The Surprising Benefits of Drinking Buttermilk

Written by: Kaushik Jethva

Last Updated: October 13, 2023References

a glass of buttermilk made with yogurt
A glass of buttermilk made with yogurt

If you’re seeking a refreshing beverage with numerous health benefits, buttermilk is your answer. Beyond its tangy taste, the benefits of drinking buttermilk range from aiding digestion to boosting the immune system. [1]Given the many health benefits it offers, incorporating this fermented dairy product into your diet can be a wise choice.

1What is Buttermilk?

churning butter with buttermilk in churn
Churning butter with buttermilk in churn

Traditional buttermilk is a derivative from the butter-making process. When whole milk is churned to produce butter, the leftover liquid is what we often refer to as traditional buttermilk. On the other hand, the buttermilk you commonly find in stores is typically cultured buttermilk, produced by adding lactic acid bacteria to low-fat milk or skim milk. Whenever you drink buttermilk, especially the cultured kind, you’re tapping into its rich nutritional values.

2Nutritional Value

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Glass cup of buttermilk made from yogurt

Buttermilk boasts a unique nutritional value. It contains essential vitamins such as vitamin B12, riboflavin, calcium, and phosphorus. These vitamins and minerals play a pivotal role in your body’s energy production systems. Interestingly, buttermilk has fewer calories compared to regular milk, making buttermilk healthier for those watching their caloric intake.

Excellent for Lactose Intolerant Individuals

One standout benefit of buttermilk is its digestibility, especially for those with lactose intolerance and irritable bowel syndrome. While it originates from milk, the lactic acid bacteria in cultured buttermilk break down the milk sugar lactose. This makes it a potential remedy to treat irritable bowel syndrome. Consequently, lactose intolerant individuals often find they can consume buttermilk without the adverse effects they might experience from consuming milk.

Boosts Digestive Health

Drinking buttermilk daily can benefit your digestive system. The presence of lactic acid and healthy bacteria in buttermilk promotes a healthy gut, assisting in regular bowel movements and preventing constipation. Buttermilk’s alkaline nature can soothe the stomach lining, making it an excellent remedy for an upset stomach, acid reflux, and even conditions like irritable bowel syndrome.

Aids in Weight Management

Want to combat high blood pressure and lose weight? Buttermilk can be your ally. Rich in milk protein but with fewer calories than whole milk, buttermilk can make you feel full without the additional caloric intake. Furthermore, the milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) present in buttermilk has been linked with arterial blood pressure reduction, which can be particularly beneficial for those with high blood pressure.

Promotes Bone Health

Buttermilk is a great source of calcium, which is crucial for strong bones and teeth. Regular buttermilk consumption can help prevent degenerative bone diseases, ensuring robust skeletal health.

Strengthens the Immune System

Buttermilk is teeming with healthy bacteria. Drinking buttermilk regularly can boost your immune system, thanks to these beneficial bacteria that fight off pathogens and harmful invaders in the body.

Reduces Blood Pressure

One of the impressive health benefits of buttermilk is its potential to reduce blood pressure. The milk fat globule membrane (MFGM) present in buttermilk has been linked with arterial blood pressure reduction, promoting a normal blood pressure and overall cardiovascular health.

Fosters Liver Health

There’s evidence suggesting that the consumption of buttermilk can improve liver function. As the liver plays a pivotal role in detoxifying the body, enhancing its health is essential.

Enhances Gut Health

The lactic acid in buttermilk encourages the growth of healthy gut bacteria. A healthy gut is vital for digestion, nutrient absorption, and even mental well-being.

buttermilk made with yogurt in different utilities
Buttermilk made with yogurt in different utilities

3Additional Tips

  • Drinking buttermilk daily with added spices like dried ginger can enhance its benefits.
  • Mixing lemon juice with buttermilk can increase its efficacy in treating stomach ailments.
  • While there are many benefits to drinking buttermilk, those with severe milk allergies should avoid drinking buttermilk.
  • For those with pollen allergies, it’s advised to consume buttermilk with caution as there can be cross-reactive allergic reactions.

4Customizing Your Buttermilk: Adding Flavor and Value

a spiced yogurt based drink buttermilk in a glass
A spiced yogurt based drink buttermilk in a glass

You can enhance the health benefits of buttermilk by adding spices and other ingredients. Dried ginger and lemon juice, for example, not only amplify the flavor but also bring their distinct health benefits. Ginger aids in digestion and combats nausea, while lemon juice provides a dose of vitamin C.

5Cautions and Considerations

While there are many health benefits of buttermilk, certain individuals should proceed with caution. Those with severe milk allergies might want to avoid drinking buttermilk. Additionally, while buttermilk is easier on the stomach for lactose-intolerant individuals, it might still cause minor discomfort for some.

6Wrapping Up

The benefits of buttermilk extend far beyond its delightful tang. Whether you’re looking to enhance your digestive health, reduce blood pressure, or simply seek a beverage that’s lower in calories than regular milk, buttermilk fits the bill. It’s not just a dairy product; it’s a treasure trove of innumerable health benefits.

From promoting a healthy gut to ensuring regular bowel movements and even aiding in the prevention of degenerative bone diseases, the benefits of drinking buttermilk are vast and varied. So the next time you’re at the store, don’t hesitate to pick up a buttermilk bottle, for it promises wellness in every sip.

Remember, while buttermilk offers several health benefits, it’s always crucial to maintain a balanced diet and consult with a healthcare professional regarding any significant dietary changes.

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About This Article

Kaushik Jethva
Written by: Kaushik Jethva author

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Updated: October 13, 2023
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