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 summer. 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 the 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 bodies. A glass of buttermilk topped with cumin seeds, mint and salt, is well suited to quench our thirst and cool our bodies in the hot summer months from April to July.

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.

  • Good for Our Digestive System

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

It also helps maintain regular bowel movements and helps people who suffer from constipation. Buttermilk is also helpful to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).

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

  • Boosts Energy

It provides more energy and keeps you active throughout the day. The riboflavin in buttermilk is a B vitamin that is vital for your body’s energy production systems. It also helps regulate your body’s amino acids, which make up proteins.

  • 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. Calcium helps to prevent degenerative bone diseases like osteoporosis.

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

  • 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.

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.

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.

Potassium in buttermilk also reduces blood pressure.

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.

  • Good for Our Skin

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

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.

  • 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 the 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

  • Helps in Detoxification

Buttermilk contains riboflavin that helps in converting food into energy which can be used by the body to perform various functions. It also helps in the secretion of certain hormones, improves liver function and facilitates detoxification of the body. 

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.


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


  • 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. Additionally, making buttermilk preparations can be a breeze, so we’ve listed a few simple recipes below. While we cover a few ideas on what to make with buttermilk, do not limit yourself t these recipes and try out new things on your own as well: 

  • Add buttermilk to your baked goods like lemon cakes, chocolate cakes and cream-cheese cakes for an added dash of flavour. 
  • Use buttermilk when making chowder (a type of rich soup usually served with seafood elements), add it to the final stage of the soup and optionally build the taste with smoked salmon. 
  • Make a sumptuous salad dressing with buttermilk, honey, apricot, celery, vinegar, mint leaves and cheese. This can be used on shredded chicken or any other veggie-based salad of your choice.
  • Add buttermilk to your regular pancake batter instead of water or milk, along with baking soda and unsalted butter for fluffy, yummy pancakes. You can optionally top this with maple syrup or strawberries. 

Whether you buy it from the store or try homemade buttermilk, its uses are limited by your creativity and preferences only. Buttermilk is a versatile, healthy and delicious ingredient so start using it today! 

Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.

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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