Cow milk vs buffalo milk both are very high in nutrition. When both are available, the choice of milk should be made based on your personal needs, health status and digestion power.
Cow milk vs buffalo milk
Similarities of Cow milk vs buffalo milk
- Taste – Both cow milk and buffalo milk are sweet in taste, and have cooling effect.
- Both are high in nutrition and improve strength (1).
- Both the milks calm Pitta and help to relieve burning sensation.
Differences between Cow milk vs buffalo milk
- Buffalo milk is slightly heavier to digest when compared to Cow milk.
- The capacity to induce natural sleep is more in buffalo milk than cow milk.
- Cow milk is more used in Ayurveda than buffalo milk.
- Fat content: Fat present in both the milk makes the consistency of milk differ. Cow’s milk has low % of fat in it hence it is of thin consistence. Buffalo’s milk is high in fat % and is thicker than cow’s milk and hence called heavy. As we know that a fatty food takes time for digestion and absorption and it stays in the stomach for a longer time giving us a feeling of heavy stomach or stomach fullness similarly buffalo milk has high fat and hence it takes time for digestion.
- Cow’s milk is recommended over buffalo’s milk especially for infants and elders.
- Buffalo milk contains cholesterol. So for many people who are suffering from diabetes, dyslipidemia (2), hypertension, kidney diseases, PCOD, obesity etc are advised to have cow’s milk.
- Due to high peroxidase activity, buffalo milk can be preserved naturally for a longer period. Buffalo milk contains more calcium, better calcium: phosphorous ratio and less sodium and potassium than in cow milk which makes it a better nutritional supplement for infants.
- Protein content: Proteins present in buffalo milk is higher than that of cow’s milk by approximately 11%. Buffalo milk protein is more heat resistant. Same like fats even proteins are difficult to digest for infants and older population.
- Calorie Content: 100ml of cow’s milk contains 70K cals whereas 100ml of buffalo’s milk contains 100K cals. It is obvious that buffalo milk has more fat and proteins so it will have more calories. So people who are on calorie restricted diet are again here advised to have cow’s milk to cut down the calorie consumption in the diet.
- Water content: Cow’s milk contains less milk solids as compared to buffalo’s milk. Because of high non solid % cow’s milk is sometimes denoted as watery milk. It helps in hydrating the body. Approximately 90% of milk is water.
Properties of Cow’s milk
- Cow’s milk is sweet, oily, heavy, cool and nourishing.
- It calms Vata and Pitta dosa.
- The milk from a young cow is sweet, rejuvenating, nourishing and pacifies all three dosas.
- Similarly, milk from a black cow calms Vata dosa and is better in quality than milk from a yellow or white cow.
Advantages and benefits of Cow’s milk
- Cow’s milk boosts the strength and intellect.
- It improves lactation in nursing women and strengthen the life-force.
- It is beneficial in cough, chest injuries, chronic fever, internal bleeding and other ailments (3).
Properties of Buffalo milk
- Buffalo milk is much cooler, heavier and more oily than cow’s milk.
Advantages and benefits of Buffalo’s milk
- It is very good for people with sharp or ‘burning’ digestive fire.
- Buffalo milk is considered as one of the best sedative for people suffering from insomnia (4).
- Buffalo milk contains a large quantity of ghee compared to cow’s milk.