What is the first thought that comes to your mind when you hear the name "Buttermilk"? Most people imagine it to be buttery, fat-rich milk with a creamy texture. But in reality, buttermilk is butter-free and has lower fat content than regular milk.
Traditionally made buttermilk is actually the residue left behind after whole cream milk is churned into butter. Another way to prepare it is by mixing a few tablespoons of natural yoghurt or curd with water. This is commonly known as "chaach" or "chaass".
Nowadays, cultured buttermilk is commercially made by adding lactic acid bacteria to non-fat milk.
Buttermilk is a popular beverage in countries like India, Bhutan, Nepal and Pakistan. If it isn't already a part of your diet then here's a list of all the reasons why you should hurry up and grab a glass for yourself.
[Also Read: 15 Amazing Benefits Of Lemon Juice]
Amazing Health Benefits Of Buttermilk
Ancient Ayurvedic treatments recommend drinking buttermilk to keep the body healthy and for treating various bodily ailments.
1. Power-Packed With Nutrition
Did you know that buttermilk contains the equal (or even more) amount of nutrients that you can get from a real meal? One whole glass of buttermilk can fill your stomach and keep you hydrated at the same time.
Buttermilk is richly packed with protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, minerals and a small amount of fat. It contains everything that your body needs to remain healthy.
Another advantage is that you can carry it in a bottle and drink it anytime, anywhere.
2. Low In Calories
One glass of buttermilk contains about 98 calories and 2.2 grams of fat which is much less compared to regular milk. Milk contains almost double the number of calories in buttermilk.
Buttermilk can be consumed as a substitute for milk. It'll give you the same amount of essential nutrients minus the unwanted calories.
According to some reports, buttermilk may also help lower blood cholesterol and systolic blood pressure. However, note that buttermilk is high in sodium content too so consult your doctor before making dietary changes that are related to your health issues.
3. Makes The Bones Stronger
Buttermilk contains high amounts of both calcium and phosphorus. Full fat buttermilk contains vitamin K2. Fortified buttermilk (buttermilk enhanced with extra added nutrients) contains vitamin D.
All these nutrients in buttermilk are excellent for keeping the bones strong and healthy. They increase the bone's mineral density. They prevent degenerative bone diseases like rickets and osteoporosis.
4. Treats Digestive Disorders
Buttermilk has a high content of probiotics and lactic acid bacteria which keeps the gut healthy. It helps in digesting the food easily. It treats gastrointestinal issues like constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, bloating and swelling.
A healthy gut will also improve your body's overall immunity.
5. Boosts Energy Levels
Buttermilk can be consumed as an appetizer too. It has astringent properties. It also boosts metabolism and keeps the body full of energy. Simply sprinkle some jeera (cumin) powder in a glass of buttermilk, stir well and drink it up.
6. Treats Stomach Ulcers
Buttermilk is usually taken after a meal to help with the digestion process. Drinking cool buttermilk can cure acidity. It is good for treating gastric buildup, bloating and acid reflux in the stomach.
Drink a glass of chilled buttermilk after eating heavy, rich or spicy food. Buttermilk can prevent and treat indigestion.
7. Detoxifies The Body
Buttermilk is rich in riboflavin which drives energy production in the body. Riboflavin keeps the liver healthy and ensures that the liver functions properly. A healthy liver will eliminate toxins from your body.
Riboflavin also helps in the production of uric acid which is another potent antioxidant. Buttermilk detoxifies the body and keeps it healthy from within.
8. Helps In Weight Loss
As mentioned earlier, buttermilk is packed with micro-nutrients hence it can keep your stomach feeling full for longer periods of time. Keeping your hunger pangs in control will stop you from overeating. Its low content of fat and calories is a boon for people who want to lose weight.
Use buttermilk as a substitute for whole milk, butter, mayonnaise or sour cream.
[Also Read: 7 Fat Burning At Home Exercises For A Flat Stomach]
9. Cooling Effect
Buttermilk can cool down the body temperature. It is good for women struggling with hot flashes during the pre or post-menopausal phase. For more intense effects buttermilk can be cooled in the refrigerator.
You can drop a few ice cubes in your glass of buttermilk too. This is a delicious and healthy alternative to store-bought soft drinks.
10. Keeps The Body Hydrated
It doesn't take a genius to figure out that over 90% of buttermilk is simply water. This means that drinking buttermilk will keep your body and skin hydrated. The added advantage of this water is that it is nutrient-dense.
Buttermilk is absorbed slowly so it'll maintain the water balance required in your body. No wonder buttermilk is a common summer beverage.
If you want to enhance the taste and health benefits of buttermilk then add the following ingredients to your glass of buttermilk:
- Black pepper powder
- Cumin powder
- Curry leaves powder
- Finely chopped ginger
- Crushed coriander leaves
- Crushed mint leaves
- Chopped green chilli
Chill your buttermilk in the refrigerator for a refreshingly cool & delicious drink during sweltering summers.
Surprising Beauty Benefits Of Buttermilk
Consuming buttermilk will keep you healthy from the inside and beautiful from the outside. But buttermilk can be applied topically on your skin and hair too!
Buttermilk For Skin
1. Cleanses And Hydrates
Try using buttermilk for cleansing and toning your skin instead of using chemical laden commercial products. Buttermilk cleanses impurities from the skin's pores and keeps the skin hydrated too.
Mix buttermilk and rosewater in equal amounts. Soak a cotton ball in this fragrant mixture and dab it all over your damp skin after taking a bath.
2. Improves Skin Texture
Buttermilk is rich in lactic acid and alpha hydroxy acid which are common ingredients in almost every beauty product. It won't make your skin magically fair but it cleanses the skin deeply which results in a natural and healthy glow.
Regular use of buttermilk can fade away light scars and it is effective in treating sunburn and suntan too.
Mix buttermilk with blended potato paste and apply it on your skin. Rinse after 20 minutes. Regular application will significantly improve your skin's appearance.
3. Makes Skin Firm
Using a buttermilk mask can leave your skin feeling tighter and looking younger. Mix buttermilk with tomato puree and egg white. Massage this mixture on your skin using upward circular motions.
Let the mask sit on your skin for 20 minutes or till it dries. Rinse with cold water and pat dry your skin. Your skin will instantly feel more firm and elastic.
[Also Read: Sagging Skin: What Causes Sagging Skin & Effective Remedies To Tighten Loose Skin 2021]
4. Soothes And Softens
Buttermilk is excellent for nourishing dry, dull and lifeless skin. It hydrates and moisturizes the skin. It is very gentle on the skin and can be used on sensitive skin too.
Mix buttermilk with coconut oil and a dollop of pure ghee. Use this paste to massage your whole body. This is especially good for keeping the skin moisturized during harsh winters.
Buttermilk For Hair
Buttermilk can keep your scalp healthy and clean. It can treat dandruff and itchiness in the scalp.
Mix buttermilk with a few drops of lemon juice and massage it on your scalp to treat scalp related issues. Rinse off after 15 minutes.
Buttermilk is loaded with micro-nutrients and is excellent for nourishing dry and frizzy hair. It'll keep your hair hydrated and moisturized.
Mix buttermilk with two capsules of vitamin E oil and massage it on your hair. Wash your hair with a mild shampoo after 30 minutes. Gently towel dry your hair.
2. Deep Conditioning
Buttermilk can be used to naturally deep condition your hair. Mix buttermilk with mashed ripe banana, coconut oil and an egg. Use the egg yolk too if you have dry hair and use only the egg white if you have oily hair.
Apply this buttermilk mask on your hair from the roots to the ends. Cover with a shower cap and let it nourish your hair for 30 minutes. Rinse off and pat dry your hair.
[Also Read: DIY Deep Conditioning Hair Masks For Strong, Silky And Smooth Hair]
3. Strong And Smooth Hair
Buttermilk can make your hair smooth and sleek. It can even naturally straighten the hair slightly. It is rich in milk proteins which makes the hair strands strong and healthy.
Mix buttermilk with coconut milk and massage it on your damp scalp and hair. Rinse your hair after 15 minutes.
Now that you know the innumerable benefits of buttermilk, make sure to divide it equally both for consumption and for your natural beauty treatments!
Note: Do not consume buttermilk if you are lactose intolerant.
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