BENEFITS OF CAMEL MEAT
the next SUPER FOOD?
The camel is a good source of meat especially in areas where the climate adversely affects the performance of other meat animals. This is because of its unique physiological characteristics, including a great tolerance to high temperatures, solar radiation, water scarcity, rough topography and poor vegetation.
The camels are also characterized by its high efficiency in the metabolism process; this is because camels have the ability to transform the low quality plants (poor desert plants, thorny plants and the branches of the hard tress) with minimal nutritive elements, into high quality food products. The demand for camel meat appears to be increasing due to health reasons, as they produce carcasses with less fat as well as having less cholesterol and relatively high polyunsaturated fatty acids than other meat animals.
Facts about the meat
A number of studies conducted at SQU on the chemical composition and food value of camel meat have shown that it has two qualities which distinguish it from beef and mutton: its low fat and high moisture content. Fat in camel meat amounts to 1.2 per cent-1.8 per cent and in beef 4 per cent-8 per cent. The figure for water is 20 per cent.
These percentages mean that camel meat is richer than beef in protein and minerals. Camel meat contains a high ratio of good quality of protein.
Accordingly the moisture to protein ratios (M/P) of the camel and fish were higher than those of beef, lamb, goat and chicken. Camel meat is also a good source to many vitamins, especially vitamin B complex and important minerals such as iron, calcium and phosphorus.
Camel meat is also characterized by low level of cholesterol (61 mg) as compared to other farm animals like beef (75-86 mg), making it a healthy food for humans.
Also, from a point of health, the nutritional value of camel meat is much better than other animals, due to fact that, camel meat contains a high amount of amino acids compared to the beef, sheep and poultry.
Studies and medical research have proved that camel meat is superior to other kinds of meat. The camel is distinguished from other animals by the fact that the percentage of its intramuscular fat declines as the animal gets older. This quality, only found in camels, makes their meat less fatty, so its consumption is healthy and recommended for weight loss. And this quality also reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease and atherosclerosis since it lowers the percentage of cholesterol in the blood.
Camel meat has other medical qualities, too, like protecting against cancerous tumors, as claimed by some researchers, because it contains unsaturated fatty acids like linoleic acid which interact with other unsaturated fatty acids taken from vegetable oils to protect against cancer.
Camel meat can also be used as a cure for exhaustion and fatigue because it contains energy needed by body cells. Such energy comprises sugar not fat, since, a camel’s fat is concentrated in its hump whereas other animals store it in their muscles.
In addition, camel meat contains glycogen, a carbohydrate which is easily absorbed and metabolized in the body, and is converted to glucose which activates nerve as well as other cells.
Another quality which makes it good for the elderly, is its richness in glycogen which is converted into glucose and is needed by the nervous system to provide cell energy and thus support the work of nerve cells. It can also provide the elderly with the energy and protein needed to compensate for tissue damage and reproduce hormones and enzymes needed for cell function. This is especially so when catabolism has surpassed anabolism which puts the elderly in need of easily metabolized and digested food likes camel meat.
Camel meat prevents obesity and heart diseases. A Tunisian study which compares various meats such as, beef, lamb, camel and chicken has revealed that camel meat is the best by far for human consumption, especially for those people who are afraid to gain weight and who would like to be protected by heart disease. The study pointed out that camel meat has a low level of fat with lots of fibers and that it is highly recommended by doctors for patients who suffer from high cholesterol because it is low in fat. It added that the flavor of meat usually is a result of the amount of fat, which is why camel meat has a distinct flavor and a high nutritional value also due to the amount of amino acids found in the camel fat compared to beef.
Studies have shown that camel meat can be used as a cure for cold and sciatica, stroke, cancer, and infections, especially among older people because this meat can safeguard muscle health. This is due to its low percentage of saturated fatty acids and cholesterol compared to other kinds of meat. In fact the food value of camel meat is higher than poultry meat.
This meat is also known for its high percentage of iron, one of the basic ingredients of blood hemoglobin which helps to reduce the risk of anemia as proved by published research from SQU’s Department of Animal and Veterinary Sciences. Those people who suffer from anemia are advised to take camel meat too.