Originally, the term buttermilk
referred to the liquid that was left over after
churning butter from cream but today the word is used to describe a type of
fermented dairy drink that is common in many countries with warm climates.
To make a clear
distinction between the two types of buttermilk, the leftover liquid when
producing butter is sometimes called traditional buttermilk while the fermented
milk drink is called cultured buttermilk. Cultured buttermilk is sour as it
contains probiotic bacteria that convert the lactose sugar in milk into lactic
acid. This is why the calories in buttermilk are less than the calories in
milk. For those on a weight-loss diet plan
, low fat buttermilk
would be the best option.
Benefits of Buttermilk
Buttermilk is especially popular
during summer as a tall glass of chilled buttermilk is refreshing and
invigorating and is the perfect antidote to the scorching sun! Here are a few
of the many health benefits of buttermilk:
- Digestive Aid: Buttermilk contains probiotic microbes which promote digestion, and has a positive impact on the immune
system. These healthy microbes also prevent the proliferation of unhealthy
bacteria which is why buttermilk can treat and even prevent stomach infections and diarrhea. Furthermore, buttermilk often contains
ginger and jeera (cumin) which soothe the digestive system and prevent
indigestion and excessive gas.
Thanks to our high-fat and spicy diets, acidity has become a common problem.
While logic would dictate that we change our eating habits to curtail the
problem, we are reluctant to give up our favourite foods and so we turn to
antacids and other medications. While it is natural to want to have your cake
and eat it too (quite literally!), you will need to compromise on your portion
size and have a large glass of buttermilk just after your treat. Buttermilk
neutralizes excessive stomach acids and it also contains lactic acid which
helps to control the formation of gastric acid. Earlier it was thought that a
glass of warm milk would help to prevent acidity but several tests showed that
although milk can provide immediate relief from acidity, the effect is only
temporary. Consuming milk causes an increase in gastric acid production for a
minimum of three hours and so it is best to substitute your daily glass of milk
with a glass of buttermilk.
Blood Pressure: In a recent study published in the Journal of Nutrition, scientists found that
consuming buttermilk on a daily basis can lower blood pressure in individuals with slightly or moderately
high blood pressure. This effect is due to the presence of a unique protein in
buttermilk that also lowers cholesterol levels.
for Lactose Intolerant People: People who are lactose
intolerant often have trouble meeting their daily calcium requirements as they
cannot consume most dairy products. The microbes in buttermilk turn the lactose
sugar in milk into lactic acid and so people who are lactose intolerant can
have buttermilk. Individuals with a severe intolerance however might have
trouble even with the small amounts of lactose present in buttermilk so it
would be wise to first consume just a small amount of buttermilk.
Dehydration: Buttermilk contains salt, assorted
electrolytes and water which makes it the perfect way to stave off dehydration.
If you need to run errands and have to brave the mid-day sun, carry a bottle of
cold buttermilk with you so that you can chug it down whenever the heat starts
to get to you.
RecipeHomemade buttermilk is easy to make
and requires very little preparation time. You can set your own yogurt or use
non-flavoured yogurt to make buttermilk at home.
- 2 cups of yogurt
1½ cups of ice-cold water
- 1 tsp roasted and ground cumin seeds
- Fresh coriander leaves
- Fresh mint leaves
- Freshly ground pepper powder
- Rock salt (black salt)
Method:Place the yogurt, water, cumin seed
powder, salt and pepper in a large mixer bowl and blend it for about 30 seconds
to a minute. Pour the buttermilk into large glasses and garnish with chopped
coriander and mint leaves. If you prefer not to use a garnish, you can blend
the coriander and mint leaves along with the rest of the ingredients.
Buttermilk Health and
In a mixer bowl, blend half a cup of cold buttermilk along with half a tomato
and a handful of mint leaves. Apply this liquid to your skin to help soothe
your sunburn and accelerate the healing process.
Buttermilk can be used to cleanse and nourish your skin. Mix equal amounts of
buttermilk and rose water and add a drop of almond oil to the mixture. Soak a
cotton pad in this liquid and gently scrub your face clean of dirt and grime.
Wait for at least an hour and then rinse your face with cold water. Do this on
a regular basis for optimum buttermilk skin benefits.
Mask: Blend a banana and one cup of buttermilk and apply
this liquid to your hair and scalp. Leave it on for at least an hour and then
wash it off with cold water. This hair mask is perfect for those with frizzy
hair and it will leave your hair soft and free of knots.
Two studies showed that aloe gel can reduce blood sugar levels in women with type 2 diabetes. Mix equal amounts of butter
milk and Aloe juice and drink this every morning if you have diabetes.
- Cholesterol: A
mixture made up of 20 ml of Aloe gel and 30 ml of buttermilk can help to reduce
cholesterol levels as long as it is consumed regularly.