complete spectrum of amino acids.

Fermented Goat Protein is a naturally grass-fed product thanks to year-round pasturing of the goats who produce it. It’s also lacto-fermented with probiotic cultures and naturally low in A1 casein, qualifying it as a less-allergenic alternative to cow-based protein supplements.