Buttermilk Benefits : Is Buttermilk Good for you?

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Do you consume Buttermilk? If not then you should consider taking it as there are numerous buttermilk benefits for our health. We will take a quick look at them in this article.

Buttermilk is a hydrating and soothing drink for summers. Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product. It is the remainder left after churning the milk cream into the butter. This product has several beneficial bacteria that promote digestion, and offer innumerable health benefits.  Read on to find more about the nutritional composition and advantages of buttermilk.

About Buttermilk

Buttermilk is not a combination of butter and milk. It is derived from the butter mixing procedure. This healthy drink is called by various names in different parts of the world. It is called ‘Chaas’ in Hindi, ‘Neer Mooru’ in Tamil, ‘Majjiga’ in Telugu, ‘Chasa’ in Gujarati, ‘Majjige Huli in Kannada, ‘Morum Vellum’ in Malayalam, ‘Thaak’ in Marathi.

It is widely consumed in a majority of Indian households after a meal. Spices or digestive agents like pepper, cumin powder, curry leaves, green chillies, ginger, and coriander leaves are added to the drink to improve its taste and offer therapeutic benefits.

The benefits of this wholesome drink are mentioned in Ayurveda.  It is easily digestible and calms the digestive tract. The drink has a sour taste and exhibits remarkable astringent properties. It boosts digestive health and maintains overall health in the body. Buttermilk is considered to be the natural treatment against irritation, swelling, digestive disorders, spleen maladies, gastrointestinal ailments, anemia and loss of appetite.

No cream/fat buttermilk reduces bloating sensation. It is beneficial in diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure and high cholesterol. This naturally cooling drink reduces tiredness in the body. It also detoxifies the system and makes it a healthier substitute for conventional milk. It combats dehydration, and heals your skin too.

How Buttermilk Is Different From Cow Milk?

It is thicker compared to milk. The bacteria in this healthy drink produces lactic acid, that solidifies the milk protein and reduces the pH level. This makes it very acidic. The range of the pH scale is 0 to 14, where 0 indicates the most acidic and 14 indicates the most alkaline.

The pH of cow milk is 6.7 to 6.9, in comparison to 4.4 to 4.8 for buttermilk. In comparison to milk, it has fewer calories. This is because in the preparation of buttermilk, a majority of butter is removed.

Nutritional Composition Of Buttermilk

Buttermilk consists of water, lactose (the naturally occurring milk sugar), casein (the milk protein). A single serving approx. 250 ml of the drink is packed with plenty of nutrition. It provides 98 calories of energy. This refreshing drink is also a rich source of calcium and protein. It also has vitamins, minerals like potassium, and sodium, B complex vitamins, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and a few traces of phosphorus.

Protein: 8 grams

Fat: 3 grams

Carbohydrates: 12 grams

Fiber: 0 grams

Calcium: 22% of the DV

Riboflavin: 29% of the DV

Sodium: 16% of the DV

Pantothenic acid: 13% of the DV

Vitamin B12: 22% of the DV

Nutritional Values of Buttermilk

Buttermilk Benefits for Overall Health

Buttermilk offers countless health benefits to a person. Let us learn about them here:

1. Easier To Digest

Butter is easily digestible than other dairy products. The lactic acid present in buttermilk makes lactose content quite convenient to digest.

2. Strengthens Your Bones

Buttermilk contains compounds that improve oral health. The drink has good amounts of phosphorus, calcium, vitamin D and vitamin K2. 100 ml of buttermilk has around 116 mg of calcium. These nutrients constitute a healthy skeletal system. They increase bone mineral density and prevent degenerative bone ailments that include osteoporosis.

Consuming more phosphorus and calcium is beneficial to reduce the risk of osteoporosis in adults. The combination of vitamin K2 and vitamin D is helpful for maintaining stronger bones and in the treatment of osteoporosis. Both these vitamins promote the formation of bones and prevent their disintegration.

3. An ideal inclusion in a well-balanced diet

Buttermilk is considered to be a complete food. It has all the necessary macronutrients for a well-balanced diet. This nutritive drink has carbs, proteins, vitamins, minimal lipids, and essential enzymes. It results in a complete meal that you can enjoy anywhere, and anytime. Due to its remarkable nutritional composition, it should be consumed daily.

4. Reduces Inflammation

Buttermilk is beneficial in the prevention of Periodontitis. This disease is characterized as the inflammation of gums that is caused due to periodontal bacteria. Buttermilk is a fermented dairy product that has an anti-inflammatory action on the skin cells of the mouth. Regular consumption of this healthy drink is beneficial for those who have oral inflammation.

5. Lowers cholesterol levels

The presence of sphingolipid compounds in buttermilk inhibits t cholesterol absorption in the gut. It can reduce triglycerides and total cholesterol levels by 10%, and 3% respectively. This attribute of buttermilk makes it beneficial for people with elevated low-density cholesterol levels.  In this way, it helps maintain cardiovascular health.

6. Reduces blood pressure levels

This is one of the most important buttermilk benefits. Buttermilk is beneficial to lessen blood pressure in the body. It is very useful for people who suffer from hypertension and heart ailments. The drink contains a valuable mineral, “potassium” and certain bioactive proteins that help lower blood pressure. It has MFGM that can have a tangible effect on the angiotensin enzyme system.

It directly controls the blood pressure of a human body system. When you consume the drink daily, then it can help reduce systolic blood pressure by 2.6 mm Hg, plasma angiotensin-I converting enzyme by 10.9%, and mean arterial blood pressure by 1.7 mm Hg.

7. Natural Coolant

Buttermilk is an amazingly refreshing drink. It quickly cools down the body. Its cooling properties are magnified when the drink is topped with mint leaves, cumin seeds, black salt and ice cubes. The drink quenches your thirst and is ideal in the warmer months of the year. It is also beneficial in women who experience hot flashes in their post-menopause.

8. Prevents Dehydration

Buttermilk is made by mixing water and curd. It has around 90 percent of water and potent electrolyte like potassium. Daily consumption of the drink prevents dehydration and effectively maintains the right water balance in your body.

Consider drinking buttermilk with nutritional additives like black salt, ginger, coriander and ginger in place of water. This healthy beverage can withstand dehydration, and cools the body during long summer days.

9. Boosts Digestive Health

Buttermilk benefits include improving digestive health. Buttermilk is a blessing for the digestive system. It contains lactic acid and healthy bacteria that aids in digestion and enhances metabolism in the body.  The drink also helps regularize bowel movements.

It is ideal for those who have a sluggish digestive system or suffer from constipation.  Buttermilk is a cost-effective and natural treatment of IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome). The good bacteria in the drink prevents colon cancer and stomach related infections.

This makes buttermilk a healthy alternative for conventional soft drinks. The combination of probiotics and lactic acids does wonders for your GI tract.

10. Helps In Blood Clotting

Buttermilk has good amounts of calcium that helps in clotting of blood. This valuable mineral is also important in the contraction of heart muscles and promotes a stable beating of the heart.

11. Relieves Acidity

Spicy and oily foods can result in acid reflux and heartburn. Buttermilk is very calm on the GI tract. When topped with coriander and black pepper, it helps ease the signs of acidity. This power-packed drink combats stomach reflux that reduces the burning sensation due to a bout of acidity.

It also helps ease the lining of the stomach that may get irritated due to the consumption of oily or spicy food. The lactic acid present in buttermilk helps bring down the excess acid levels in the stomach. In this way, this soothing drink keeps acidity at bay.

12. Detoxifies Your Body

Buttermilk contains riboflavin that automates and regulates the enzymes present in the healthy cells of the body. It has exemplary antioxidant properties that help regulate the different functions of the liver such as detoxification. Riboflavin is highly efficient at expelling toxins from the body. Due to this reason, buttermilk serves as a natural detoxifier in the body.

13. A Healthy Addition At Dinner

Eating oily and greasy meals at dinner time can make you feel uneasy. Complete your meal with a glass of buttermilk. It is an excellent relaxing drink that cleanses your stomach and digestive system thoroughly.

It also prevents acidity, stomach ache, and heartburn that may arise after eating heavy foods at dinner. The addition of cumin seeds and ginger washes down oily and greasy food items and helps ease the digestive tract.

14. A Healthy Substitute For Conventional Milk

Buttermilk has low amounts of calories and fats than traditional milk. It helps reduce weight and cholesterol levels in the body. It digests quickly than conventional dairy products. It is a light, cooling and hydrating drink that makes it an ideal beverage for all seasons.

15. Helps in Weight Loss

Buttermilk contains a good amount of calcium and protein that satiates you for a good period. This low calorie and low-fat beverage are ideal for weight loss. The drink helps you stay energetic and hydrated for a long time. This reduces unnecessary hunger pangs and craving for junk food. When you eat less you consume fewer calories. This way, it helps manage body weight.

16. Heal Skin Damage

Buttermilk is beneficial for your overall body. It does wonders for your skin too. The amazing benefits make it a boon to your skin. The lactic acid and probiotics present in the drink promote skin health. It eliminates toxins from the body. Buttermilk also serves as an excellent cleanser. It brings a natural glow to your skin.

It also works as an excellent toner and cleanser. With its regular application on the skin, you will notice the gradual disappearance of acne spots, blemishes, suntan and age-related spots on the skin. Buttermilk also possesses excellent moisturizing properties that make your skin soft and supple.

It has vitamins and minerals that brightens skin and delays aging. It firms and tightens your loosened skin. Drinking or applying buttermilk regularly results in long-to-short-term damage to the skin. It is the ideal addition to your skincare routine along with a healthy diet, hygiene and regular exercise.

17. A Great Tool To Combat Insomnia

A lot of men and women suffer from insomnia. There can be several reasons for this problem. This health issue can become very challenging to deal with at times. There are several over-the-counter medicines to deal with this issue but they all come with their share of side effects. Buttermilk is one of the best natural treatments that can induce drowsiness in a person. Add a pinch of nutmeg powder to get peaceful and sound sleep easily.

18. Boosts Immunity Levels

Drinking buttermilk daily strengthens your defense system. It also shields you from various types of infections. Buttermilk is high in Vitamin D and B complex vitamins that help overcome anemia and weakness caused due to vitamin deficiency. Vitamin D in it strengthens your immunity system, and makes you less prone to infections. A single serving of the drink provides you more than 21% of the recommended daily intake.

19. Refreshes you

Generally, when you eat heavy foods, you feel sleepy and lazy. Buttermilk helps washing down grease and fats that line the inside walls of your stomach and food pipe. A glass of buttermilk rejuvenates you. You feel more agile right after its consumption.

20. Helps Expel Gas

Buttermilk has got a good amount of acids in it that works effectively against bacteria. The beneficial condiments like ginger, cumin and pepper, possess make excellent digestive properties. When added into the drink, it boosts digestion and clears the stomach.

These carminative substances also help expel the build-up of gas from the stomach. They have a digestive and cooling effect on the GI tract. In this way, regular consumption of buttermilk prevents gastrointestinal conditions.

21. Prevents Constipation

Buttermilk is itself a powerful digestive agent. It is a natural therapy that comforts the ballooning of the stomach. In this way, it prevents constipation and other kinds of stomach related disorders. Eating improper food, at incorrect timings can exert strain on your digestive system. This can even lead to constipation or diarrhea in the body.

Regular consumption of buttermilk eases the condition. It facilitates movements of the bowels in the body. This is a beneficial drink for those who do not consume the right amounts of fiber.

Ways To Prepare Buttermilk At Home

In order to avail the buttermilk benefits, it is advised that you should learn how to prepare it 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.

There are two methods to prepare buttermilk.

  1. Remove cream from the milk. Add water to it and blend the mixture. You will see butter collecting on the top. Remove the butter in a separate bowl. The leftover residue is buttermilk.
  2. Take a bowl. Pour equal amounts of curd and water in it. Now blend them together.

Sprinkle cumin powder, coriander leaves, black salt, ginger, green chillies, pepper, and mint over the buttermilk. This will improve its flavour and health benefits.

Side Effects Of Consuming Buttermilk

Buttermilk may cause health issues due to its salt and lactose content. Here are the downsides of consuming this drink.

1. Can Be High In Sodium

Dairy products have high amounts of sodium. Studies state that low-fat buttermilk contains more sodium compared to its higher-fat versions When you consume such products then it can increase blood pressure.

High blood pressure can in turn increase the chances of heart attack, kidney malfunction, and damage to the brain and blood vessels in the body. So, people who have high blood pressure, or heart disease should avoid the drink.

2. May Cause Allergies

Buttermilk has a naturally occurring sugar called lactose in it. This may pose discomforting signs in people who are intolerant/sensitive to lactose. The allergic signs include vomiting, hives, upset stomach, wheezing, gas, diarrhea, and upset stomach.

Conclusion

Buttermilk is a refreshing and healthy coolant that reduces body heat. It is especially beneficial when the temperature is rising persistently. Lactic acid, the primary constituent in the drink, builds the immune system and keeps it free from bacterial infections.  Buttermilk has the necessary nutrients and fewer calories that makes it ideal for weight loss diets.

It aids digestion, and maintains the right water balance. Regular consumption of this drink is found helpful in maintaining a healthy GI tract. With these incredible benefits, it is wise to include this healthy drink in your lifestyle.

 

 

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