Why so Serious?

Is Buttermilk Good For You?

Glasses of freshly prepared buttermilk
Written by Dr Prachi Garg
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Chilled buttermilk is a soothing drink for summers. It has innumerable health benefits as well.

Traditional buttermilk is the residue left behind after milk cream is churned into butter. It can also be made by diluting and mixing water in curd. It is commonly known as ‘Chhaas’. 

Commercially available cultured buttermilk is prepared by fermenting no-fat milk with bacteria that produce lactic acid. It is more viscous than traditional buttermilk.

Nutritional Value of Buttermilk:

100 ml of buttermilk gives about 40 calories of energy. It contains less fat and fewer calories than milk due to removal of butter. It is a good source of protein and calcium. It also contains sodium, potassium, vitamins and traces of phosphorus.

Health Benefits of Drinking Buttermilk:

  • Natural Coolant for the Body:

Buttermilk is amazingly refreshing and quickly cools down our body. A glass of buttermilk topped with cumin seeds, mint and salt, is well suited to quench our thirst and cool our body in the hot summer months from April to July. [1]

It can also be topped with ice cubes and proves to be a good alternative to the chemical-laden cold drinks available in the market.

A glass of buttermilk can also provide relief to post-menopausal women who experience hot flashes.

  • Prevents Dehydration:

Buttermilk is made using curd and water. It contains around 90 per cent of water and electrolyte like potassium.

Thus, buttermilk is effective in maintaining water balance in the body and prevents dehydration. [2]

  • Good for Our Digestive System:

Buttermilk is a boon for our digestive system. Healthy bacteria and lactic acid in buttermilk help in digestion and improve our metabolism.  [3]

It also helps to maintain regular bowel movements and helps people who suffer from constipation.  Buttermilk is also helpful in the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). [4]

It also helps to prevent stomach infections,   lactose intolerance and colon cancer. [5]

  • Good for Bones & Teeth:

Buttermilk is a good source of calcium. 100 ml of buttermilk contains around 116 mg of calcium.

Calcium is essential for a healthy skeletal system. It makes our bones and teeth strong. [6]  Calcium helps to prevent degenerative bone diseases like osteoporosis. [7]

Calcium is also required for clotting of blood, contraction of muscles and beating of our heart.

Read More:

  • Relieves Acidity:

Oily and spicy foods can often lead to acid reflux and cause heartburn. A glass of buttermilk topped with black pepper and coriander helps in instantly easing our symptoms of acidity. [8]

The lactic acid in buttermilk normalizes the acidity in the stomach and gives a soothing effect.

  • May Help to Lower Cholesterol Levels:

Drinking buttermilk regularly helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and triglycerides. [9]

It thus helps to maintain cardiovascular health.

Read More: 10 Foods to Lower Cholesterol

  • May Reduce Blood Pressure :

Regular consumption of buttermilk effectively reduces blood pressure and thus helps patients with hypertension and heart diseases. [10]

Potassium in buttermilk also reduces blood pressure. [11]

Read More: 7 Foods that Help Lower Blood Pressure

  • Good for Immunity:

Drinking buttermilk every day strengthens our immune system and protects us from a variety of infections. [12]

  • Good for Our Skin:

Probiotics in buttermilk keep our digestion proper and thus help in removing toxins from our body. The lactic acid in buttermilk is good for our skin. [13]

Buttermilk keeps our skin glowing and is an excellent skin cleanser and toner. It also helps to remove tan, acne spots and blemishes. It moisturizes and brightens our skin, thus delaying ageing.

All these benefits make buttermilk a blessing for our skin.

Read More: 7 Home Remedies for Glowing Skin

  • Loaded with Vitamins:

Buttermilk is rich in B complex vitamins and vitamin D. Vitamins are very important and help our body in numerous ways. [14]

  • Helps in Weight Loss:

Buttermilk is rich in proteins, vitamins and several minerals but low in calories and fats.

Drinking buttermilk keeps us hydrated and energetic. It also makes us feel full, thus reducing unnecessary consumption of junk food. It is an ideal drink for people who want to lose weight.

Read More: 8 Exercises That Help With Weight Loss

How to make buttermilk at home?

Cumin seeds, mint, coriander, black salt, ginger, pepper, green chillies, chaat masala etc. are added to buttermilk made at home to enhance its taste and health benefits. In summers, it is usually topped with ice cubes or refrigerated.

  • Buttermilk can be made by churning full-fat cream. Butter collects on the top. The residue left after removing butter is called buttermilk.

OR

  • Take some curd and add an equal amount of water to it. Blend them together.

OR

  • Take 1 cup milk and add 1 tablespoon vinegar or lime juice to it. Stir well and let it stay for around 5 minutes. Your buttermilk is ready.

Then temper buttermilk with little oil, kadhi patta, asafoetida, coriander, cumin seeds, black salt, pepper, ginger, green chillies, mint etc. as per our taste to enhance its flavour and benefits.

About the author

Dr Prachi Garg

A Gold Medallist Physiotherapist from the Maharashtra University
of Health Sciences (MUHS), and also a qualified Dietician who later
went on to establish the “Mera Health Genie Wellness, India” in 2009
with a vision to offer the best remedies possible through the medium
of alternative medicines.
Effectively used Physiotherapy, Diet and Nutrition, Yoga, and
Acupressure to help numerous people recover from an injury or
manage a long term problem, achieving fitness goals, managing
weight and well being.

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