You likely know buttermilk from frosting and pancakes, but did you know this dairy product is one of the healthiest things you can drink? Buttermilk is a typical refreshing and healthy drink in many countries, including Germany and India. However, as The Lost World of Drfugawe points out, Americans have all but forgot about buttermilk, except when used to make ranch dressing. We’re here to tell you about all the health benefits of buttermilk and why you should make this delicious dairy drink part of your everyday diet.
Buttermilk is the creamy byproduct that remains in the church after the fat globules have come together to make butter, explains Julia Moskin in an article for The New York Times. The tart liquid that is left over is naturally de-fattened and contains diacetyl, the compound that gives Chardonnay wine its “buttery” aroma. So why should you drink buttermilk? Because it’s a natural home remedy for a wide variety of ailments!
1. Cure a cold. According to Health Beauty Blogs, the bacteria in buttermilk will naturally boost your immune system. It also reduces phlegm. To prevent a cold, drink a glass of buttermilk daily and when you are plagued by illness, drink buttermilk in addition to plenty of water.
2. Soothe an upset tummy. The probiotic bacteria in buttermilk are important for healthy gut function. They also help absorb nutrients in the intestines and improve metabolism. This is why buttermilk is typically drank with lunch throughout South and West India, according to Health Beauty Blogs.
3. Treat diarrhea. Buttermilk is effective in helping stool bind together. It also helps the body rehydrate. This is why Health Beauty Blogs recommends drinking buttermilk to treat diarrhea. Surprisingly, it is also effective in relieving constipation.
4. Boost energy. Livestrong explains the vitamin B-2 riboflavins in buttermilk make the drink a natural energy booster. Buttermilk is also rich in proteins. A single glass has 8.1 grams of protein or 15 and 17 per cent of the daily recommended intake for men and women, respectively.
5. Liver detox. The riboflavins that give you so much energy also support liver function and help detoxify your body, says Livestrong.
6. Acid reflux. According to The Indian Spot, buttermilk is helpful in neutralizing acid and treating burning sensations. Buttermilk also helps because it coats the stomach lining, thus reducing irritation caused by acid reflux.
7. Lower cholesterol and high blood pressure. When consumed daily, buttermilk is effective in maintaining healthy cholesterol levels and lowering high blood pressure, says The Indian Spot. This is backed up by both Ayurvedic practitioners and the U.S. National Institute of Health.
8. Fight dehydration. It is no wonder buttermilk is so popular in West India, where temperatures can reach up to 104°F or 40°C. According to The Indian Spot, buttermilk is full of electrolytes. Think of it as a natural Gatorade.
Whether consumed to quench your thirst, treat an upset stomach, or fight the flu, buttermilk is a tasty solution to a number of health problems. Take a cue from Indian cuisine, and mix spices like ginger and turmeric to make the creamy, tart drink extra palatable.